Skoda Kodiaq RS

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SKODA’S fiery Kodiaq RS seven-seat large SUV has finally arrived in Australia – priced from $65,990 plus on-road costs – after a market reclassification allowed the high-performance model to be sold Down Under.

Midway through last year, parent Volkswagen Group reclassified Australia from a ‘hot and dusty’ climate to ‘moderately hot’, which allows the Kodiaq RS and its highly tuned 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine to be sold locally.

Arriving in a single specification, the Kodiaq RS is priced $13,000 north of the most expensive non-performance Kodiaq variant, the $52,990 140TDI Sportline.

The headline act of the Kodiaq RS is a 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine developing 176kW of power at 4000rpm and 500Nm of torque from 1750-2500rpm, driving all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The biturbo engine is the most powerful diesel in Skoda’s line-up, a comfortable 36kW/100Nm clear of the 140TDI.

Official combined-cycle fuel consumption for the hi-po oil-burner is pegged at 6.2 litres per 100km, while emitting 163 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Sprinting from standstill to 100km/h takes 6.9 seconds, making it just 0.2s off the mark of the Octavia RS245 wagon.

The only RS variant in Skoda’s SUV line-up, the hot Kodiaq is differentiated from the outside by an RS-specific front bumper, gloss-black accessories, tinted windows, body-coloured side mouldings, red brake callipers, twin-exit chrome tailpipes, RS badging, chrome-plated bumper, 20-inch Xtreme alloy wheels and a signature Race Blue paint hue.

Inside, the high-riding RS is fitted with a 9.2-inch infotainment system with DAB+ digital radio, the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster with an RS-specific layout, wireless phone charging, drive mode select and a multifunction sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, red stitching and RS logo.

The Alcantara/leather seat upholstery also comes with red stitching and an RS logo, and the front and rear seats are all heated, while carbon-style trim is applied across the dashboard and doors.

Other high-grade features on board include triple-zone air-conditioning, a Canton sound system, keyless entry, automatic tailgate with gesture control, a cargo net, an umbrella stored in the door and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.

Standard safety systems extend to city autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, LED lighting with adaptive headlights, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, side assist, multi-collision braking, traffic-jam assist, fatigue detection, a rearview camera and nine airbags.

Only three options are offered on the Kodiaq RS – metallic paint finishes, of which there are six ($770), a panoramic sunroof ($1900) and side steps ($1300).

Like all local Skoda models, the Kodiaq RS comes standard with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, while buyers can choose between three- or five-year servicing packs.

Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer said the Czech brand was thrilled to secure the RS version Down Under.

“Since its launch, we have been working tirelessly to bring the Kodiaq RS to our shores,” he said.

“The project to bring the high-performance biturbo diesel-powered Kodiaq RS has seen collaboration between Australian and Czech technical teams sharing data and know-how.

“It is because of their shared passion for the Skoda brand, and this exciting car, that we can finally offer an RS-spec SUV.”

Through the first quarter of 2020, Skoda has sold 444 examples of the Kodiaq, marking a 4.7 per cent decline over the same period last year.

As such, the Kodiaq is the second best-selling model in Skoda’s line-up behind the Octavia sedan/wagon (495), and ahead of the smaller Karoq SUV (279).

2020 Skoda Kodiaq pricing*

132TSI (a) $42,990
132TSI Sportline (a) $46,990
140TDI (a) $48,990
140TDI Sportline (a) $52,990
RS (a) $65,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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