ŠKODA achieved a new sales record last year selling 1,120,700 vehicles up by almost seven per cent on the previous year.

And in the UK sales were more than seven per cent up with 80,000 new Skoda cars coming on to our roads.

This means they have an almost three per cent share of the new car market, something which will increase in 2017.

This year the Octavia will continue to prove its pulling power as Skoda’s cornerstone model. Last year it recorded its best-ever UK sales with more than 23,000 cars registered, up two per cent on 2015. More than 20 per cent of Octavia models were badged vRS, which was up 18 per cent on 2015 proving the UK’s passion for high performance models is as prevalent as ever.

The current one is a brilliant vehicle and the new one will be even better.

The new vRS is available as a hatchback and estate and both body styles have two four-cylinder engines to choose from.

While the 2.0 TDI diesel engine has the same 135 kW (184 hp) output as previously, the performance of the 2.0 TSI petrol engine has increased by 7 kW (10 hp) to 169 kW (230 hp), making it the most powerful and fastest series-production model in the history of the Octavia.

The appearance accentuates the extensively redeveloped design of the series in a particularly sporty and emotional way. The new front section with a wider radiator grille has been extended with additional headlamps featuring a crystalline look, and the even wider air intakes with honeycomb structure in the redesigned bumpers are masculine and dynamic.

The four full-LED headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System as well as the LED side-mounted headlights integrated into the bumper shape the new front end.

The rear is dominated by a powerful black diffuser element and broad red reflector lamp above.

The interior is characterized by the vRS-Sport seats which provide plenty of lateral support thanks to high sides and integrated headrests.

In addition to the leather/fabric combination, the sports seats are now also available in Alcantara as an option. The multi-function sports steering wheel (for DSG gearbox with shift paddles) has a perforated leather crown.

Ambient lighting comes as standard. The recesses of the door handles are illuminated, the pedals shine in an aluminium finish, and the entry panels bear the vRS logo. ŠKODA-typical ‘Simply-Clever’solutions include an umbrella under the passenger seat and a removable LED lamp in the boot of the estate.

18-inch wheels are available as standard, while 19-inch wheels are available as an option.

The new 2.0 TSI engine provides 169 kW (230 hp) and has a maximum torque of 350 Nm at 1,500 to 4,600 rpm. The front-wheel drive sports model sprints from 0 to 62mph in 6.7 seconds. The model’s top speed is 155 mph.

The combined fuel consumption is 43.4 mpg (149 g CO2/km; all values: hatchback with manual transmission). As standard the 2.0 TSI is equipped with a manual 6-speed manual gearbox, optionally with a 6-speed DSG.

The 2.0 TDI, a diesel engine has an output of 135 kW (184 hp) and a maximum torque of 380 Nm from 1,750 rpm ensures acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 144 mph.

The combined fuel consumption is 62.8 mpg (119 g CO2/km, all values: hatchback with manual transmission). The ŠKODA OCTAVIA vRS 2.0 TDI is available either with front-wheel drive (manual or 6-speed DSG) or 4×4-wheel drive and 6-speed DSG.

The abbreviation RS was first used for racing cars in 1974, and has been used for the top sporty versions in the ŠKODA model range since the year 2000, with the vRS moniker adopted for the UK market.

To date, more than 200,000 ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS and vRS models have been sold worldwide, of which 100,000 units of the third generation that was launched in 2013.

The Octavia has formed the backbone of the ŠKODA line-up since its reintroduction to the range in 1996 and has been the brand’s best-selling model in the UK. To date, more than five million Octavias have been produced, with sales in more than 100 markets worldwide. It has been a constant presence during the brand’s development and evolution and has evolved into a range that includes sporty vRS models and Scout variants with off-road capability.

While the bottom of the range Octavia will be 17,000 the new vRS will vary between just over 25,000 and not far short of 30,000 for the top of the range. You can start ordering yours at the end of March.