Having thoroughly decimated diesel’s reputation a few years ago, VW Group went about proving the fuel still had its uses by launching a bunch of derv performance cars. Already though, there seems to be some back-tracking, thanks in large part to tightening emissions regulations.
A few months back, the Audi SQ7 and SQ8 ditched their V8 diesel engines for V8 petrol lumps, and now the facelifted Skoda Kodiaq vRS has eschewed its 2.0-litre twin-turbo TDI lump for a TSI engine of the same size.
We have mixed feelings about this. The original diesel Kodiaq vRS lacked excitement, but the choice of engine at least made it a little different. Now, it’s just another fast-ish thing with an EA888 engine. VW Group doesn’t exactly have a shortage of those as it is.
Power is up, but only by 5bhp, with Skoda electing to fit the 242bhp version of the engine. A torque figure hasn’t been revealed, but it’ll almost certainly be 272lb ft, compared to 369lb ft from the TDI unit. The new powerplant is, however, 60kg lighter, which should liven up the front end while dropping the 0-62mph time under the seven-second mark.
As before, power goes to all four wheels, albeit through a newer seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It’s a handy 5.2kg lighter than the transmission it replaces.
On the outside, there’s a new hexagonal grille with a more vertical profile for the slats, redesigned light clusters and a beefier-looking front bumper. The cabin gets some tweaks too, courtesy of an improved ambient lighting system, new “decorative strips,” and fancy contrast stitching.
The 9.2-inch infotainment unit of the pre-update car remains, as does the 10.25-inch virtual cockpit and the lovely microfibre-clad high-back seats. Spec the Canton sound system, and you now get ten speakers instead of eight. Huzzah!
Judging by the last one, the petrol-powered vRS should be somewhere around £43,000 - £45,000 when the updated Kodiaq range goes on sale in the UK.