What's it like?
The incredible leap in performance hits you immediately, as does the realisation that the car badly needs some sort of proper mechanical limited-slip differential to make the most of it. The new vRS 230 - launched after development on this car started - features as standard the clever active locking differential from the Golf GTI Performance and SEAT Leon Cupra, and would probably make a much better basis for the conversion.
But the chassis and traction control do an admirable job handling the demands placed on them, helped no doubt by Revo's suspension upgrades. It is hard to subjectively quantify just how fast this car is, especially given the usual 0-60mph benchmark doesn't really flatter it.
A more suitable metric is, perhaps, the 100-200kmh acceleration test, which it absolutely blitzes. In testing Revo has recorded it completing this in around nine seconds, which is on a par with a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. OK, the Lamborghini is somewhat more glamorous and exotic, but it clearly couldn't carry an entire family in comfort or swallow a boot full of garden waste for the weekend tip run.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Revo's conversion is that in normal use the Skoda feels absolutely standard. Cost and warranty aside, there isn't an apparent downside to nearly doubling the standard power output, driveability and even fuel economy being largely unaffected.
On durability, Revo is quick to point out that it spends a lot of time ensuring its products deliver longevity as well as performance. The Octavia's ECO mode still works as per standard for motorway cruising, and they've even gone to the trouble of engineering in 'cold start protection' that keeps a lid on boost pressure until the oil temperature has reached its safe operating window.
Should I buy one?
Big power figures and dreams of out-dragging supercars in a Skoda en route to the weekly shop may be tempting but, in reality, this level of tuning is probably over the top for most people. The job of this particular car is to showcase what's possible, money and appetite for horsepower permitting.
From a starting price of £599, Revo offers a step-by-step tuning programme that permits you to upgrade your car a bit at a time. Whether this is to spread the cost, or to let you build up to a level of performance that suits your needs, it's a sensible approach. Or you could just say to hell with it and invest the circa-£5000 required to get your MQB-platformed Octavia, Leon, Golf or A3 to this stage.
Horror stories of engines going pop and a general suspicion of on-the-cheap, easy-win aftermarket tuning will put many off, but respectable companies like Revo Technik are working hard to convince people it can be done safely. The thousands of miles of testing, calibrating and finessing the tuning package fitted to this car bear testament to the thoroughness of the team's work. It might just be enough to convince a few more owners it's worth taking the plunge.
Skoda Octavia vRS 2.0 TSI by Revo Technik
Location Leicestershire; On sale Now; Price from £599, (£5362 as tested excluding base car) Engine 4 cyls, 1984cc, petrol; Power 404bhp at 5400rpm; Torque 380lb ft at 2900-4000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd dual-clutch automatic; Kerb weight 1475kg; 0-62mph tbc; Top speed 170mph+; Economy tbc; CO2/tax band tbc