A performance RS version of the all-new Kodiaq SUV would ditch a high-performance petrol engine for a bi-turbo diesel power plant, with Skoda executives inching closer to finalising plans for production.
While the hugely important seven-seat Kodiaq will initially arrive in Australia with a choice of a 132kW 2.0-litre petrol or a 140kW 2.0-litre diesel engine when it launches locally in July next year, a true performance model could soon follow, with Skoda executives confirming: "Those conversations are happening now".
Skoda Kodiaq program manager (a man so linked to the vehicle's development his company nickname is Mr Kodiaq), Jiri Dytrych, told CarsGuide.com.au that the VW group's bi-turbo 176kW and circa-500Nm diesel engine would be the engine choice for the performance variant of the brand's all-wheel-drive SUV.
In ruling out the 162kW turbocharged petrol engine from the Golf GTI that powers the petrol version of the brand's popular Octavia RS - a car that makes up 20 per cent of Octavia sales globally, and more than 40 per cent in Australia - Mr Dytrych said a petrol-powered performance SUV would simply use too much fuel.
Diesel-powered performance cars are something Skoda (and the VW Group) has some experience with, and a diesel variant is already offered in the 135 TDI version of the Octavia RS.
"And if we are coming with RS, then it will only be with one engine, and it will be on top of the range. And it will have really big possibilities."
Asked what engine, Mr Dytrych said: "It has to be the bi-turbo diesel engine. We have for this platform a 2.0-litre TDI with 176kW.
"For this car and this platform, if you do it as petrol…the (fuel) consumption when combined with four-wheel drive and so on is not so good."
Before a true performance variant arrives, though, a new Sportline version of the Kodiaq (with sportier interior treatment, new alloys and a performance focused exterior) will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in February.
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