The future of Skoda's fast car strategy is under question as new boss Bernhard Maier looks for a viable business case for the vRS sub-brand
Jim Holder
4 October 2016

Skoda's fast car strategy is under review, as new boss Bernhard Maier seeks to establish how far he can stretch the brand’s appeal and whether he can make top-end vRS models sufficiently profitable to justify the development costs.

At present, the Octavia vRS is the only top-end fast model in Skoda’s line-up. Instead, Skoda has focused on developing its Monte Carlo, Laurent & Klement and Sportsline styling packs, which have proved both profitable and popular with buyers.

“Theoretically, there are no barriers to any kinds of derivatives, but it is a question of demand,” said Maier. “We have had a wonderful experience with trim upgrades, so I expect to do them again.”

Asked about the recently launched Kodiaq, he added: “I can say now that it will have many emotional directions and we will leverage it in every way possible so as to leave as few people as possible out.”

Although more powerful Kodiaq models than the current 187bhp four-cylinder diesel are expected, there’s no clear indication of whether a vRS derivative will be made. Similarly, despite a Superb vRS model being mooted — with speculation that it and a Kodiaq vRS could be powered by the 296bhp powertrain from the Volkswagen Golf R — there is no certainty that this will happen.

Insiders suggest the Superb and Kodiaq remain the most likely models to get vRS variants, because their size means buyers are more willing to pay a premium. However, other reports suggest that Maier is eager to focus R&D money on hybrid and electric powertrain solutions rather than projects that add little sales volume or profit.

Join the debate

Comments
25

4 October 2016
VRS acts as a great halo for the rest of the Octavia range. In my non-scientific survey there are loads of VRS Octavias around and they are the only Octavia I'd consider. Please don't scrap them!

 

 

 

4 October 2016
Deputy wrote:

VRS acts as a great halo for the rest of the Octavia range. In my non-scientific survey there are loads of VRS Octavias around and they are the only Octavia I'd consider. Please don't scrap them!

Yep quite like them myself as I think it's the sort of car people ignore until they ride in one. Anyhow numbers, they sold 2305 Octavia VRS in 2015 at the same time the Leaf sold 5336. Not that these numbers are comparable it only means you're twice as likely to see a Leaf as a VRS (for post 2015 cars). Maybe as they're very dependent on Diesel power that going forward they think the numbers will go sub 1500 post dieselgate and be unsubstanable

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

4 October 2016
IM NOT SURE THIS IS ENTIRELY BELIEVABLE. THE RS MODELS AND NOT VRS AS THERE IS NO SUCH THING I HAVE ASKED CHIEF ENGINEERS @VW. THESE MODELS CERTAINLY HELPED THE BRAND CHANGE ITS IMAGE AND I DOUBT THEY WOULD CONSIDER SCRAPPING THEM. THE RS OCTAVIA MAKES UP A LARGE PROPORTION OF ITS SALES.IT CANT COST THAT MUCH MORE TO DEVELOP OVER THE STANDARD CAR, OK STEERING RACK SUSPENSION AND THE EXTERNAL JEWELLERY ASISDE ITS NOT ALL THAT DIFFERENT AND HARDLY BESPOKE.I HOPE THIS DOESNT HAPPEN ITS REALLY PROPELLED THE BRANDS IMAGE.

4 October 2016
You obviously feel strongly about this, but no need to SHOUT! (or did you just inadvertently leave caps lock on?) I agree with you, BTW.

4 October 2016
Gosh the marketing people really have taken over haven't they? Kodiaq 'will have many emotional directions'? Dear me. Engineering and technical capability is becoming less important - otherwise, why would city dwellers buy large diesel SUVs, which are clearly unsuited to their requirements? I've always thought the VRS models quite popular, but the UK is perhaps unusual in this regard.

4 October 2016
The VRS models are not that great value when you compare them to Golf GTDs on lease deals, the Golf comes with a quite a bit of extra kit which is optional the VRS, I am actually a inverted snob and prefer a Skoda to a VW or a BMW but no way was I going to pay extra for the privilege.
The way they are talking up the Skoda brand is putting me off too, the down to earth back in the day Volvo feel I found appealing.

4 October 2016
The VRS models are not that great value when you compare them to Golf GTDs on lease deals, the Golf comes with a quite a bit of extra kit which is optional the VRS, I am actually a inverted snob and prefer a Skoda to a VW or a BMW but no way was I going to pay extra for the privilege.
The way they are talking up the Skoda brand is putting me off too, the down to earth back in the day Volvo feel I found appealing.

4 October 2016
The VRS models are not that great value when you compare them to Golf GTDs on lease deals, the Golf comes with a quite a bit of extra kit which is optional the VRS, I am actually a inverted snob and prefer a Skoda to a VW or a BMW but no way was I going to pay extra for the privilege.
The way they are talking up the Skoda brand is putting me off too, the down to earth back in the day Volvo feel I found appealing.

4 October 2016
I've had 2 Skoda VRS's, an Octavia & a Fabia(2). I would have probably bought a Yeti if they had done a VRS version but instead had to change brands and bought a Porsche Macan...it's nice but not quite as well made as the Octavia!!!
Please do MORE VRS models not less..I would not buy a non VRS Skoda as the rest of the range says 'Old Person' to me.

4 October 2016
The vRS models are a high seller here in the UK, accounting for 1 in 5 Octavia sales. Octavia is always in the european top ten car sales list matching Ford Focus sales. To kill the flagship vRS brand would be financial suicide!! Briskoda and Skoda Owners Club facebook pages have thousands of enthusiastic owners from the UK on them, don't be stupid Skoda, we want more vRS models, not less!

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
    This is the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The Insignia GSi is Vauxhall's new performance flagship. Can this diesel estate version offer both pace and practicality?
  • Honda Civic Type R
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    It’s a warm welcome to this steaming hot hatch. But is it too fiery for Britain’s roads?
  • Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    The DB11 Volante chassis' torsional rigidity is 22kN/deg, down from 34kN/deg on the coupe – but substantially more than the 14.7kN/deg of the DB9 Volante
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The DB11 Volante is the first convertible variant of Aston Martin's new model generation. How does it compare to the likes of the new Ferrari Portofino?
  • BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo front
    The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    The top-of-the-line 6 Series Gran Turismo has arrived in the UK, but does a more potent engine increase its unusual appeal?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?