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The Kodiaq vRS is the first in the brand’s SUV range to get its hot treatment. Revealed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, it’s the second current SKODA to wear the vRS badge, following the Octavia. But unlike the petrol-driven hatch, the Kodiaq turns to diesel power.

Under the bonnet sits a bi-turbo 2.0-litre unit which produces outputs of 237bhp and 500Nm of torque. Drive is sent through a seven-speed DSG gearbox to all four wheels, enough to shift the big SUV from 0-62mph in seven seconds flat and a top speed of 137mph. To give a little extra audible excitement, a sound boost system amplifies the engine’s exhaust note.

To make it feel sportier behind the wheel, a few chassis tweak have been made to the Kodiaq vRS. A drive mode select system with six different settings - Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual and Snow - lets you tweak the rate of the adaptive dampers to suit the road conditions, while a progressive steering system adjusts the speed of the rack, allowing for a weighted, precise response when driving quickly, and a lighter, quicker feel to make low speed driving easier.

These engine and suspension changes resulted in a lap record for a seven-seat SUV when in the hands of Sabine Schmitz at Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit.

Pointing towards that performance potential is a racier look for the Kodiaq, which benefits from more aggressive bodywork, gloss black detailing around the car and a newly-designed vRS logo. 20-inch alloy wheels complete the package, and house 17-inch brake discs.

Inside the Kodiaq’s roomy cabin is a set of Alcantara-upholstered sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with contrast red stitching, a carbon-effect instrument panel and stainless-steel pedal covers — all in the name of a sportier feel.

Full pricing and specifications have yet to be confirmed for the Skoda Kodiaq vRS, but expect to hear more closer to an expected early 2019 launch.

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