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Skoda Octavia vRS Challenge isn’t *quite* as fun as it sounds

It’s not a Ferrari-inspired one-make racecar, but it should still be quite good

Welcome, internet, to the Skoda Octavia vRS Challenge. While it wears an evocative suffix – evoking thoughts of race-ready Ferrari F355s or stripped-out Minis – it’s not quite as performance-y as either.

It’s still quick, though, taking the most powerful Skoda ever – the 242bhp Octavia vRS hot hatch – and adding some fancy bits to it. Chiefly some heated Alcantara sports seats, adaptive ‘DCC’ suspension and a lap timer. But of course.

There’s also black 19in alloys, a sports exhaust and parking sensors front and rear. It still achieves 0-62mph in the same 6.6secs as its base car, and comes with the option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG paddleshift gearbox.

“Think of this as a large family car with a pleasingly sporty edge when you want it, and the Octavia vRS 245 is a success,” we said when driving the Challenge’s base car a couple of years ago. “It’s not the sharpest or most powerful of the numerous VW group hot hatches, but this may be the one with the broadest range of talents.”

The vRS Challenge costs £30,085 if you want a hatchback, or £31,285 if you’d prefer the estate. Which means a rise of around £2,500 over a standard vRS 245, but Skoda reckons you’re getting about £4,500 worth of extras for that. You’re also paying precisely 18.8 per cent of the value of the Challenge we really crave, that F355…

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