Hottest Octavia takes the fight to key rivals this summer from £27,595.

If variety is the spice of life then the hot hatch battlefield is getting very tasty indeed. We are living through a new golden era for the breed and the Skoda Octavia vRS 245 is ready to join the fray.

The vRS 245 may master the power of the understatement externally, but there is nothing understated about what is under the bonnet – 245hp and 273lb-ft of torque come courtesy of a turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder TSI engine.

Power is channeled to the front wheels via your choice of a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed DSG transmission. A special limited-slip differential developed for motorsport keeps things in check, and can send 100% of the power to either front wheel if required.

Skoda Octavia vRS 245
Skoda Octavia vRS 245

The 0-62mph dash is done and dusted in just 6.6 seconds for a DSG-wielding hatch. If your dog is feeling the need for speed, then Fido will be pleased to know that a similarly equipped estate will do the same run just 0.1 seconds slower. Who said there had to be a penalty for practicality?

External additions to the Skoda Octavia vRS 245 over the standard car include; 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels, black grille and door mirrors, as well as a darkened tailpipe. The cabin is endowed with a pair of heated Alcantara sports seats to hold occupants in place when calving up a particularly tasty B-road.

Planning to hit the track? This Octavia is now equipped with a lap timer within its trip computer, and options such as onboard wifi should keep the kids quiet for a while.

Key rivals including the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI should be looking over their shoulders. Skoda is upping its game. Order books for the UK are open now and the range kicks off from £27,595 for the hatch and £28,795 for the estate variant.

Gallery: Skoda Octavia vRS 245 On Sale July