Performance SUV will cement Skoda’s vRS arm, sitting alongside existing Octavia vRS; it’s been put to the test at the ‘Ring
Development of the upcoming hot Skoda Kodiaq vRS is well under way, ahead of its launch later this year at the Paris motor show. Autocar confirmed the model last year, and spy photographers previously caught the first glimpse of the car testing at the Nürburgring, ahead of its record-breaking run. Skoda has shown the car’s interior ahead of its motor show debut, revealing the availability of a DSG automatic gearbox, expected to be offered as standard on the performance SUV.
Close-up details of the car, as well as a full sketch, have been shown ahead of its official unveiling, as well as murky shots which reveal only a little of the car’s styling in the metal.
It’s the first Skoda to get the brand’s Dynamic Sound Boost system, which amplifies the engine note inside the cabin depending on drive mode. Skoda has also confirmed that the car will get full LED headlights and Volkswagen Group’s Virtual Cockpit digital dashboard as standard. Skoda’s Race Blue shade will also be available on the Kodiaq vRS – a first for any Skoda SUV.
The VW Tiguan 2.0 BiTDi BMT 240 4Motion, with which the Kodiaq vRS shares its engine, produces 240bhp and identical torque. These help the Tiguan accelerate to 62mph in 6.5sec — or the same as a current-generation Ford Focus ST or Lotus Elise Sport. Top speed is 142mph — the same as a Ford Fiesta ST200. It’s not yet confirmed if the engine will make it into the next Octavia vRS, due in 2020, but that car will likely still get a diesel offering, as the majority of its sales are diesels.
The Kodiaq vRS is likely to come close to these figures but, given its extra heft, probably won’t match them. By comparison, the Octavia vRS TDI 4×4, which has 181bhp and 280lb ft of torque, reaches 62mph in 7.6sec and also tops out at 142mph.
Skoda has also confirmed that the Kodiaq will usher in a new vRS logo, with a red V and stripe ahead of the RS, in place of the green currently used. This logo will replace the current style logo on all vRS models in the future.
The performance SUV is likely to get the four-wheel drive system from the Octavia vRS as standard, rather than being offered in front-wheel drive form with 4WD as an option.
The hot Kodiaq set the lap record for fastest seven-seat SUV around the infamous circuit, completing the 12.94-mile Nordschleife in 9:29.84 minutes – 2:43.96 minutes slower than the four-wheel drive lap record set by the Nio EP9 last year, and 1:38.14 minutes slower than the current SUV lap record holder, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Famed ‘Ring driver Sabine Schmitz was behind the wheel.
It will be the second model in Skoda’s vRS line-up, which currently only consists of the Octavia vRS. The UK and Germany will be sales hot spots for the hot Kodiaq given that, in Britain, 20% of Octavia sales are of the vRS version.
Skoda has confirmed that the Kodiaq vRS will also get Dynamic Chassis Control – the VW Group’s adaptive suspension system used across high-end cars in the VW, Seat and Skoda brands. It’ll offer different drive modes, similar to the Octavia vRS, so Eco, Comfort, Normal and Sport will all feature. It’s not yet clear if off-road focused drive modes will also feature.
Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier confirmed to Autocar earlier this year that there will be a Skoda Kodiaq vRS later this year, but remained coy about its performance arm beyond that. He said: “VRS has been successful for a number of years in some markets. That is why we are thinking about it for other models as well. We have our biggest campaign yet ahead of us by 2020. We have to filter out which ideas customers want most and which help the brand best.”
The brand previously sold a Fabia vRS, before ending production in 2013 due to poor sales. However, Skoda is understood to be planning a return to the hot hatchback market with a Fabia vRS hybrid in 2020.