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Skoda gives Octavia vRS a new Challenge. Image by Skoda.

Skoda gives Octavia vRS a new Challenge
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What's all this about?

Sound the 'run-out model' klaxon! We've got a special edition of the Skoda Octavia vRS.

Surely that's good news? As the vRS is a great car, no?

It is, but you've got to bear in mind that the third-generation Octavia upon which it is based has been on sale since 2013, so it's getting on a bit. And this is a UK-only special edition, which basically bundles in lots of extra equipment for a reduced fee.

What's the special edition called?

The Skoda Octavia vRS Challenge. It starts life as the more potent vRS 245 and then Skoda UK lobs 4,535 of equipment in for a 2,460 premium. The vRS Challenge is available as a hatchback or as an Estate, with prices starting at 30,085 for the former and 31,285 for the latter, and for your money you get 19-inch Xtreme black alloys, a sports exhaust with black trim, black-finish folding and auto-dimming door mirrors, and black 'vRS' badging. Inside, electrically adjustable, heated Alcantara vRS seats can be found up front, while the trip computer in the display - complete with a lap timer - is rendered in colour. And you'll enjoy keyless entry and go, too.

Is it just a styling exercise, then?

No, there's one chassis upgrade that's part of the Challenge's standard kit list and it's Dynamic Chassis Control adjustable dampers. A most worthwhile toy on the vRS, DCC will team up well with the 245's standard VAQ electronically controlled limited-slip differential, allowing Challenge owners to make the most of the 2.0-litre TSI engine's 245hp and 370Nm. Expect to see 0-62mph in as little as 6.6 seconds (for the hatchback) and a top speed of 155mph in either. Customers can choose between the standard six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch auto for the gearbox.

Matt Robinson - 1 Feb 2019

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