With 217bhp, the new Skoda Octavia vRS might not be RS 4 quick, but it certainly cements the relationship between Skoda and ‘performance’.

It’s an efficient powerplant too, coming from the Volkswagen family of 2-litre four-cylinder TFSI engines, which combined with a six-speed manual gearbox propels the Octavia vRS from zero to 62mph in 6.8 seconds. That’s around 0.4 seconds quicker than its predecessor and because the new Octavia is 102kg lighter, it’s also 19% more economical than before.

Just in case 44+ mpg isn’t enough, Skoda will offer a 2.0 TDI version with 181bhp – 0 to 62mph performance drops to 8.1 seconds while top speed is 144mph compared to 154 mph in the petrol-engine vRS.

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  • Skoda-Octavia-vRS-2013_G3

Whichever route you choose, you’ll get the same sports suspension – lowered by 12mm compared to the standard Octavia – with its newly developed multi-link rear axle and XDS electronic differential integrated into the stability control (ESC) system.

The vRS is available as a hatchback or an estate, both of which are considerably longer than the outgoing Octavia (+88 mm – saloon and +86 mm – estate) and wider (+45 mm), and can be distinguished by a new vRS-style front bumper and fog lights, honeycomb air intakes and bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights.

The Skoda Octavia vRS debuts at next month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed (10th July, 2013), before going on sale in the UK from August. Prices will be confirmed nearer the time but expect it to be around £2,000 less than the equivalent Volkswagen Golf (GTD and GTI).