The KODIAQ RS has been modernized in the spirit of motorsport – it is now lighter, more powerful and more manoeuvrable. The powerful turbocharged petrol engine now turns every journey into a fun ride, whether you're driving in the city, on a forest gravel road, a snowy mountain road or a race circuit.
In the world of motorsport, compromise doesn't usually work. You can't run the Spanish RACC Rally with one setup for both gravel and tarmac, you have to rebuild the car in its entirety during Friday's service or you have no chance of a good result. The world of road cars, on the other hand, is all about compromise, of which the upgraded KODIAQ RS is a perfect example. Its chassis and all-wheel drive technology works on any road as well as off it. This is mainly due to the ability to individually adjust the elements that influence driving dynamics. On roads with frequently changing surfaces, the combination of sporty engine and gearbox settings, higher power steering and dampers in the Normal center position works perfectly. Sounds familiar? The ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo rally car uses a similar principle of a sharp engine and compliant chassis set-up.
Decent design changes
The updated KODIAQ RS has undergone several cosmetic changes. The hexagonal radiator grille with massive double slats is new, while the trims around the side windows and roof rails are in gloss black on the KODIAQ RS. The specific new front bumper is painted in the car's colour. The front of the car is also adorned with narrower headlights that offer Matrix-LED technology as standard. As is typical of RS cars, the rear bumper includes an integrated reflective strip stretching across the entire width of the car. The RS logo can be found at the rear and on the radiator grille. New 20" polished Sagittarius alloy wheels in metallic black with aerodynamic covers are standard. Overall, the car looks a little bit fiercer, which fits perfectly with its sportier character.
Precision setup and a powerful engine
The biggest change to the updated KODIAQ RS is a new engine. Under the bonnet, the latest generation EA888 Evo two-litre petrol engine with 180 kW/245 hp has replaced the 2.0 BiTDI unit. This has several advantages. The first is the weight saving. The load on the front axle is now a significant 60 kg lower than with the twin-turbocharged TDI engine. The engine may not have as much low-end torque, but it revs in with ease and accelerates briskly at any speed, giving the impression of a sportier ride overall. Incidentally, the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox is also 5.2kg lighter. It doesn't shift as quickly as the five-speed sequential gearbox in the FABIA Rally2 evo, but unlike the racing gearbox, it will last for thousands of kilometres without the need for a rebuild.
But responsive steering, a capable chassis and a strong engine are not enough to ensure perfect control at a dynamic pace. The brakes are also important. The KODIAQ RS has been given a brake system with red callipers and 340-mm diameter front discs, which is just 15 millimetres less than the asphalt brakes of a rally car. Brake cooling has also been improved and the brakes can now cope with very dynamic pace without losing their efficiency or feel in the brake pedal.
Funny, practical and comfortable
Another advantage of the KODIAQ RS is its traditionally excellent all-wheel drive set-up, which uses an electronically controlled multi-lever clutch located in front of the rear axle. As soon as the sensitive, fast-acting electronics detect the slightest slippage of the front wheels, it immediately sends the necessary amount of torque to the rear wheels. On dry, high-quality asphalt, the all-wheel drive system creates a feeling of endless traction and stability. But once it snows or you drive off the paved road, the all-wheel drive adds a hefty helping of fun to the traction with the stability control system in ESC Sport mode allowing for light over steer.
But let's not forget the practical side of the KODIAQ. Its boot holds a respectable 720 litres and the comfortable rear seats offer limousine-like comfort. The adaptive dampers in Comfort mode filter out even the smallest bumps while reducing uncomfortable body roll, giving the crew the feeling of riding in a much lower car. As part of the upgrade, the sound insulation of the cabin has also been improved, further contributing to the comfort of the crew. Also worthy of note in the cabin are the anatomical sports seats with excellent lateral guidance, through which the driver feels all body movements perfectly and knows exactly where the limits of the chassis are. Just like in a rally special. On the other hand, the crew in the rear seats, upholstered with a combination of Alcantara and leather, will appreciate the three-zone air conditioning, the sun blinds on the windows or the 230V socket for charging a laptop.
Simply said, the KODIAQ RS is the perfect combination of a sportier ride rooted in a long motorsport tradition and practicality with a range of Simply Clever solutions for a more enjoyable life with your car. A member of the RS family, as it should be.