What is it?
We’re already plenty familiar with this generation of Octavia vRS. It’s been on sale since 2013, after all, and is entering its twilight years after a round of updates in 2017.
Theoretically, it remains Skoda’s most appealing offering to the keen driver: we say theoretically, because Skoda still refuses to ‘vRS-ify’ the flagship 276bhp, four-wheel drive Superb, so, while it is faster than the Octavia, it remains a less engaging steer. The Czech brand will also now sell you the Kodiaq SUV in its sportiest trim line, if such a thing is your cuppa.
But the wrinkles are starting to show, particularly when the Octavia hatchback finds itself lined up with fresher-faced, faster and more thrilling alternatives like the Honda Civic Type R. That’s why Skoda is upping the value stakes with what can be considered a run-out special - the vRS Challenge - given that an all-new Octavia is due before the year is out.
Don’t make the mistake of hearing ‘Challenge’ and think about hardcore special edition Ferraris of yesteryear, however. This petrol-only special is more a case of bunging in the most popular options, raising the asking price by a bit and pointing out how much you now get for your money.