Skoda Octavia adds hybrid models including 242bhp vRS hot hatch
In a similar vein to most mild hybrids, the Octavia e-Tec - Skoda’s first MHEV - uses a turbocharged petrol engine fitted with a 48V belt-driven starter generator to offer up to 37lb ft of torque boost in short bursts and help cut emissions. Two options are available - a 109bhp 1.0-litre or a 148bhp 1.5-litre.
More significantly, two plug-in hybrids join the range, joining the Superb iV in the brand’s electrified line-up.
Both Octavia PHEVs use a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine producing 150bhp and an 85kW electric motor but electronic management of the motor allows Skoda to specify different power outputs for the two cars.
Standard Octavia iV models offer 201bhp and up to 258lb ft of torque, and come in the standard trim levels, starting from SE. Above that, the Octavia vRS iV offers 242bhp - the same as the last generation petrol vRS - and 295lb ft. In sport mode the vRS will hit 62mph in 7.3 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph.
Both iV models are equipped with a six-speed DSG automatic transmission and a 13kWh battery, good for up to an all-electric range of up to 38 miles and chagring in around two and a half hours. Skoda is yet to release economy or emissions figures.
Befitting its positioning as the hot hatch of the Octavia range, the vRS gets a host of sporty styling features including a unique bodykit, black painted grille, air curtains and diffuser, red painted brake calipers and up to 19-inch alloys. Inside, vRS branded sports seats, a three-spoke steering wheel and aluminium pedals continue the sporty theme.
Like all fourth-generation Octavias, the new hybrid models are available with a host of new technologies, including a head-up display for the first time, a 10-inch touchscreen with Skoda’s voice-activated Laura assistant, smartphone integration and adaptive lane assist which can recognise and respond to roadworks as well as regular road markings. The lane assist is part of a suite of upgraded drivers aids which also includes predictive cruise control, collision avoidance assist which can aid controlled evasive manoeuvres, turn assist which warns of oncoming traffic and in exit warning, which lets the occupants know if another vehicle or a cyclist is approaching from behind when opening the car door.