We can see that this isn't the standard Octavia, unveiled late last year, thanks to its array of typical vRS design cues. There's an enlarged lower air intake with honeycomb trim, chunkier sills, bigger wheels hiding enlarged brakes and red calipers, and new twin exhaust tailpipesat the rear. We can also see that this prototype displays a charging port on its wing, marking it out as a plug-in hybrid.
The new PHEV version promises to offer the most potent version yet of the drivetrain already seen in the Volkswagen Golf GTE. As before, there will also be 2.0-litre petrol and diesel vRS models, the former promising even more power than its 242bhp predecessor.
However, sources suggest that the plug-in hybrid version will match the petrol in terms of outright power. That means the now-familiar combination of a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, mated to a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, should be good for around 250bhp and as much as 300lb ft. However, the heavier plug-in is expected to be slightly slower off the line than its petrol-only sibling, with a 0-62mph sprint time of around seven seconds.
The acceleration deficit is largely down to extra mass. The addition of the electric motor and a rear-mounted battery pack (suggested to have a capacity of up to 13kWh) add in excess of 200kg to the kerb weight, but that will be offset in part by instant, electric-propelled torque and the ability to run for up to 30 miles in electric-only mode.
The regular petrol model is set to be the quickest of the Octavia vRS line-up. Details aren’t confirmed, but sources suggest that the Volkswagen Group’s familiar EA888 motor will be tuned to deliver close to 250bhp, while torque could rise above 280lb ft. Performance is expected to improve over that of the existing car, with the 0-62mph sprint taking approximately 6.5sec.