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Skoda Aus confirms interest in hot Kodiaq oiler

Spicy scrolls: The VW Group’s hottest twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel is set to make the Kodiaq the fastest Skoda of all.

New Skoda Kodiaq range-topper may well be diesel, but may not be an RS

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Skoda logo22 Feb 2017

By TIM ROBSON

AS SKODA’S long-awaited Kodiaq SUV nears its launch window in Australia – ahead of many other markets in the world – the Czech car-maker’s local arm is very keen to add a high performance version to the mix.

Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer told journalists in Sydney that the likelihood of a hotshot Kodiaq is high, but it is not confirmed for Australia yet“As you know, there is talk about subsequent editions to the range, and we are very keenly awaiting a final ‘go’ on it,” he said. “If there is, we will obviously go for it very hard.”

While the fitment of the Volkswagen Group’s EA888 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine may appear to be the most logical route to creating a fast SUV, it appears that the Czech company may be aiming for diesel grunt instead.

“The speculation in the European press – though we haven’t announced anything yet – is more on the diesel side,” he said. “This would make a great deal of sense on a seven-seat SUV, to be honest, to have a performance diesel instead of a performance petrol.

“Nevertheless, whether the performance version is petrol or diesel, we will do anything and everything to get our hands on that.”

Mr Irmer remarked more widely that the RS moniker was reserved for cars that feature uprated chassis dynamics, which suggests that if the proposed go-fast Kodiaq does not receive suspension upgrades, it may be badged as a Sportline instead.

The Sportline, along with the Scout, have already been flagged as starters for the local market.

He also dismissed the notion that sister brand Audi’s 320kW/900Nm dual turbo 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine from the SQ7 was in the frame, which suggests the 2.0-litre twin turbo four-potter is a more logical fit.

“I’m not sure if our customers can stretch to six digit (prices) yet, but we’re working on the upper side of five digits,” quipped Mr Irmer, before suggesting that an upper price limit for a Skoda product in the Australian market was difficult to predict.

“I think (a price ceiling) is more in our minds than anything else,” he said.

“The most popular Octavia is a white RS wagon with a tech pack and DSG for a driveway price of close to $50,000. The Superb range sells predominately in the mid-fifties. Would you have ever thought that about Skoda? Probably not, but that is the reality.

“Give it a bit more time. We are still less than ten years in the (Australian) market, so we are still defining the product’s image in many people’s minds.”

Mr Irmer also observed that Skoda’s behaviour in Australia is atypical of the brand’s performance in other markets, where it is still viewed as a Volkswagen budget brand.

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