Saturday, 22 September 2018

Shades of grey show new Octavia means business

Shades of grey show new Octavia means business

THERE was a time when things were simple — they were black and white with no in-between.

Indeed, in recent years that barometer of what was new in global automobile colours, the Geneva Motor Show, has always told it how it was.

Fondly, I recall a time when Geneva declared that black was “the new white”.

But now it seems that grey is the new black and white in cars — if you see what I mean.

So in the past few weeks I have been driving two grey-toned cars. Of course they were not just plain old grey paint jobs, that would be far too simple.

The rather splendid Škoda Octavia vRS 245 Hatch I have been driving this week was turned out in a natty shade of grey with the apt title Meteor Grey.

Appropriately so, as it turns out, because this particular Škoda absolutely flew, clocking a neat 6.6 seconds for a 0-62mph sprint.

But it wasn’t just the snapper jack performance of this Škoda Octavia vRS that I liked so much as its ease of handling.

It was fluid and light in response to one’s driving demands. So behind the wheel you felt a certain lightness of simply being in this car.

Coupled with the DSG seven-speed automatic transmission, of which I have become fonder by the day, this Octavia vRS 245 Hatch was definitely the business.

The Škoda Octavia vRS 245 Hatch was one of the cars the Czech manufacturer presented as part of a package of numerous model updates at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. (Where else?)

So for all you vRS fans, from this summer this sporty top-of-the-range variant of the bestselling Octavia features this very sporty 245-PS TSI engine. And believe me, it does, as Škoda claims, provide a “dynamic drive” to the car.

In technical terms “the electronically regulated VAQ limited-slip differential” brings the Škoda Octavia vRS 245 Hatch’s sporty ambitions front and centre.

The aforesaid limited-slip differential electronically lets the car use its engine’s output in the most efficient way possible by preventing wheel spin and maximising traction.

The VAQ limited-slip differential was originally developed for motorsport and works with an electronically regulated multi-plate clutch located between the differential and the powered axle on the right-hand side.

When needed, 100 per cent of the power can be directed to one front wheel. When cornering, the differential transfers an increased amount of engine power to the outer front wheel (wheel with the most grip) as required.

Other goodies, apart from the engine and smart mechanicals, include the digital instrument panel that can be individually programmed — there’s a choice of different layouts.

The size and positioning of the information displayed can also be freely configured. In addition to speed, RPM, fuel gauge or the navigational destination, information about the sound system, telephone or assistance systems can also be displayed on the screen behind the steering wheel.

The new vRS 245 offers more oomph than the previous range-topping model and comes with a raft of additional equipment to deliver the brand’s sportiest drive to date.

Available in both hatch and estate forms, the vRS 245 is also offered with a choice of a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed DSG transmission.

Powered by a modified version of the existing 2.0 TSI four cylinder vRS powerplant, the vRS 245 can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 6.6 seconds (estate 6.7 seconds) and has exceptional in-gear flexibility.

But performance goes on: in fifth gear, for example, the vRS 245 with a manual gearbox sprints from 37 to 62 mph in just 6.4 seconds (estate, 6.5 seconds) and from 50 to 75 mph in only 6.6 seconds (estate, 6.8 seconds).

In terms of equipment, the vRS 245 builds on the specification of the standard vRS with a host of additional items.

Externally, the vRS 245 is distinguished by 19-inch ‘Xtreme’ gloss black alloy wheels, gloss black front grille, door mirror housings and exhaust tailpipes.

Inside, the vRS 245’s cabin features heated and electrically adjustable vRS sports seats trimmed in Alcantara and decorative trim panels finished in gloss black.

The colour multifunction trip computer, located in the main instrument panel between the speedometer and rev counter, also includes a lap timer as standard.

Other equipment highlights shared with the standard vRS range include Amundsen satellite navigation with eight-inch display and integrated Wi-Fi, full LED headlights with adaptive front light system and LED daytime running lights, LED interior light pack (10 colours) and a Super sport three-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel complete with vRS logo and paddles for DSG-equipped models.

This is a super car for the money and I would thoroughly recommend you try a new vRS if you are looking for an accomplished sports saloon.

FACTFILE

Škoda Octavia vRS 245 Hatch 2.0 TSI 245PS DSG

On the road price (with options fitted): £33,640

Combined mpg: 44.1mpg

CO2 emissions: 146 g/km

Max speed: 155mph

Standard equipment includes 19in Xtreme gloss black alloy wheels

Available in hatch and estate forms, plus optional seven-speed DSG

Standard electro-mechanical front locking differential delivers sporty drive

0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds makes vRS 245 the fastest vRS model ever

Additional equipment over vRS includes gloss black design features and 19-inch alloys

Motoring

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