Skoda Octavia: first ever vRS plug-in hybrid revealed with 242bhp
Skoda has revealed the fourth generation of their flagship Octavia, with the model promising to redefine its segment for refinement, quality, and tech.
A range-topping Octavia vRS PHEV has also been revealed, with more on that at the footer of the page.
As the brand's biggest seller globally, Skoda calls the Octavia its ‘heart and engine’ so it’s no surprise to see so much care and attention has gone into the latest model. Offered in hatchback and estate, it builds on the outgoing Octavia’s strengths by adding more interior space and higher levels of tech, safety and comfort.
The Octavia’s exterior matches the new Scala and Superb, with the split-headlight ditched in favour of narrow LED lights found on the Scala. The tail lights, brake lights and fog lights make use of LED technology as well.
A lower roofline also gives the hatchback a more streamlined and coupe-like appearance and comparatively emphasises the elongated silhouette of the Combi estate version.
At a length of 4,689mm in both body styles, it’s 19mm longer than the outgoing hatch and 22mm longer than the old estate. Its width has also increased by 15mm which means 30-litres more boot space for the estate and 10-litres more for the saloon.
The most radical changes are on the inside. The newly designed interior features soft-touch materials to offer a more premium look, while the new LED ambient lighting provides a special visual touch for the front doors and dashboard.
The dashboard, which has also been redesigned, is modular and has been arranged at different levels. Featuring a large, free-standing central display the centre console is elegant, uncluttered and adorned with chrome details.
Technology-wise, the Octavia offers a choice of four new infotainment systems, with screens measuring from 8.25in to 10in. Some of them can be operated using gesture control or by voice via the ‘Laura’ Digital Assistant depending on the trim.
A redesigned 10.25in Virtual Cockpit is offered on high-level trims, as is a new head-up display which projects onto the windscreen. Wireless charging is optional too via ‘Phone Box’, while three-zone climate control makes its debut on the model. An enlarged suite of driver assistance features, such as enhanced predictive cruise control and predictive pedestrian and cyclist protection also feature.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a new Skoda if there wasn’t a range of ‘Simply Clever’ features too. Somewhat controversially, they’ve done away with the standard magazine holder on the back of the front seats, replacing them with two smartphone storage pockets instead. Retractable sunblinds also feature on rear passenger windows. A storage compartment with an umbrella and hand brush in the front doors is also new.
As for engines, the line-up includes a plug-in hybrid for the first time. The Octavia iV is a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which combines with an electric motor to offer 200hp. Providing 13kWh of energy, the high-voltage lithium-ion battery is capable of 34 miles of emission-free driving.
For those not ready to try plug-in power, a wide range of petrol and diesel models are also offered. The basic range kicks off with 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engines which both feature 48v mild-hybrid technology when equipped with DSG gearbox. This allows the Octavia to recover brake energy, support the combustion engine by providing it with an electric boost, and to coast with the engine completely switched off.
Non-hybrid versions of the EVO models as well as 2.0-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines are also available, offering all-wheel-drive and a new shift-by-wire seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. Innovations have been made with the diesel engines regarding a new ‘twin dosing’ exhaust gas treatment. This sees AdBlue injected specifically in front of the two catalytic converters that are arranged one after the other.
Octavia vRS iV
Skoda has announced a plug-in hybrid vRS performance model will be available for the first time.
The new Skoda Octavia vRS iV has been fitted with a 1.4 TSI petrol engine and an 85-kW electric motor, this delivers a combined 242bhp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. With this in mind the car can accelerate 0-62 in just 7.3 seconds to a top speed of 139mph. The PHEV features an all-electric range of 37 miles.
CO2 emissions are 30 g/km in the WLTP cycle, meaning it already complies with the new, stricter EU6d emissions standard due to come into force next year.
Distinguished from the regular Octavia, the sporty range topper boasts signature black bodywork elements including the grille, air curtains, aeroflaps, as well as diffuser on the vRS-specific front and rear apron. The vRS iV also has specific LED fog lights and black 18-inch alloy wheels with RS-red brake callipers as standard.
On the inside, the three-spoke leather multifunction sports steering wheel bears a vRS logo and features paddles for operating the DSG. The front sports seats are upholstered in black fabric, whilst the optional Ergo seats come with Alcantara and leather upholstery as well as seat-depth adjustment.
Decorative strips in a RS look and pedals with an aluminium design round off the sporty impression.