A Jeep Wrangler Rubicon takes on a Skoda Kodiaq vRS in an unconventional series of drag races.
You don’t normally see the Jeep Wrangler drag race, and it’s for a very good reason. It’s big, heavy, as aerodynamic as cheese sandwich filled with bricks, and rides on enormous off-road tires. It’s built to be an off-road machine, able to use its big solid axles and loads of suspension travel to smooth out the bumps on a surface without pavement. The Wrangler is not designed for speed.
The Skoda Kodiaq vRS is also not designed for speed, but it is lighter by a good 700 lbs, and it’s more aerodynamic thanks to a body with a few curves thrown in. It also has reasonably-sized tires meant for driving on flat asphalt and stiffer suspension meant to endure the occasional pothole and nothing else.
So why pit these two vehicles against each other? Who can say? Perhaps it’s to prove that the Wrangler has no place on city roads. Perhaps it’s to prove that the Wrangler is a big, heavy, ostentatious vehicle not suitable to European sensibilities.
Or perhaps it was just a great opportunity to show you what happens when you take the doors and roof off a Wrangler and make it go really fast. Only Carwow can tell you the answer.
On paper, the Wrangler has the power advantage but loses out on weight. Europe only gets the 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which makes 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Power goes through an 8-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels with both hi and lo range as well as an electronically locking rear differential.
The Skoda Kodiaq, on the other hand, comes with a 2.0-L V4 turbodiesel with 240 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Despite being a larger 5-door SUV, the Skoda weighs a full 700 lbs less than the Wrangler, which really comes into play in the first series of races.
However, Matt gets the brilliant idea of removing all the Wrangler’s various exterior components, including the doors, roof, and spare tire. This sheds hundreds of pounds in weight but does nothing to help the car’s aerodynamics as now there’s a veritable hurricane whirling just beyond the windshield.
But the gambit works. The Wrangler is able to defeat the Skoda in a drag race once it sheds its metal skin--if only by the skin of its teeth.