Apparently, the Volkswagen Auto Group (VAG)’s climatic designation for Australia - ‘hot and dusty’ - has been a major stumbling block in getting the Kodiaq RS approved before now.
Such classification has previously excluded the import of selected VAG models (of which Skoda is a part) or forced revised engine outputs and other specification changes based on this designation and Australian fuel quality.
In the case of the diesel that fuels the Kodiaq RS, recent VAG climate policy and other changes mean Australian diesel standards now match those of Europe, which made the import of the model much easier.
The parity doesn’t extend to unleaded yet, so petrol-engined performance Skodas and other VAG models are still subject to existing classifications.
“Since its launch, we have been working tirelessly to bring the Kodiaq RS to our shores,” said Skoda Australia Director Michael Irmer.
“The project to bring the high-performance bi-turbo 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.”
What defines the Kodiaq RS is a 176kW/500Nm twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel four-cylinder engine capable of 0-100km/h in seven seconds. A seven-speed dual clutch transmission and on-demand all-wheel drive is standard, with other features including stiffer suspension (with adaptive dampers), larger brakes with standard red brake calipers, unique 20-inch ‘Xtreme’ alloy wheels, black mirror caps, roof rails and grille, LED head and tail lights, and RS badging front and rear.
Inside, premium leather and Alcantara trim includes quilted contrast stitching and RS logos stitched in the front seat headrests, with a high-definition digital instrument display, full-colour central touchscreen, smartphone mirroring, WiFi and multi-speaker sound system all part of the standard specification.
Full specs will be revealed closer to local launch, which is expected to be early 2020 after order books open later this year. Australian pricing has also yet to be revealed, but is expected to be north of $60,000.
Last year, German race driver, Sabine Schmitz, used a Kodiag RS to set a new record for a seven-seat SUV on the 25.95km Nordschleife circuit of the Nurburgring of 9m 29.84sec.