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New Skoda Octavia VRS offered as plug-in hybrid for the first time

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Skoda has confirmed a trio of powertrains will be available for new Octavia VRS buyers to choose from when the car goes on sale in the Autumn - including a plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

Alongside the conventional petrol and diesel variants an electrified version of the performance-focussed edition will be offered for the first time, known as the Octavia VRS iV.

Read more about the new Skoda Octavia here.

The TSI petrol version is likely to be the quickest VRS - with 245PS on tap from its 2.0-litre EA888 turbocharged engine shared with the Golf GTI. Buyers can opt for a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG.

Drivers of the plug-in hybrid are provided with the same 245PS output, delivered via a beefed-up version of the 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor setup as the regular Octavia iV. Only a six-speed DSG is offered here.

Performance is unlikely to matched with the TSI, however, as the iV has a weight deficit due to its 13.1kWh battery pack that provides a 37-mile zero-emission range. Company car drivers are expected to favour this model as its 30g/km CO2 emissions figure will provide low benefit-in-kind tax.

The diesel VRS (TDI) serves up slightly less power, with 200PS, but has more torque than the TSI. It’s also available with all-wheel-drive, while the other models make do with a front-wheel-drive setup.

Hatchback and estate bodies are offered across the VRS line up, which stands out with more aggressive styling, gloss black trim and larger alloy wheels.

A progressive steering system and sport suspension improves the Octavia’s driveability, while optional Dynamic Chassis Control (adaptive dampers) enables the driver to tailor the ride and handling from the vehicle’s touchscreen.

AM webinar: The AM Motor Retail Review (Monday July 6 at 2pm)

This 45-minute webinar will discuss the UK motor retail industry’s achievements in the first month of trading since lockdown ended for England’s car dealers, including:

· June’s new car registrations and used car opportunities.

· The lessons learned from social distanced trading.

· How dealers balance the return to trading and their need to limit their costs.

· Prospects for Q3 and critical steps for success.

Chaired by AM editor Tim Rose, his invited guests will include senior executives of AM100 dealers, suppliers and OEMs, who’ll share their own experiences since lockdown ended and outline some ways dealers can sustain their business recovery.

Rose said: “This is a crucial moment for UK motor retail. The new car registrations data from the first month since lockdown will tell us how strongly the industry is fighting back, and there’ll be feedback on how customers and staff are coping with new processes and PPE in showrooms.

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Guest speakers signed up so far:

Tim Duckers, Cambria Automobiles

Duckers is the motor division managing director of AM100 motor retailer Cambria Automobiles, working alongside chief executive Mark Lavery to lead a portfolio of franchised dealerships from volume mainstream such as Vauxhall and premium brands such as Jaguar Land Rover to high luxury brands such as Bentley and Rolls Royce.

Steve Le Bas, BDO

Le Bas is the head of motor retail at accountants and business advisers BDO. He has some 20 years’ experience working with motor trade clients, including statutory audits, assisting their internal accounting functions and conducting due diligence assignments for prospective motor trade purchasers.

Dale Wyatt, Suzuki GB

As head of automobile at Suzuki GB, Wyatt is responsible for the brand health of Suzuki cars and splits his time between working with the UK management team, Suzuki’s dealer network and the parent company in Japan.

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader

Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, joined the car sales platform in 2017 after heading sales operations and franchise management at Volkswagen UK and before 15 years at Renault in roles at both the UK sales company and the head office in Paris.

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