Gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

Billed as being “a new predator in the World Rally Championship,” Skoda’s large seven-seat SUV has received race-ready attire to compete in next year’s newly founded WRC SUV class. FIA has decided to inaugurate an additional category in the WRC structure to better reflect the rise of crossovers and SUVs in today’s car market.  

The Mladá Boleslav-based marque is among the first to join the category with a WRC-spec Kodiaq featuring an aggressive body kit with beefy wheel arches and numerous carbon fiber parts. Skoda’s first true SUV has also been fitted with a pair of hood intakes to cool down the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

2018 Skoda Kodiaq WRC
Skoda Kodiaq Sportline

Other noticeable features include the prominent front splitter and the roof scoop, while at the back the race car has a large rear wing. While SUVs are not the most aerodynamic vehicles out there, the modifications the Kodiaq had to go through should make it sleeker to boost performance. Skoda isn’t saying just yet whether the WRC-ready machine will have a front- or all-wheel-drive system, but it does mention FIA regulations stipulate a minimum weight of 1,650 kilograms (3,637 pounds).

Oddly enough, FIA is asking the teams that will take part in the WRC SUV class to fit the cars with two electronic assistance systems. In the case of the Kodiaq, Skoda will install Driver Alert and Blind Spot Detect. The former can figure out whenever the driver is tired, while the latter will issue warnings when there are going to be other cars in the side mirrors’ blind spots.

See the latest road-going Kodiaq versions:

We’ll get to see the 2018 Skoda Kodiaq WRC in action in January next year at the Rally Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, testing will be conducted over the course of 2017 to make sure the SUV will live up to the success of the Fabia R5, which triumphed last year in the WRC2 class.

Source: Skoda

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