The new Skoda Octavia vRS will go on sale at the end of October with prices starting at just under £31,500. The fresh-faced fourth-generation model will be offered as a hatchback or an estate, with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, as well as a plug-in hybrid option for extra eco-friendliness.

For now, though, petrol power is the only option, with the £31,495 price tag getting you a 2-litre turbocharged engine that produces 242 bhp. At the moment, it comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard, but a six-speed manual is on its way. With the automatic gearbox on board, though, it’ll manage 0-62 mph in a sprightly 6.7 seconds.

That engine will eventually be joined by a 2-litre diesel with 198 bhp and the option of four-wheel drive, as well as the 242 bhp plug-in hybrid. Dubbed the iV vRS, in keeping with Skoda’s other electrified models, the plug-in car will team a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, offering up to 37 miles of zero-emission motoring before petrol power is required.

However, those cars aren’t expected for a few months yet, so the only option at launch will be a choice between hatchback and estate body styles. Both come with unique vRS front and rear bumper designs that incorporate black detailing, including a double-slat radiator grille, lower air diffuser and ‘air curtains’ above the front fog lights.

The door mirror housings and window frames are also finished in gloss black, and the estate model gets black roof bars as standard. At the rear, the hatchback versions get gloss black aero flaps, a black diffuser and a small bootlid spoiler, while both models come with chrome exhaust tailpipes and bespoke vRS badging.

2021 Skoda Octavia RS

Inside, the normal Octavia’s two-spoke steering wheel is swapped for a new ‘multifunction’ three-spoke leather steering wheel, which comes with shift paddles for the double-clutch automatic gearbox. It gets knurled wheels with a “chrome design”, too, along with heated front sports seats in black fabric and black roof lining.

The new seats, along with the steering wheel, armrests and Alcantara-padded instrument panel, are all adorned with vRS logos and red stitching, while carbon optic decorative strips, LED ambient lighting and aluminium pedals complete the sporty look.

Added to that, you get Skoda’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster as standard and a 10-inch touchscreen. You also get full LED Matrix headlights and adaptive cruise control, plus front and rear parking sensors.

Gallery: 2021 Skoda Octavia RS