Skoda Octavia vRS 230
In 2015 Skoda is adding a Performance Pack to the already rapid Octavia vRS. It accounts for a 10bhp increase in power - up to 227bhp - as well as a new exhaust, bigger brakes, and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential.
The upgrades cost £2,520 across the board, whether you opt for manual or DSG, hatchback or Estate. However, in addition to the performance increase, Skoda Octavia vRS 230 buyers also benefit from a set of unique 19-inch alloy wheels, gloss black details, leather sports seats and a trip computer with lap timer. Park assist is also included, as is sat-nav – the regular vRS gets a touchscreen but no navigation.
Perfomance figures: Skoda Octavia vRS 230?
Skoda’s most powerful vRS car to date, and its fastest too, the Octavia vRS 230 joins the current Octavia line-up and sits at the top of the tree, with an additional 10bhp over the standard petrol vRS. It’s also equipped with an electro-mechanical limited-slip diff and will be available as a hatch or estate with either a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.
The 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine now produces 227bhp (up from 217bhp) 200rpm higher in the rev range, from 4700rpm through to 6200rpm. Torque remains at 258lb ft, although it’s available for longer, from 1500 through to 4600rpm.
Performance has improved, but you’ll need a sensitive backside to feel the 0.1sec drop in 0-62mph time (now 6.7sec for the manual, 6.8sec for the DSG hatch models and 6.8sec and 7.0sec for the respective estate variants). There’s also a 1mph increase in top speed, to a limited 155mph, for the hatch, and 153mph and 152mph for the estate with a manual or DSG gearbox respectively. The vRS 230 also gets an electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential as standard.
The chassis is the same as the regular vRS’s, with the hatch sitting 12mm lower and the estate 13mm lower than a regular Octavia. Nineteen-inch ‘Xtreme’ alloy wheels are standard fit and wear a 225/35 tyre.
Externally the vRS 230 is distinguished by black door mirrors and front grille, standard xenon headlights, a black gloss finish to the exhaust tips and ‘Sunset’ rear glass; estate models also get black roof rails. Inside, electric heated leather sports seats are standard as are an Amundsen touchscreen satnav system, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and park assist.
Prices for the new vRS 230 start at £26,150 for a manual hatch, rising to £28,540 for a DSG-equipped estate: a £2520 increase over all standard vRS models. The vRS 230 is the equivalent to the Performance Pack offered on Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The electronically controlled mechanical diff is the highlight of the car. A multi-plate clutch unit, it can deliver up to 100 per cent of the engine’s torque to the front wheel with the most grip and traction. Two settings are available – Normal and Sport – that can be switched via the vRS Mode button on the centre console.
The diff is largely the same unit you will find in the Volkswagen Golf R’s Haldex clutch four-wheel-drive system, but without the additional driveshafts. The clutches close when the forces build and torque needs to be distributed between the front wheels. As well as providing greater traction and control through a corner, the diff is also designed to improve stability under acceleration on wet or low-grip surfaces. The standard ESC and traction control systems can only be partially switched off.