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SPEEDY SKODA (some text hidden)
By Car & Driving
The Skoda Octavia vRS has always been the family man's Golf GTI. While it may share a platform and engine with its German sibling, it hasn't been allowed to overshadow its smaller brother. Will the more powerful 245PS model change that? The experts at Car and Driving find out.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 56
As you may have guessed from the name, the Skoda Octavia vRS 245 comes with an additional 15PS over the standard car, taking the total to 245PS. Skoda have also added an electronic limited slip differential to help tame things, while equipment levels are up too. But is this pokier engine worth the inevitable price premium?
Backgroundword count: 157
The Skoda Octavia has always offered bags of space at a bargain price ever since it was first sold in the UK back in 1998. Three years later, Skoda shook up the sensible image with the first Octavia vRS. As the standard car was based on the fourth generation Volkswagen Golf, dropping in the 1.8-litre turbocharged engine from the GTI was a logical move. After building a cult following, Skoda were keen to repeat the formula in both the second and third generation Octavia. While a diesel option was - and still is - offered, it's the petrol model that has always been the performance flagship. The vRS 245 makes sure that is still the case by effectively using the Performance Pack from the Golf GTI to make the most powerful hot Skoda ever. Still, 245PS isn't that much at the very top of the hot hatch spectrum these days. So what else can the vRS offer?
Driving Experienceword count: 202
We might as well start with the headline power increase. With 245PS this time around, Octavia vRS buyers wanting the ultimate ride get 370Nm of torque - enough to manage the short burst from 37-62 mph in just 6.4 seconds. 62mph from rest takes just 6.6s. There is a choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox or - for the first time in a koda Octavia - a 7-speed, dual-clutch transmission. The handling's been upgraded too, this vRS 245 model featuring a sports chassis that lowers its body by 14mm, plus the rear track is 38mm wider. What else? Well, the ESC stability system has an extra Sport mode and an electronically regulated VAQ limited-slip differential is also part of the standard equipment. This electronic inter-wheel lock for the differential on the driving wheels allows for particularly dynamic acceleration when exiting corners: the amount of slip on one of the front wheels is limited and transferring power to the road is optimised. Individual adjustment of drive, chassis and comfort settings is possible through a 'Performance Mode Select' system and a 'Performance Sound Generator' gives the engine note a rortier sound. Finally, there's more direct 'progressive steering' and optional adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC).
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