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If carmakers dealt in good old-fashioned brake horsepowers, the Octavia vRS 230 would actually be called the 227. Because that’s how many BHPs are under that neatly creased bonnet, which makes this the fastest production Octavia ever, though not quite the fastest Skoda ever (that title belongs to the current Superb V6).

What’s more significant is the fact power reaches the front wheels via an electronically controlled differential, much like the one you’d find in a Golf GTI with a performance pack. Essentially the front half of a Haldex four-wheel-drive system, it dishes out power across the axle as it sees fit, so less of it escapes in the form of smoke and squeals.

It’s the first Skoda to have one, and it helps separate the 230 from the ordinary Octavia vRS, which doesn’t. The extra power - 10bhp over the standard version - is the result of a tweaked brain and a little more turbo boost, which helps it go from zero to 62mph in 6.7 seconds. That knocks a tenth off the lower-powered car’s time.

But forget the regular vRS for a moment. With the newfound pace and extra tech between its ears, isn’t the 230 just a Golf GTI with a new badge and a boot? Both have 227bhp, both share an MBQ chassis, both get to 155mph and their 2.0-litre turbos are identical twins.

No word on prices yet, but - if you’re torn between the two - the 230’s could be the deal breaker. After all, since when has a Skoda ever broken the bank?

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