The world’s fastest seven-seat SUV at the Nürburgring is coming later this year in full production guise, but many people don't like the idea of lifting the bonnet and seeing the TDI badge on the engine cover. Indeed, the Skoda Kodiaq RS will rely on a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre twin-turbodiesel unit providing 236 bhp. The amount of torque delivered by the diesel engine has not been disclosed, but looking at other Volkswagen Group cars powered by the BiTDI engine, we’re expecting 369 pound-feet.
As for the car at hand, it’s a hotter specification of the large SUV from Mladá Boleslav, but with a petrol mill at its heart. ABT Sportsline took the series 2.0 TSI engine with its 178 bhp and 236 lb-ft and managed to bump output to 213 bhp and 266 lb-ft. No word about performance following the muscle gain, but surely ABT’s Kodiaq runs to 62 mph in less than the 8.2 seconds needed by the standard model. In addition, top speed should be slightly higher than the stock 127 mph.
ABT has also worked on the diesel engine to extract more power for both configurations of the familiar TDI, with the punchiest of the two generating a generous maximum torque of 325 lb-ft – suitable for such a large SUV that weighs nearly 1.8 tons.
Aside from fiddling with the engines, ABT can also make the Kodiaq a bit more attractive thanks to an array of aftermarket wheels ranging in sizes from 18 inches all the way up to 21 inches. While some might say 21-inch alloys are overkill for a Skoda, the sheer size of the seven-seat SUV actually makes this custom set a perfect match for the SUV named after an Alaskan brown bear.
Gallery: Skoda Kodiaq by ABT
Strong like a bear: ABT generates up to 216 HP or 440 Nm in the Skoda Kodiaq
The Skoda Kodiaq has a lot in common with its namesake, the Kodiak brown bear – and not only its impressive size: With a little help from ABT Sportsline, the diesel and petrol engines now also become adequately powerful. That is because sporty drivers often wanted more than the production model offered. The ABT Engine Control (AEC) unit developed in-house by the Bavarian tuner provides the power boost.
The upgrade gives the 2.0 TSI 216 HP (159 kW) and up to 360 Nm, turning it into a true alpha. The production version of the petrol engine "only" has 180 HP (132 kW) and 320 Nm. But the 2.0 TDI does not need to be shy, either: In the top version from ABT, it is almost as powerful with 215 HP (158 kW) instead of 190 HP (140 kW). In addition, it has a hefty torque of 440 Nm, while the standard version only has 400 Nm. Those who chose the smaller version of the 2.0 TDI with 150 HP (110 kW) in the production model can also order a boost from the Bavarian company. ABT gets 180 HP (132 kW) from the diesel engine, increasing the maximum torque from 340 to 380 Nm.
Kodiak bears are not only strong animals, but also very attractive. The same goes for the Skoda of the very similar name. Instead of mighty paws, the car can be equipped with generously sized alloy wheels from ABT Sportsline, the world's largest tuner for vehicles from the Volkswagen and Audi Group. The models range from 18 to 21 inch with the designs DR,
ER-C, FR and GR. The alloy wheels differ not only in the design, but also offer different finishes in mystic black, matt black, glossy black or gun-metal. Some variants additionally feature diamond-polished areas for special contrasting effects. Some of these already include a wheel spacer set for a wider track. On request, ABT Sportsline also offers complete wheel sets which already include the appropriate high performance tires.