Skoda’s next Kodiaq vRS will be one of its final petrol models
Skoda’s second generation Kodiaq SUV will spawn a vRS version next year, which will be one of its last ICE cars
Demand for SUVs is showing no signs of slowing, and even for a sensible brand like Skoda, high-performance versions are a lucrative proposition. That’s why for its second generation Kodiaq SUV, Skoda is developing a harder, faster vRS version – and it could be one of the firm’s last combustion-engined cars.
Speaking to John McIlroy at our sister title Auto Express, Skoda’s technical development boss Johannes Neft said: ‘We are playing with something already. We had a vRS before, and it was very successful, so we will get a new vRS too.’
Neft confirmed that the new model, which shares its MQB Evo platform with the latest Volkswagen Tiguan, won’t be electrified in vRS guise. Instead, it’ll almost certainly use a derivative of the EA888 turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that served the previous Kodiaq vRS. Expect an uplift over the outgoing model’s 242bhp and 273lb ft outputs, channelled through a four-wheel drive system. The torque-vectoring rear differential found elsewhere in the Volkswagen group could also make an appearance to unlock a new level of dynamic ability.
Key changes to the suspension hardware are also expected, with a unique calibration for Skoda’s Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive dampers. As ever, a series of cosmetic modifications will provide a subtle hint at the vRS’s extra performance, with new bumpers, wheels and figure-hugging seats inside.
Skoda boss Klauss Zellmer told Auto Express that vRS models will continue to be developed as long as legislation and customer demand allows: ‘vRS is a sub-brand of ours, and we need to build our future on that sub-brand too.
‘From my point of view, it’s consumers who will decide; what we do is based on their preferences. We want to provide a choice; this is our task. Our reason for being is not to convince people to drive this or that; it’s to give them what they want. So if there’s a market for a Kodiaq vRS and it’s within the legislation then yes, we’ll build it.’