New Skoda Superb revealed
Skoda, the once-small Czech car maker that was the butt of many a joke, has just unveiled the new version of its flagship saloon, the Superb. Building upon the success of the previous model, the new Superb gains a much sharper image along with new mechanical underpinnings, which it shares with many other cars within the Volkswagen Group.
The last number of years have seen Skoda really sharpen up the image of its model range and the new Superb is the pinnacle of this design work to date. Drawing influences from the 'VisionC' concept car the new model looks sharp, almost cut-your-finger-on-it sharp.
Viewed head-on, the now familiar grille design from Skoda is obvious, flanked either side by more striking headlight units, which bring a greater depth to the car's front. These will be fitted with halogen or, depending on specification, bi-Xenon lighting that include LED daytime running lights. The heavily contoured bonnet flows down over the top of the wings to meet a strong shoulder line that runs the length of the car and into the rear lights. That side profile is a more cohesive design than before and is proportionally better to look at.
Perhaps the most sensible part of the new Superb design comes at the rear of the car. The single best design flourish here is the new tail light units, which are a significant departure from the past model and integrate the triple 'C' design into its light signature. These new light designs do much to change the overall look of the car.
Spaciousness was always one of the old Superb's trump cards and was of a magnitude that many thought couldn't (and didn't need to) be improved upon. However, those Skoda engineers are a tenacious bunch and so the new car gains 39mm of additional elbowroom up front, while legroom is a very impressive 157mm. Skoda claims that is almost double what its nearest competitors can offer. Adding to that airy feeling inside is improved headroom, which now measures 980mm, whilst elbowroom for the rear passengers has also grown by some 69mm.
Even though Skoda has created so much space in the passenger compartment, boot space has not been hindered. With the rear seats still up and in place, luggage capacity is 625 litres - an increase of 30 litres over its predecessor. The tailgate can be operated electronically and has the option of a 'virtual pedal' meaning that it can be opened by simply waving one's foot under the rear bumper, should both hands be full with shopping for example.
Adding to the stately ambience inside, Skoda has also taken a leaf out of some more luxurious books and added an umbrella to each of the front doors - something we are more accustomed to seeing in a Rolls-Royce, rather than a Skoda.
Under the bonnet
Much of this newfound space inside has come from the fact that the new Superb is built on the modular MQB platform from the Volkswagen Group. This also underpins the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon and the smaller Octavia. Power will come from a range of both petrol and diesel engines, all of which will comply with EU6 emissions standards. The former will come in a variety of power outputs ranging from 125- to 280hp. Three diesel engines will be offered, starting with a 120hp unit. A highly-efficient Superb Greenline will be capable of consuming just 3.7 litres/100km according to Skoda and will emit just 95g/km of CO2, making it particularly road tax friendly.
Buyers will be able to choose between manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions with the exception of the entry-level petrol engine, which will only be offered with a manual gearbox. There will also be an all-wheel drive option available with four of the engines.
Is there more?
Continuing Skoda's 'Simply Clever' way of thinking, the new Superb will feature 23 clever solutions, 10 of which are completely new. These will include options like a holder in the rear for a tablet computer to keep those in the back entertained, a mechanically retractable tow bar that folds neatly up under the rear bumper when not in use and enough storage in the front centre armrest for another tablet computer. The front seat can also be folded forward and there's a removable LED torch in the boot.