The third-generation Škoda Superb was launched in 2015, but its form was already hinted at in 2014 by the Vision C study. The then chief designer of Škoda Auto, Jozef Kabaň, made an indelible mark on the appearance of the car, who imprinted his signature on the Superb in the form of a so-called crystalline design.
“The creation of the third generation of the Superb model is clearly connected with Jozef Kaban, it was understandably demanding, but unexpectedly fun work. And in my opinion, this shows positively on the car to this day, the result still looks great,” recalls Kateřina Vránová, head of the Color & Trim department, which works with car materials and colors.
Jiří Hadaščok, today the car company’s exterior design coordinator, confirms that it was a challenging task. “The design development process involved more models than usual, with five or six designers working on a total of four clay models. Jozef Kabaň wanted to ensure that the car was literally polished to the last detail,” says Hadaščok.
Unique details include, for example, the design of the front hood, the joint of which follows the typical Škoda “tornado line” on the side of the car. “This was also a technical problem, a special hinge had to be used, and the bonnet hit the limits in terms of pressing possibilities, especially when there were still such sharp edges,” describes Hadaščok, who also highlights the design of the wheel rims that customers could choose.
Specific lights are the basis
According to the automaker, the soul of the entire crystalline design of the third generation of the Superb model are the lights. Headlight specialist Petr Nevřela worked on their appearance.
“In all respects, we wanted a precise design. Again, LED technology helped us with this, but we still had to push suppliers to meet our requirements. For example, in the rear lights, the C signatures at their ends are only 2.5 millimeters, such precision was a big challenge,” Nevřela describes. In the headlights, there is only a four millimeter end of the daytime running lights at the mask, which is said to be a unique dimension of the light guide to this day.
“On cars, the headlights, wheels and then the interior typically age the most, especially in terms of controls and infotainment. In fact, the third Superb could only receive a slight modernization in these areas and could easily continue for another eight years. It’s a car that I still enjoy looking at even just on the street,” Peter Olah, head of interior design at Škoda Auto, evaluates the car from today’s perspective.
According to the Czech automaker, it is in the interior that the age of the third-generation Superb is most evident. “Already at the beginning of development, we wanted to go the route of lighter displays on the upper edge of the instrument panel, but we were limited by the technology available at the time, which was probably the biggest challenge for us in terms of appearance,” explains Peter Olah.
Otherwise, according to Škoda Auto designers, the interior still looks good today. “The concept of the materials was very successful, the interior was visually cleaned at the back, and when you sit here, you really have a feeling of luxury,” Olah evaluates the interior of the car.
“It is spacious, the appearance is as clean as possible, everything is ergonomically well designed. The materials and colors used complement the individual equipment variants offered,” adds Vránová about the interior. There’s really plenty of space here, the third-generation Superb has both a liftback and estate version and a huge luggage compartment.
Designers also mention the pursuit of plasticity in connection with the interior. “Our goal was to make the dashboard feel slim, elegant and timeless. We achieved this by significantly layering its individual parts, where the upper part is moved more towards the windshield, while the middle part is much closer to the passengers,” explains Miroslav Jaskmanicki, who worked on the interior design. According to him, the quality of the interior in the eyes of users was raised by the intensive use of softened materials in areas that the customer touches on a daily basis.
In the third generation, the Superb lost the unique solution of opening the trunk lid of its predecessor, so it did not offer the possibility to “switch” between liftback and sedan. The car is either a traditional liftback or a station wagon. In 2019, the Superb underwent a facelift, which for the first time enriched the range of engines with a plug-in hybrid.
“The third-generation Superb is a car that can still be seen on the road today, it has a certain status. It’s a beautiful and dynamic car that’s a joy to drive, it evokes positive emotions,” thinks Jiří Hadaščok.
“She has a healthy self-confidence, she is truly timeless. You’ll be slightly surprised how long you drive it, while still perceiving its design to be fresh,” adds Petr Nevřela with a smile.