Skoda has been spied testing its next-gen Octavia vRS without camouflage, suggesting the PHEV performance model is set for an imminent arrival. The electrified petrol hybrid is due with the VW Group's increasingly ubiquitous combination of 1.4-litre four-pot and lithium-ion-powered electric motor, giving it an anticipated output of 245hp.
While that figure only matches its predecessor's power, the electric addition does enable more torque and greater efficiency, particularly in the form of pure EV running. In the Cupra Leon, the vRS's latest group stablemate, the setup uses a 13kWh battery to give the motor 115hp and a range of 37 miles, for example.
It's therefore expected that the vRS will either mirror or very nearly match those stats, giving it a blend of quick on road performance and ultra-low CO2 never before seen on a vRS. Expect rolling acceleration to be much improved - which will be key for the large number of vRS buyers in Germany who spend life on the motorway. The setup should also ensure the upcoming Czech model can cater to markets with urban bans on cars running petrol or diesel engines.
As for the design, this is still very much a model based on an evolutionary MQB base rather than anything drastically different. There are more sharp angles and straight lines although, somewhat surprisingly, Skoda's designers haven't followed suit of everyone else and slapped a light bar on it. Looks smart, if a little discreet, but that's what's always been appealing about the Octavia vRS, isn't it? Expect the cabin to be similarly familiar, albeit with the VW Group's much tidier, latest-gen centre console and its freshened up digital instrument cluster and infotainment.
Given the PHEV's lack of disguise, it could be on course for a reveal in Geneva next week. Or it may be given a separate spotlight away from the show, as is increasingly the case these days. Either way, we're expecting the Octavia sports PHEV to be on roads by the summer to plug (ahem) that important and much in demand gap in Skoda's line-up.