Skoda has given the third-generation Superb sedan a slick new identity, courtesy of the Volkswagen Group’s design department.
And it starts with a major overhaul of the front end, for many years dominated by an in-your-face signature grille that has always dated the Skoda range.
Camouflaged spy images of the new Superb – due in New Zealand late next year – have been doing the rounds for some time, but the pictures here show the car in all its glory.
The new-look grille is nowhere near as deep and wide as the current example, which has always had a dour, communist-era design stamp about it.
The grille headlines a more lithe-looking car that gets access to the VW Group’s latest technologies, including the range of small-capacity turbocharged petrol and diesel engines and double-clutch transmissions.
The engines, displacing between 1.4- and 2.0-litres, will range in power from 90kW to 210kW. The current top-range Superb on the world market uses a 3.6-litre V6.
This unit is likely to be replaced by a revised 2.0-litre petrol turbo – used in the SEAT Leon Cupra – that will send power to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG transmission and Haldex all-wheel-drive system.
The Superb will be the first Skoda production model capable of running on electricity. The powertrain will be borrowed from the Passat and combine a turbocharged 1.4-liter petrol engine and an electric motor to offer a combined 160kW to the front wheels.
Skoda has played with the idea of an electric car for a long time and is likely to use the Green E badge for their Superb PHEV. Expect an all-electric range of up to 50km on a full charge of the battery.
The new Superb should also feature the most advanced active safety technology and the first application of adaptive all-LED headlights.
Probably the biggest surprise looking at the spy photos is that the LEDs have not been installed. It’s probably because cheaper models will offer a simple and less expensive xenon system.
European critics say this is a bad move on Skoda’s part, since the Passat offers LEDs as standard on mid-grade models. Expect the new Superb to go public at the Geneva motor show in March.