We don’t know whether to be excited or not. The urge to write shouty headlines about the most powerful production Octavia ever is tempered by the fact that 242bhp isn’t actually that much these days.
It’s enough, though, as anyone who’s driven a 227bhp Golf GTI will tell you, and don’t forget there’s still a 227bhp version of this car that’s going to be sold alongside it.
Let’s dig into those numbers. The new Octavia vRS 245 has 15bhp more than its predecessor, will hustle through the 0-62mph sprint in 6.6 seconds (6.7 for the estate) and will give its 155mph speed limiter something to do on the autobahn.
It has the ‘VAQ’ electronic locking differential (also seen on the VW Golf GTI Performance Pack) at the front axle as standard and comes with either a six-speed manual or, for the first time in the Octavia, a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox.
It should be a laid-back beast most of the time, with peak torque of 273lb ft from just 1600rpm to 4300rpm. Skoda mentions a husky sound from the exhaust, which is good because everyone likes huskies.
Skoda has coughed up some in-gear performance stats, too, to show off that torquey turbocharged engine. The manual hatchback will nail the 37-62mph dash (everyone knows that one, right?) in 6.4 seconds – in fifth gear. In the same ratio, 50-75mph is cracked off in 6.6 seconds. The estate is one or two tenths slower on all counts.
It sits 14mm lower than a regular Octavia, and more interestingly its rear track is 38mm wider than that of the previous vRS. Standard-fit 19-inch wheels are larger than before, you get a 9.2-inch touch-screen and Trailer Assist, for if you’re weird and like caravans or horses. It’s nice to see wireless mobile charging, though.
Prices won’t be confirmed until closer to its March reveal at the Geneva Motor Show, but it should be interesting to see where it sits against the on-form Golf GTI and 296bhp Seat Leon Cupra.