Company insiders suggest the success of the first Kodiaq vRS has demonstrated the need for a successor
Autocar has learned work is under way to replace the firm’s hot SUV
Skoda is working on a hot vRS version of its new Kodiaq SUV, which is tipped to stick with pure-petrol power.
The second-generation Kodiaq will be launched with a choice of pure-combustion, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, with the most powerful a 201bhp turbocharged petrol driving both axles.
There is no dedicated performance offering from launch, but Autocar has learned work is under way to replace the firm’s hot SUV, which was a strong seller in its first generation – launching initially with diesel power before switching to the Octavia vRS’s 242bhp petrol engine.
Skoda’s technical development boss Johannes Neft was tight-lipped on details of the reborn performance SUV, but revealed: “We are working on it.”
Company insiders suggest the success of the first Kodiaq vRS has demonstrated the need for a successor, which could be launched as early as 2024.
Neft said it would “not necessarily” use a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and hinted it would be four-wheel drive, suggesting the most likely candidate for motive power is the 268bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine available in the closely related Volkswagen Tiguan – and derived from the engine used by the Golf GTI.
That would represent a noticeable power boost over the outgoing vRS and – combined with a traction-boosting 4WD system – should give enough grunt for a 0-62mph time of around 5.5sec and a top speed nudging 155mph.
Notably, the new Kodiaq is already available with an advanced new Dynamic Chassis Controller system that uses twin-valve dampers to improve cornering performance and stability, which would no doubt be of particular importance in a dedicated performance offering.
Like the old car, it will be marked out from the standard Kodiaq with a sporting-themed makeover comprising bespoke bumpers, wheel designs and contrasting trim elements, building on the themes established by the new Kodiaq Sportline.
It will once again be a relatively niche offering in its field, as a sporting family SUV with the option of seven seats, but sibling brand Cupra has enjoyed success with the Formentor, its own take on the hot crossover formula, and Volkswagen itself is reported to be considering a revival of the full-fat Tiguan R.