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Skoda Kodiaq RS goes petrol as part of model update

Diesel gone from Kodiaq RS SUV and petrol in as Skoda updates range for MY22

14 Apr 2021

SKODA’S Kodiaq large SUV has come in for a comprehensive mid-lifecycle update, one that ushers in revised styling, more standard equipment and a new petrol engine for the range-topping RS variant.


Due to arrive Down Under in the fourth quarter of this year, the facelifted Kodiaq has taken on a more rugged look courtesy of an elevated bonnet line, more upright grille, tweaked bumpers and a set of new slimline LED head- and tail-lights while blacked out spoilers front and rear add an extra element of sportiness in conjunction with the redesigned alloy wheels.


Predictably the performance-minded RS version steps things up further on account of its more aggressive body kit, however the big news regarding the flagship is the axing of its twin-turbo diesel engine in favour of the force-fed petrol four-banger from the Octavia RS – transmission duties are left to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.


Compared to the outgoing oil-burner, the new petrol mill develops marginally more power but noticeably less torque (176kW/500Nm vs 180kW/370Nm) with the switch reportedly being made to comply with ever-tightening emissions regulations.


“RS going petrol has been a move by factory, and we can’t wait for it,” a Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) spokesperson said.


“Having the 180kW in the Kodiaq will be a USP for our SUVs.”


No performance or economy figures have been released yet, however the same mill propels the Octavia RS from 0-100km/h in a claimed 6.7 seconds.


Despite the Kodiaq’s obvious size and weight disadvantage, we would expect its time to be around the same given it counters its bulk with all-wheel drive.


For reference, the outgoing version stops the clock in 7.0 seconds.


“In the Kodiaq RS, we are – for the first time – employing a petrol engine that, being more powerful and yet lighter, makes our sporty range-topping model even more dynamic,” Skoda board member for technical development Johannes Neft said.


The rest of the global range will make do with the same turbocharged 1.5- and 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines as before, however the diesels are virtually guaranteed to not make it Down Under as VGA phases out the fuel-type from its portfolio.


Much like the exterior, the Kodiaq’s interior has also been given a subtle workover with new ‘decorative strips’, more contrasting stitching and added LED ambient lighting functions while the RS and Sportline variants also score a new three-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel.


Skoda CEO Thomas Schafer said the Kodiaq was the first model of the brand’s SUV strategy and has offered “excellent value for money, ample space and comprehensive range of equipment” within what was initially a new segment for the Czech car-maker.


“Now we have further refined the specification of our large SUV, offering even more safety and comfort with new features, such as full-LED matrix headlights and ergonomic seats,” he said.


VGA has sold 597 Kodiaqs so far this year ending March – earning it a 2.4 per cent slice of the increasingly crowded sub-$70,000 large SUV segment – marking a 34.5 per cent sales increase year-on-year.

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