What is it?
This is Skoda’s first deployment of its performance vRS package on an SUV. Perhaps surprisingly given the awkward noise around diesel part-created by its owner, Skoda has chosen an oil-burner as the motive force for the vRS.
For sheer effectiveness, the choice of a twin-turbo, balancer-shaft 2.0 TDI engine is easy to understand. Its 237bhp is promisingly strong, and its 369lb ft peak torque stronger still. The TDI is coupled to a seven-speed DSG transmission that serves a fine spread of ratios to all four wheels, the rear axle engaged on demand by an electronic clutch; up to 85percent of the torque can be directed to an individual wheel.
Electronic differentials are provided for both axles, and in an effort to counter the rather unedifying sounds of a diesel, this Kodiaq has what Skoda calls Dynamic Sound Boost, which alters and adds to the exhaust note using signals from the engine management, these adjusted to suit the chosen driving mode.
There’s no missing the Kodiaq’s key vRS identifiers, outside or in. Large, big-holed, deep-sculpted two-tone 20in alloys fill this Skoda’s wheel arches to striking effect, these by far the easiest means of recognising the model. Skoda’s design department clearly decided that wheels would be the key method of telegraphing this Kodiaq’s sporting mission, chief designer Oliver Stefani reckoning that, "the Škoda Kodiaq is an SUV with a very well-balanced and expressive design. The silhouette is very dynamic, so it was not that easy to add even more sportiness when designing the Kodiaq vRS."