The 1.9-litre diesel, used in sister company SEAT's hot Ibiza TDI PD, offers 130bhp and uses a six-speed gearbox to achieve a 0-62mph time of 9.6 seconds and a top speed of 130mph, along with fuel consumption of 50.4mpg.
Although it may not be fastest away from the lights, its mid-range punch will ensure it keeps up with most sporting models, as it offers 229lb-ft of torque at 1,900rpm.
A spokesman for the firm said: 'This engine is used exclusively in the Fabia range for the vRS. Even today, it is not very common to have a sports car driven by a diesel power unit that does not detract from its sporty image.'
To keep its looks close to the World Rally Car launched at the same time, the firm has added new panels, new interior fabrics, stainless steel sports pedals and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The engine will also be launched in the Octavia in April. In the same month, the Fabia will get a new 1.2-litre 64bhp, three-cylinder engine.