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20 years of ŠKODA vRS in the UK

20 Years Of ŠKODA vRS Perfomance Cars In The UK

Celebrating a sporty and confident style


From introducing a diesel hot hatch to setting international speed records, ŠKODA’s vRS models have spent two decades redefining the boundaries of accessible performance. In successfully evolving to offer buyers the vRS ethos in SUV and hybrid formats, the brand continues to show its ability to challenge the status quo.

With 2021 marking the 20th anniversary of the arrival of vRS in the UK, ŠKODA will soon take its first steps into fully-electric performance cars with the new ENYAQ iV vRS – setting the stage for another 20 years of exhilarating vRS models.

Looking back at some of the highlights of the vRS

The Octavia vRS mark 1 had a bespoke chassis, fine-tuned by ŠKODA's motorsport division, with a 180PS, 1.8 litre turbocharged engine. Who better to give it a sporty touch than the motorsport experts themselves. It was the most powerful production ŠKODA ever produced and the fastest with 146mph top speed.

The Fabia vRS mark 1, in production from 2003 - 2007, powered onto the scene with a practical 5 door version, unlike it rivals who stuck to 3 door versions. With a 130PS, 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine, the FABIA defied convention and proved that flexibility and a colossal torque output (310Nm - more than a Porsche Boxster at the time) was more than a match for a peaky, high-revving petrol engine. It returned up to 53.3mpg and came loaded with standard equipment which made it one of the most competitive and engaging packages in the sector.

The Octavia vRS mark 2 became the first production ŠKODA to offer an output of 200PS. Torque was up considerably (280Nm), making it capable of completing the 0-62mph sprint in just 7.3 seconds. A 2011 OCTAVIA model took a British team to a new land speed record. The OCTAVIA vRS Bonneville special registered a Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) sanctioned speed of 227.080 mph on Utah’s legendary Bonneville Salt Flats.

The Fabia vRS mark 2 (2010 - 2013) delivered more power, more space and more choice to buyers. Closely related in terms of design to ŠKODA’s dominant S2000 rally car, the FABIA vRS Mk2 delivered a sportier and more focused driving experience than its predecessor thanks to sharper, more direct steering, stiffer dampers, firmer rear axle springs and the revolutionary XDS electronic differential.

The Octavia vRS mark 3, in production until 2020, took ŠKODA performance to a new level. Introduced in 2015, the vRS 230 featured further-revised engine and turbocharger management to deliver a 10PS increase in power (230PS), hitting 62mph in just 6.7 seconds in six-speed manual form.

KODIAQ vRS came on to the scene in 2019 and is still in production. Able to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in just 7.0 seconds (five-seater) and with a top speed of 136mph, the KODIAQ vRS demonstrated its ability when it set a lap time of 9 minutes 29.84 seconds on the Nürburgring’s legendary Nordschleife, claiming the crown of fastest seven-seat SUV in the process. A facelift version is due in Summer 2021.

Octavia vRS mark 4 (2020 - present) is available with three powertrain variants: a 245PS, 370Nm 2.0 TSI petrol engine, a 200PS, 400Nm 2.0 TDI diesel engine and – for the first time – a vRS iV PHEV. Both saloon and estate body styles are available, as are choices of front- and all-wheel drive and DSG and manual transmissions, depending on engine selection.

The Octavia vRS iV, now in production, introduces electrification to the vRS line up. The hybrid model harnesses the best of both worlds, using petrol and electric, and achieves an all-electric range of up to 38 miles. A dynamic, yet sustainable option.

The vRS has certainly come through a host of transformations, each time taking on the latest technology of the age. Here's to another 20 years of exceptional performance...

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