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Skoda has set a Nürburgring lap record in its upcoming Kodiaq vRS hot SUV, with famed ‘Ring driver Sabine Schmitz behind the wheel.
The hot Kodiaq set the lap record for fastest seven-seat SUV around the infamous circuit, completing the 12.94-mile Nordschleife in 9:29.84 minutes – 2:43.96 minutes slower than the four-wheel drive lap record set by the Nio EP9 last year, and 1:38.14 minutes slower than the current SUV lap record holder, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Development of the upcoming hot Skoda Kodiaq vRS is well under way, ahead of its launch later this year at the Paris motor show. Autocar confirmed the model last year, and spy photographers previously caught the first glimpse of the car testing at the Nürburgring.
It will be the second model in Skoda’s vRS line-up, which currently only consists of the Octavia vRS. The UK and Germany will be sales hot spots for the hot Kodiaq given that, in Britain, 20% of Octavia sales are of the vRS version.
A 2.0-litre diesel biturbo engine delivering 237bhp, already used in the Volkswagen Tiguan, is expected under the bonnet of the Kodiaq vRS, according to Autocar sources. It is also likely to make it into the next Octavia vRS, which is due in 2020. A source told Autocar that the Kodiaq vRS will have “lots of torque”. The Octavia vRS is available in both petrol and diesel, but the bulk of sales are for the latter.
Skoda has confirmed that the Kodiaq vRS will also get Dynamic Chassis Control – the VW Group’s adaptive suspension system used across high-end cars in the VW, Seat and Skoda brands. It’ll offer different drive modes, similar to the Octavia vRS, so Eco, Comfort, Normal and Sport will all feature. It’s not yet clear if off-road focused drive modes will also feature.
The VW Tiguan 2.0 BiTDi BMT 240 4Motion produces 240bhp and 369lb ft of torque. These help the Tiguan accelerate to 62mph in 6.5sec — or the same as a current-generation Ford Focus ST or Lotus Elise Sport. Top speed is 142mph — the same as a Ford Fiesta ST200.
The Kodiaq vRS is likely to come close to these figures but, given its extra heft, probably won’t match them. By comparison, the Octavia vRS TDI 4×4, which has 181bhp and 280lb ft of torque, reaches 62mph in 7.6sec and also tops out at 142mph.
The performance SUV is likely to get the four-wheel drive system from the Octavia vRS as standard, rather than being offered in front-wheel drive form with 4WD as an option.
Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier confirmed to Autocar earlier this year that there will be a Skoda Kodiaq vRS later this year, but remained coy about its performance arm beyond that. He said: “VRS has been successful for a number of years in some markets. That is why we are thinking about it for other models as well. We have our biggest campaign yet ahead of us by 2020. We have to filter out which ideas customers want most and which help the brand best.”
The brand previously sold a Fabia vRS, before ending production in 2013 due to poor sales. However, Skoda is understood to be planning a return to the hot hatchback market with a Fabia vRS hybrid in 2020.