The Skoda Kodiaq RS has been confirmed as a twin-turbo diesel, with the seven seat SUV setting its own lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
According to Skoda, the 9 minute 29.84 second time around the 20.8km track is the fastest time set by a seven-seat SUV. Add to that being a diesel, and the claim appears to be quite credible.
‘Ring master Sabine Schmitz was behind the wheel (she has completed over 30,000 laps of the circuit), with the Kodiaq RS being straight off the factory line – no modifications were made, says the company.
“The Nordschleife has so many stories to tell. It’s an unbelievable racetrack,” said Schmitz. “Everybody has heard of it. It’s so famous. So many dramatic things have happened here – both bad and good. To drive a car here is such a great feeling. You are battling with the track and the weather. Sometimes it’s sunny, but with heavy rain five kilometres ahead. I’ve even raced in the snow here. The circuit is very long and unpredictable. It’s a challenge,”
Due to go on sale in 2019, the large SUV doesn’t run a worked over version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine currently found in the Kodiaq as originally thought.
Rather, the RS version, gets a new 2.0-litre BiTDI (twin-turbo diesel) engine which produces 176 kW, or 239 PS, and 500Nm of torque.
The engine note has been enhanced by a “Dynamic Sound Boost” system – which is why the sound in the preview video was hard to identify – with the power being channeled through a DSG transmission to all four wheels.
Being a diesel may limit its sales, especially in the US and in China, but clearly Skoda has ambitions in Europe.
“The car looks sporty and the drive is sporty. I thought a seven-seater would not be so easy to handle, especially on a demanding circuit like the Nordschleife, but I have great feelings about it,” she said. “It drives well. I’m really impressed. This car is absolutely stock, so we didn’t change anything. I think that if we break the lap record, it should be in a car that is available for sale. Otherwise it doesn’t make any sense.”
Because the Kodiaq’s diesel doesn’t have the response of a petrol engine, Schmitz had to brake later and accelerate earlier (to spool up the turbos), driving it on the very edge. But it appears she enjoyed the experience.
“Wow, I had fun,” said Schmitz. “The car was very stable, the brakes worked perfectly. We had a lot of fun.”
Skoda confirmed that the Kodiaq RS will remain a seven seater rather than ditching the last row to save on weight.
The video shows us a few details about the new Skoda SUV, which certainly looks similar to the Kodiaq Sportline, however look closer and you’ll see the differences.
While the wheels remain in their 20-inch profile, there are larger air vents up front (which are covered by the wrap), the exhaust vents are bigger and look to be the real deal (thankfully), rather than fake outlets.
Some eagle eyed viewers also may have noted the “DynoTronics” written in red lettering on the trailer which transported the sportier SUV. Has this company been asked to work on the ECU to get even more power? Perhaps.
Skoda says that the Kodiaq RS will be unveiled officially in October, where full specifications will be revealed.
Oh, in case you were wondering, the letters RS stand for rally sport.