Paris motor show: Skoda reveals its RS twins

Kodiaq RS for now, Vision RS concept for later


Skoda has kicked off its Paris motor show jamboree with the reveal of its new, sporty, Kodiaq RS model, and a concept version of a next-generation RS hatchback that uses plugin hybrid power for high performance with low emissions.

The Kodiaq RS has already been out and about in public under heavy disguise, setting a lap record of the feared Nurburgring race track in the hands of occasional Top Gear presenter (and ‘Ring legend) Sabine Schmitz. The 240hp, bi-turbo diesel engined Kodiaq RS circulated the ‘Ring in 9mins 29secs, which is a record — of sorts. It’s the record for seven-seat SUVs, which seems like a bit of a pointless record, but hey, it’s on the books so it counts.

“The Skoda Kodiaq RS is the new spearhead in our SUV offering and, at the same time, our first RS model in this car segment. Its biturbo engine producing 240hp is the most powerful diesel engine in Skoda’s history combining the efficiency of modern, clean diesel engines and the performance of a sporty SUV,” stated the automaker’s CEO, Bernhard Maier.

The Kodiaq RS has a top speed of 220km/h and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7secs, but given that it looks very similar to the existing Kodiaq Sportline model, one might be tempted to ask quite what the point is.

Across the stand is the Vision RS concept, which looks rather smart, and is actually a thinly disguised preview of the next-generation Rapid hatchabck. The current Rapid is cheap and cheerful, but the next one will clearly be taking a step up in sophistication terms with a new chassis (the same MQB-A0 platform that’s under the Seat Ibiza and VW Polo) and a sporty RS version for the first time.

The Concept uses a 245hp plugin hybrid system, based around VW Group’s new 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol engine. It can, says Skoda, mix and match a 7.1sec 0-100km/h time with a 33g/km Co2 figure and, when fully charged up, a 70km range on just the battery.

It also features some neat innovations to make it even more eco-friendly. The paint contains heat-reflecting polymers, which reduces the load on the air conditioning system on a hot day, while much of the interior uses vegan-friendly materials instead of the usual leather and suede.