vRS - a badge with serious heritage
The new Octavia vRS continues a sporting tradition that dates back 100 years. Skoda has a rich motorsport history and has been successfully competing with its production cars since the mid-1930s. In fact, Skoda has been involved in motorsport longer than most manufacturers have been in existence.
The vRS badge? Well that first appeared in the mid-1970s on the famous Skoda 130 RS. An instant winner on the race tracks and rally stages of Europe, it twice won its class on the Monte Carlo rally and scored an impressive string of victories in the European Touring Car Championship.
The badge was reintroduced in 2000 when the Skoda Octavia vRS with a 1.8-litre 20 valve turbo engine generating 180bhp blasted onto the market. The car rapidly achieved cult status in the UK and remains a highly sought-after performance model on the used market.
Skoda doubled the size of its vRS range in 2003 with the arrival of the Fabia vRS. Like the Octavia, the Fabia proved an instant hit thanks to its combination of performance, value for money and practicality. It was also the first diesel-engined car to be genuinely considered a hot-hatch – an achievement that still marks it out as unique.
Skoda’s commitment to the vRS brand is considerable. Working on the old adage that racing improves the breed, Skoda has been involved in the World Rally Championship (WRC) since its inception and continues to be a driving force in the sport today. Indeed, the current Fabia WRC car is such an exciting package that British rally legend and former world champion Colin McRae has been tempted out of retirement to drive one in this month’s Rally of Great Britain.
The vRS Brand in the UK
The vRS range was re-launched in the UK in 2001 with the introduction of the first-generation Octavia vRS. Its 180 bhp introduced UK drivers to Skoda’s fabulous combination of performance and practicality. The Fabia vRS gave the fun a new dimension with its diesel-driven pulling power.
Together, the vRS range makes up 12% of Skoda UK sales. We expect sales to grow further as more and more people find the Skoda vRS combination of performance and practicality fits their lifestyle - people who don’t want to sacrifice driving fun and style for everyday practicality.