The Czech automaker could have a surprise in the works for all of us

The Skoda Kodiaq RS is approaching its autumn reveal, and with a few months left, before that fateful moment arrives, the SUV has been spotted going about in the Alps in full production view. The new batch of spy shots leave little to the imagination as we can see the Kodiaq RS dressed in a flashy red color with what appears to be a set of 20-inch wheels. The performance SUV will make its debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Exterior

The Kodiaq RS is largely seen as the company’s pride and joy, the model that’s going to elevate the company’s status in the industry

Skoda’s not messing around. The Kodiaq RS is largely seen as the company’s pride and joy, the model that’s going to elevate the company’s status in the industry. It’s a big reason Skoda spared no expense in developing the Kodiaq RS to be a conqueror of sorts. Now that we actually have a good look at the SUV, it’s safe to say that, as far as looks go, Skoda has a challenger in its hands.

While it’s not a drop-dead stunner, the Kodiaq RS is a looker. Its design is largely similar to the Sportline trim that we saw at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show a few months ago. It also follows Skoda’s design language, right down to the layout of the headlamps relative to the front grille and other components in the front section. You’ll notice that the grilles are blacked out in the test prototype. That probably isn’t an accident because if Skoda presents the Kodiaq RS as a sporty SUV like we expect it will, it’s going to feature its share of sporting aesthetic nods, and it won’t just be the blacked-out grilles. Black bumpers could be in the mix, too, as are black roof rails, dark or smoked LED headlamps, and even sport black alloy wheels. All of these things are in play on the Kodiaq RS.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Spyshots Exterior
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The whole profile of the Kodiaq RS is upright, a suggestion that the company wants the SUV to carry more than just a sporty aesthetic

You’ll also notice that while the whole body of the SUV is completely wrap-free, there is one section on the bumper that’s still being concealed. I don’t know Skoda’s reasons for keeping that piece in the dark, but I think those are air events. Big ones, at that.

The whole profile of the Kodiaq RS is upright, a suggestion that the company wants the SUV to carry more than just a sporty aesthetic. Look at it from the right angle, and you’ll notice that there’s something imposing about it like it’s trying to tell everyone that it’s ready to compete with the best SUVs in its segment. As far as car body language goes, that’s a great thing for Skoda and the Kodiaq RS. It shows that the SUV isn’t backing down from the competition.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Interior

2017 Skoda Kodiaq High Resolution Interior
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Contrast highlights and stitching are also expected, as will trim badging on a number of areas in the cabin, including the seats, console, and scuff plates.

Unfortunately, all these beautiful exterior shots of the Kodiaq RS didn’t translate to anything we can see inside the SUV. As such, there’s still a question mark on what the cabin of the Kodiaq RS is going to look like. Fortunately, speculating is the name of the game here. It also happens that we’ve received a few nuggets of information from sources who believe that the interior of the Kodiaq RS will get a similar all-black treatment like the one found inside the Octavia RS. Contrast highlights and stitching are also expected, as will trim badging on a number of areas in the cabin, including the seats, console, and scuff plates.

As far as the look and layout of the interior go, that’s still up for debate. It is expected, based on recent history, that the Skoda RS will have two rows of seating, not counting the driver and front passenger seats. A folding third row is also likely so we can at least look forward to that. The big mystery is what the front section of the interior is going to look like. Since this isn’t an entirely new generation Kodiaq RS, our best estimate is that this area will look like the one from its predecessor. That would include a digital display unit and a stacked center tunnel serving as the highlights of the area.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Drivetrain

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Spyshots Exterior
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The Skoda Kodiaq RS will get a 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel engine that produces 237 horsepower and around 368 pound-feet of torque.

According to Auto Express, the Skoda Kodiaq RS will get a 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel engine that produces 237 horsepower and around 368 pound-feet of torque. That’s going to be the standard engine, which will also be mated to a DSG transmission that will, in turn, send power to all four wheels. It’s also the same engine that the Volkswagen Passat BiTDI has so it’s clear that there’s going to be a lot of parts sharing between Skoda and parent company Volkswagen.

A “hotter” version of the Kodiaq RS is also reportedly in the works. Unfortunately, details about this model are being kept strictly under wraps, at least for the time being. If this ends up being true, our best guess is that Skoda could use the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder unit found under the hood of the Volkswagen Golf R. If that’s the case, we could be looking at a Kodiaq model that has more than 300 horsepower on tap. Cross your fingers it happens because that would be a treat.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Prices

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Spyshots Exterior
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Skoda hasn’t released pricing details for the upcoming Kodiaq RS, but with the current base unit starting at around £22,000, or just under $30,000, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Skoda tack on a few pounds to send the price up to around £24,000, or around $32,000. For its part, the Kodiaq RS could also see its price elevate to around £40,000, or about $55,000.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Competition

BMW X3

2018 BMW X3 High Resolution Exterior
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For a long time, Skoda had the misfortune of belonging in a segment populated by hot-selling SUVs. It’s done well for itself in its own way, but the Czech automaker hopes that with the new Kodiaq RS, it could give its rivals a serious run for their money.

That said, is it fair to put the Kodiaq RS in the same league as, say, the BMW X3? The latter has the unquestioned edge in prestige and brand status, but the base level X3 really isn’t that far off from the Kodiaq RS. It has a similarly sized 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel that produces 258 horsepower, which isn’t far off from the expected power output of the Kodiaq RS. Where the Czech SUV lags considerably is in the torque department. The X3 30d has 457 pound-feet of torque at its disposal.

On the side of looks, both SUVs have something to be proud about, though at the end of the day, the Skoda will have its work cut out for it if it hopes to get mentioned in the same sentence as the BMW X3. The good news for the Skoda is that even if it may not have the same level of allure as the BMW X3, it can take comfort knowing that it’s priced a lot cheaper than its rival whose prices typically starts at $40,000.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X3.

Conclusion

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Spyshots Exterior
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I’m rooting for Skoda and the Kodiaq RS to be successful. The Czech automaker has taken great lengths in becoming more of a global player, and the results are showing in the quality of its new models. The Kodiaq RS doesn’t appear to deviate away from that path, so I’m excited to see what it has to offer when it’s unveiled later this year. Based on its looks and expected performance abilities, there’s a lot to get excited about, so, hopefully, the automaker can live up to the buzz it’s generating.

  • Leave it
    • * Not as mainstream popular as other models
    • * Does it still have a stigma?
    • * A lot will depend on how much it’s priced

Further Reading

2017 Skoda Kodiaq
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Read our full review on the 2017 Skoda Kodiaq.

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Read more Paris Auto Show news.

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Read more Skoda news.

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