Jeep Wrangler Drag Races Skoda Kodiaq vRS, Cheats To Win

Jeep Wrangler Drag Races Skoda Kodiaq vRS 7 photos
Photo: screenshot from YouTube
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If you bought a Wrangler for drag racing, you’re doing it wrong. The body-on-frame SUV from Toledo is all about off-road adventures and go-anywhere capability, not a quarter-mile dash against the Skoda Kodiaq vRS.
Car Wow pitted the two against each other on the blacktop, and in the yellow corner, you’re looking at the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with the 2.0-liter Hurricane and eight-speed automatic transmission. Coincidence or not, the same setup can be found in the Alfa Romeo Giulia sports sedan. The 2.2-liter aluminum turbo diesel is shared by the two nameplates in Europe as well.

The thing is, what kind of expectations do you have from the most off-road Wrangler Unlimited out there against a unibody crossover with 500 Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm? In a nutshell, the Jeep fails to impress on the first pass, awarding the win to the Skoda. But wait, there’s more…

Mat Watson is aware the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon is that much heavier than the Kodiaq vRS, tipping the scales at 2,103 kilograms as opposed to 1,913 for the Czech family hauler. Given these circumstances, weight-saving measures enter the scene, which is why off come the doors, roof panels, and canvas top.

Lovingly called Jeep Superleggera, the much lighter configuration doesn’t fail to prove that Colin Chapman was right. The JLU managed to steal a win from the Skoda, finishing the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds as opposed to 14.9 for the Kodiaq vRS. In the rolling race from 50 miles per hour, the Skoda proves a bit too much for the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon after 60-ish miles per hour.

The aerodynamics are one thing, but how do the two compare in the event of an emergency stop? Braking is understandably better in the Skoda thanks to the street-oriented tires, but nevertheless, the Jeep still is impressive.

JLU models are available in the United Kingdom from £41,455 before options, but the Kodiaq vRS is a bit more at £43,390 when specified with the seven-seat option. The Rubicon, if you were wondering, starts at £49,455 out of the dealership.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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