Pops’ Rants: Skoda Just Ruined the "RS" Badge
You’re dead to me!by Pops, on
I really can’t remember when an automaker used the "RS" badge on a car for the first time, but I recall some Porsche and Alpine race cars from the 1950s and 1960s. You shouldn’t expect me to remember this kind of stuff anyway. Ya know, old people tend to forget a lot. Anyway, I specifically remember that RS-badged cars, be them road-legal or race-ready, have always been synonymous with performance. Well, Skoda just ruined that with the Kodiaq vRS.
Skoda took an existing non-performance engine, dropped it in an SUV that had less than 200 horses in just about every trim, and slapped a "vRS" badge on its tailgate.
I’m going to move past the fact that it’s an SUV. High-performance SUVs are somewhat wrong beyond the power output. I mean seriously, do you really need a massive V-8 under the hood to do some shopping and take your kids to Disneyland? But I get it, it’s the 21st century, and everyone is nuts about power, no matter the body style. But the trouble with the Kodiaq vRS is that it’s not very powerful! And it’s a freakin’ diesel!
Yes, it’s a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that pumps out a far-from-impressive 236 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Okay okay, I actually like the torque figures, but seriously, 236 horsepower? I’m pretty sure I can get more than that from an AMC Gremlin. But here’s something interesting. Do you know where this engine comes from? Nope, it’s not a revised mill or something; it’s the same diesel that powers the Volkswagen Tiguan. Not the Tiguan GTI, just a standard, non-performance model.
So yeah, Skoda took an existing non-performance engine, dropped it in an SUV that had less than 200 horses in just about every trim, and slapped a "vRS" badge on its tailgate. Uuu, very smart, much marketing, wow! And you know what the really funny part is? Skoda actually took the vRS on the Nurburgring to set a record for seven-seat SUVs. And it did it in nine and a half minutes. You know why? Because no one else has cared enough to attempt a record like this that doesn’t matter.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to set a Nurburgring record for AMC Gremlins with a flat tire and a broken reverse light.
Read our in-depth review of the 2017 Skoda Kodiaq
Read our speculative review of the 2019 Skoda Kodiaq vRS
Read more Skoda news.
Read more Pops’ Rants news.