Next Skoda Octavia vRS to go hybrid

by Rachel Burgess, Autocar UK 05 Oct 2018

The next-generation Octavia vRS, arriving by 2021, will have a hybrid variant to sit alongside internal-combustion engine options such as petrol or diesel.

Talking about a hybrid powertrain on the next Octavia, Christian Strube, Skoda R&D boss said: “Octavia is a good possibility. Perhaps in an RS version - because it’s a good mix between sustainability [and performance]. If you drive 70km, you can drive every day to work electrified and if you want to have some fun at the weekend you have an RS version. It’s really nice.”

Skoda is launching its first plug-in hybrid next year in its Superb model. Strube said the PHEV would be “more or less” the same powertrain as previewed in the Vision RS concept shown at the Paris motor show.

This combines a 148bhp 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and a 101bhp electric motor to give a total output of 242bhp and a claimed 0-62mph time of 7.1sec.

An Octavia vRS hybrid would use a similar set-up but naturally get more overall power to make it performance-car-worthy.

The fastest current Octavia vRS is a 242bhp petrol and achieves the benchmark sprint in 6.6secs. Any future model will no doubt look to trump that time.

The only RS models currently on sale are the Octavia vRS and the new Kodiaq vRS.

There is no word on other RS models but a Karoq RS has been mooted. Strube said he would like to see one in the upcoming Rapid replacement, previewed in the Vision RS concept. “I think this fits perfectly. But you could also do one on the Superb.

“We are selling a lot of RS. I have two directions: to push the development for sustainability, such as electrification and on the other side, of course, I’m pushing all these RS versions because these makes the brand much more emotional which is important for economic sustainability.”

Skoda also has plans for pure electric RS models. Sales and marketing boss Alain Favey has previously told Autocar a performance version of its upcoming electric SUV will arrive in 2022 likely badged eRS.

Ahead of the next-generation Octavia vRS arriving, the fourth-generation Octavia will launch by 2020. The model is easily Skoda’s biggest selling car so is crucial to its success.

The standard Octavia is also set to get a plug-in hybrid powertrain as one of five electrified vehicles confirmed by the brand to arrive by 2020.

Also read: Skoda Kodiaq vRS revealed as 237bhp performance SUV