The Skoda Kodiaq RS is getting a change of heart with its refreshed line-up next year.

    Skoda’s local arm confirmed with CarExpert the performance version of its seven-seat SUV will arrive in facelifted form late in 2021 with petrol power. The normal variants will land sooner.

    The company wasn’t able to detail exactly which petrol engine from the Volkswagen Group portfolio will reside under the bonnet, but we have a pretty good idea.

    It’s almost certain the new Kodiaq RS will feature a version of the EA888 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine shared with various performance models like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and R, as well as the Skoda Octavia RS and Superb.

    In the Golf GTI the four-cylinder turbo petrol motor makes 180kW and 370Nm, though the all-wheel drive system and flagship status of the Kodiaq RS could allow Skoda to dial up the outputs just a little – perhaps even to the 200kW power output of the Superb Scout.

    Stocks of the current 176kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel will continue for the time being, with prices starting from $65,990 plus on-road costs.

    MORE: 2020 Skoda Kodiaq RS review

    The news follows a new report by PistonHeads this week, confirming the bi-turbo diesel performance SUV will be no more very soon due to tightening emissions regulations in Europe, quoting a statement from Skoda’s European office.

    “The Kodiaq vRS is one of the most successful variants of the Kodiaq. [The model] keeps attracting new customers,” the company said.

    “We can confirm that an updated vRS will be re-introduced with the upgraded Kodiaq PA.”

    The Kodiaq ‘PA’ referenced in the statement is the facelifted model due to land in Europe sometime in 2021, and in Australia later next year. We saw a prototype testing two months ago, but details on the new range of powertrains is slim.

    Further details regarding the updated Skoda Kodiaq will likely come to hand in the coming months, with the reveal of the updated SUV expected to be either very late this year very early next.

    Given the Australian timing earmarked for the second half of 2021, our guess is that Skoda will reveal the updated Kodiaq in Q4 2020 ahead of a European sales launch in Q1 2021.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and tell us whether you prefer diesel or petrol power for the Skoda Kodiaq RS in the comments below.

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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