2020 Skoda Octavia vRS iV specifications and performance revealed

Fancy a speedy car with the ability to drive around town on electric power alone? The new Octavia plug-in hybrid comes in sporty vRS form

Graham Hope
Mar 23, 2020

Skoda is promising a blend of power, practicality and the ability to run on electric power alone with its new plug-in hybrid Octavia vRS iV. The model signifies the first time that one of the company’s performance-focused cars – which traditionally wear the vRS badge – has been offered as a plug-in hybrid.

The Octavia is Skoda’s medium-size family hatchback, competing with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, with which it shares engines and other technology, the Ford Focus and the Honda Civic. The real selling point with the Octavia has historically been the fact you get more interior and boot space for the money than compared with rivals.

More powerful versions of these hatches – such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST and Honda Civic Type R – have always been popular with buyers. But as the motoring landscape changes, car companies are looking to introduce greener models into their ranges - in this case thanks to the addition of an electric motor and batteyr pack - even on cars focused on delivering driver thrills.

As part of the Volkswagen Group, which also owns Volkswagen, Audi and Seat, among others, Skoda has access to technology and engines used across a number of brands. And in the case of the Octavia vRS iV, it shares a lot of the same mechanicals as the forthcoming Volkswagen Golf GTE, including the power source, a combination of a 150hp 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, which together deliver a total output of 245hp.

Quick facts

  • First plug-in hybrid performance Skoda
  • Available as hatchback or estate
  • Hybrid petrol-electric combo generates 245hp
  • Dramatic, sporty design
  • Emissions to be confirmed
  • Estimated price from around £32,000

The Octavia vRS iV drives the front wheels via a six-gear 'dual-clutch' automatic gearbox which the Volkswagen Group calls a DSG. The key difference between this style of automatic gearbox and conventional versions is that it comes with two clutches to deliver, quicker and smoother gearshifts.

The Octavia vRS iV delivers key headline figures of 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, a top speed of 139mph, the ability to drive on electric power only for up to 37 miles and CO2 emissions potentially as low as 30g/km (although this has still to be officially confirmed).

As is generally the case with Skoda, excellent practicality is a given with substantial boot space expected in both the hatch and the slightly larger estate model.

And although pricing is yet to be confirmed, it is likely to be competitive for this type of performance car, with initial estimates suggesting a starting price slightly above £32,000.

2020 Skoda Octavia vRS iV models and specs

Skoda offers quite a wide range of Octavia models, and the sporty powerful vRS iV will sit right at the top as the most desirable and expensive. As is normally the case with vRS models, it will feature an array of extrovert design cues to mark it out from the rest of the range.

These include unique LED foglights and black 18-inch alloy wheels with red brake calipers, although 19-inch alloys are available as an option. The sporty theme continues with the grille, window frames and other key details finished in a menacing black. On the hatch the rear spoiler is also black, but the estate differs here; its roof spoiler matches the colour of the car.

Black is also the predominant colour inside. Among the highlights are a three-spoke leather steering wheel which displays the vRS logo and black fabric front sports seats featuring decorative stitching in red or silver-grey. (This stitching is also found on other elements inside, including the steering wheel, the armrests and the dashboard).

If you don’t fancy the standard seats, there is the opportunity to upgrade in the form of optional seats which Skoda has named ‘Ergo’. These differ from the standard ones by offering upholstery made from leather and Alcantara (essentially a suede-like material). You are also able to adjust the Ergo seats in more ways for added comfort.

There’s more to the vRS iV than simply a sporty look, though. In addition to the increased power on offer, the suspension has been set up in the same way as on previous vRS models, with one main objective – to reward those who enjoy a sporty drive.

And of course, you have the choice of a hatch or an estate. The main difference between these is boot capacity. The hatch is listed at 450 litres and the estate at 490 litres. These should be spacious enough for most buyers, but are smaller than on Octavia models that are not plug-in hybrids – the standard hatch, for example, offers 600 litres. The size of the electric battery reduces this capacity, so this isn't the Octavia for you if you want maximum boot space.

Conventional petrol and diesel versions of the vRS are expected to be announced in due course and should prove cheaper, without the complex plug-in hybrid technology.

2020 Skoda Octavia vRS iV economy and performance

As a performance-focused plug-in hybrid, the Octavia vRS iV has been created to deliver a car that seamlessly blends sportiness and improved fuel economy, with a powerful engine and the ability to drive on electric power alone.

The claimed performance figures are impressive. A 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds is 0.3 seconds quicker than the standard non-vRS plug-in hybrid Octavia iV. By way of comparison, the 148hp 2.0-litre diesel and 150hp 1.5-litre petrol, which are likely to be popular with many buyers, deliver times of 8.8 seconds and 8.2 seconds respectively.

Fuel consumption figures are yet to be revealed, but the predicted emissions figure of 30g/km should be sufficient for the Octavia vRS iV to meet tough new European regulations which will be introduced at the start of 2021.

2020 Skoda Octavia vRS iV electric range

Charging the Octavia vRS iV’s 13kWh lithium-ion battery can be done via a standard household socket or a wall box. There are no official details yet on charging times, but this will be carried out via a port that is hidden in the front bumper.

Keep the battery fully charged and you can expect an electric-only range of up to 37 miles. This is on a par with rivals such as the Kia Niro plug-in (36 miles) and slightly better than the Hyundai Ioniq (32 miles).

2020 Skoda Octavia vRS iV technology

The new Octavia has upped its game in many respects, and is now more technologically advanced than ever before.

Inside, there are two 10-inch screens – one behind the steering wheel replacing traditional dials and a free-standing central touchscreen media display. The former takes care of the instrumentation, while the latter controls the entertainment and sat-nav options.

Skoda has announced a suite of driver assistance programmes for the Octavia, including Collision Avoidance Assist, which takes control of the steering to prevent collisions with cyclists, pedestrians or other vehicles, and Exit Warning, which lets a driver know if another vehicle or cyclist is approaching from behind when opening the door.

But with full UK specification yet to be confirmed, it is unclear what features will make it on to the vRS iV when it arrives in British showrooms in autumn. We'll update you as soon as we know more.

 

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