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Kodiaq RS to heat up local Skoda line-up – at last

Skoda Australia wins big as climate redesignation leads to Kodiaq RS confirmation

17 Jul 2019

AFTER more than two years of bracing for disappointment, Skoda Australia has had a major win with the confirmation that the hottest version of the Kodiaq large SUV, the 500Nm RS seven-seater, will enter local showrooms next year.


As reported, Skoda Australia’s chances were hamstrung by the climate Down Under being designated by the Czech car-maker as ‘hot and dusty’. This classification precluded its access to high-performance models such as the Kodiaq RS.


However, after “countless hours” of work by Skoda Australia’s technical team with the brand’s factory in the Czech Republic, the local categorisation has been changed to ‘moderately hot’.


As a result, the record-breaking Kodiaq RS is now ready to make its presence felt Down Under, with order books to open by the end of 2019.


“Since its launch, we have been working tirelessly to bring the Kodiaq RS to our shores,” said Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer.


“The project to bring the high-performance bi-turbo diesel-powered Kodiaq RS has seen collaboration between Australian and Czech technical teams sharing data and know-how.


“It is because of their shared passion for the Skoda brand, and this exciting car, that we can finally offer an RS-spec SUV.”


The Kodiaq RS is motivated by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 176kW of power and 500Nm of torque – 36kW and 100Nm more than the large SUV’s current Australian output champion, the 140TDI.


With a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sending drive to all four wheels, the Kodiaq RS can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in a hot-hatch-rivalling seven seconds.


Thanks to this potent powertrain – and with German racecar driver Sabine Schmidt behind the wheel – the Kodiaq RS last year lapped the infamous Nurburgring’s Nordschleife circuit in 9:24.84, which is a world record for a seven-seat SUV.


As the first SUV to wear Skoda’s RS moniker, the hot Kodiaq also ups the performance ante with 20-inch Xtreme alloy wheels and red brake callipers, plus a black finish for its grille, side-mirror caps and roof rails.


Inside, the Kodiaq RS is decked out with a digital instrument cluster, premium leather upholstery and ‘RS’ logos stitched into the front seat headrests.


According to Skoda Australia, pricing and full specification for the Kodiaq RS will be announced closer to its local launch.


For reference, the seven-seater’s aforementioned 140TDI variant is priced from $52,990 plus on-road costs in flagship Sportline form. As such, the Kodiaq is expected to nudge the $60K barrier if not exceed it.


Sales of Kodiaq have improved significantly this year, with 981 examples sold to the end of June – a 39.0 per cent increase over the 706 deliveries made during the same period in 2018.


However, Kodiaq is still a long way off the pace in the highly competitive sub-$70,000 large-SUV segment, sitting in 19th position behind the dominant Toyota Prado (9878 units) and Kluger (5693), among others.

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