TURIN – Skoda continues its climb upmarket with the third-generation Superb, a classic sedan sharing parent Volkswagen’s MQB modular architecture with the VW Passat.
To be unveiled at the Geneva auto show, the flagship represents Skoda’s evolution from VW’s high-volume, low-cost brand to greater profitability and brand recognition. Roomier and better-appointed than the model it replaces, the new Skoda is targeted at affluent buyers in China and elsewhere and billed as having the same functionality as a limousine.
The MQB frame design shortens the new Superb’s front overhang by 2.4 ins. (61 mm), but the wheelbase is extended 3.1 ins. (80 mm) to 111.9 ins. (2,841 mm), creating class-leading cabin length and rear-seat legroom. It also sits on wider tracks for more elbow room and a larger luggage compartment, which can be expanded into the cabin to offer best-in-class cargo room.
The Superb’s range of transversely mounted direct-injection turbocharged engines is similar to that offered with its Passat MQB platform mate.
Skoda offers a choice of five of VW Group’s EA211- or EA888-series lightweight, compact gasoline engines specifically developed for MQB use, as well three common-rail 4-cyl. turbodiesels from the EA288 series.
Seven of the eight engines are joined to dual-clutch transmissions, and four are available with the Haldex 5 all-wheel-drive gearbox.
All meet EU6 emission standards while reducing fuel consumption and emissions 30% and improving performance 20% compared with the outgoing Superb, Skoda says. A weight reduction of 165 lbs. (75 kg), start-stop battery and active cylinder technologies, and a relatively low drag coefficient of 0.27 contribute to the improved fuel economy.
The new Superb offers optional adaptive suspension and adaptive cruise control, as well as dynamic chassis control, driving mode selection, and three-area climate controls.
The Czech automaker’s new flagship goes on sale in June, offering a choice of Active, Ambition, Style and, at the top of the range, Laurin & Klement (Skoda’s founders’ names) trim packages.