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Kez Casey | Nov 20, 2016

Skoda is set to expand its high performance RS range beyond the single Octavia RS model currently offered, turning its new Kodiaq seven-seat SUV into a torque-laden monster.

That's according to Jiri Dytrych, Skoda's program manager for the Kodiaq, who told Australian media at the preview drive of the brand's first family-friendly soft roader in Spain that "if we are coming with RS then it will be with one engine and it will be on the top of the range."

When asked about what that potential engine might be, Dytrych was clear "There is a 2.0 litre TDI with 176kW," he said, indicating that it is the same flagship twin-turbo diesel as seen in the Passat range in Europe, though not yet offered in Australia, was the frontrunner.

The standard Skoda Kodiaq
The standard Skoda Kodiaq

From launch, Australian customers with be offered a 132kW/320Nm 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine which will be joined by a 2.0 litre 140kW/400Nm turbo diesel engine a few months later. A potential RS model would provide a more ground-trembling 500Nm based on figures for the Passat.

"If you go and do it as petrol - the 2.0 litre 162TSI - that's not bad, but the consumption, combined with with 4x4 [Skoda's all wheel drive system] doesn't seem right" he said, ruling out the 162TSI engine as used in the petrol version of the Octavia RS.

TSI petrol power a no-go for performance Kodiaq
TSI petrol power a no-go for performance Kodiaq

Skoda's executive team also confirmed that a new SportLine visual package will be introduced "to build emotion in the cars" on all model lines except Fabia and Rapid, which will instead stick with the current Monte Carlo styling package.

In a similar way to Monte Carlo, SportLine cars will act as a visual package with unique wheels and interior finishes, but no performance upgrades, leaving the path clear for an expansion of the RS range.

A SportLine variant of the Kodiaq is expected to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017

MORE: Skoda News and Reviews

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