3 November 2004

SKODA is putting the finishing touches to its fastest ever production car – a 200bhp vRS version of the latest Octavia. The new hot hatch will go on sale towards the end of next year powered by the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine from the new VW Golf GTi – whose £19,995 price it is set to undercut by some margin.

The Octavia will feature much more aggressive looks than its predecessor, which will continue to be sold alongside the second-generation Octavia range until its replacement arrives.

‘It will take the vRS brand one step further,’ said Skoda’s head of technical development, Harald Ludanek. ‘You will be surprised by it.’

Skoda is keen to draw more overt links between its vRS models and its world rally team, which could be spearheaded by Britain’s Colin McRae next year. There may also be a diesel Octavia vRS in the pipeline (the Fabia vRS supermini is diesel-only) although no final decision has yet been taken.

As part of the sporting makeover, Skoda will drop the ride height, as it did with the outgoing vRS, which sits 15mm lower than the standard car. Other changes will include uprated springs, dampers and brakes.

Ludanek confirmed that Skoda will build a successor to its range-topping Superb saloon, despite its slow sales in the UK. The second-generation car will be a hatchback and is unlikely to arrive before the end of 2006.

The company is also preparing a concept car for next year’s Geneva Motor Show that will foreshadow the first Skoda MPV. It has already displayed one people-carrying concept, 2003’s Roomster.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out