Few things can arouse such a wave of interest among Czech customers and car fans as the new Skoda. At the same time, this year was fruitful for the innovations of the Mladá Boleslav car company. Modernized versions of the Scala and Kamiq compacts entered the market, the electric flagship Enyaq was already strengthened in its base, the second generation Kodiaq premiered in Berlin a month ago, and today the list of this year’s novelties is closed with the fourth generation of the Superb model.
The superb was probably the most lively. Production moved from Kvasin to the Volkswagen factory in Bratislava, where the fourth generation of the executive Škoda is created alongside the new generation of the Passat model. While Volkswagen arrived exclusively with a station wagon body (the sedan is no longer produced), the superb will still be available as a liftback and a station wagon. You can’t deny the relationship between the new Superb and the Passat at first glance, and if it wasn’t clear to someone, just look at the door handles. The benefit is also in what you don’t see at first glance, but more on that in a moment.
I previewed the new generation Škoda Superb in advance in the studio in Mnichov Hradiště, which is also where the photos with my little one next to both body variants come from. The fact that the car has grown between generations is, among other things, the merit of a closer relationship with the Passat than it was before. The liftback length of 4912 mm, respectively 4902 mm for the station wagon (yes, the station wagon is really shorter) means an intergenerational increase of 43 and 40 mm, respectively. At 1849 mm, the fourth Superb is 15 mm narrower than its predecessor, the height has increased by up to 12 mm, however, the wheelbase of 2841 mm has been preserved.
|New Škoda Superb: Dimensions compared to its predecessor|
|Length (mm)||4 912 (+43)||4 902 (+40)|
|Width (mm)||1 849 (–15)||1 849 (–15)|
|Height (mm)||1 481 (+12)||1 482 (+5)|
|Effective headroom in front (mm)||1 049 (+11)||1 049 (+7)|
|Effective rear headroom (mm)||986 (+6)||1 008 (+8)|
|Trunk volume (l)||645 (+20)||690 (+30)|
Design: Clear Škoda, only more round
At first glance, it is a much larger and at the same time rounder car. Although it is clearly a Skoda from the front thanks to the lower and wider octagonal radiator grille and bumper with air vents on the sides for better air flow around the wheels, it is missing, for example, the hood extended more to the sides, with which the former chief designer of Škoda Jozef melted eight years ago on the third generation of the model Cabana.
The headlights have a crystalline design and the bumper under them forms a kind of pocket, which supposedly does not affect aerodynamics (it is filled with air and does not represent resistance), but somehow I suspect that ordinary brush washers cannot cope with it, and I would not even bet on 100% cleanliness of the rear glass at the station wagon due to the significantly extended roof.
The headlights can be equipped with a Matrix-LED system with a pair of Bi-LED modules in each of them. A total of 36 light segments in each headlight should ensure up to 40% better brightness compared to the first generation Matrix-LED system. The rear lamps carry the typical C motif and will be offered in two versions – the higher one, standard for the L&K line, has an animated turn signal and an animated Coming/Leaving Home function compared to the regular version. Unlike the Kodiaq, the lamps are not visually linked.
In the beginning, I brushed against the door handles. Yes, they are from the Passat and the people from Škoda do not deny it. You can tell by the exposed lock just like golf. The station wagon even has a different cover for the tank cap than the liftback, because it is the same for the station wagon as for the Passat. The exterior mirrors are now on the webs and not in the corners of the front windows, as was the case until now. Well, passat. You may have noticed another thing: the lamps of the station wagon and the liftback do not differ in shape. While in the station wagon they reach more “into the meat” of the fifth door, in the liftback they nicely follow the line above the license plate.
And the last interesting thing about the design: the tailpipes have rang off and should not be visible even on the powerful gasoline version, as it was until now. Recognizing secret police fighter jets will therefore be a bit more difficult, if not impossible (the antennas are hard to notice from a distance), but this does not have to upset honest drivers.
Interior: You will be pampered here
Although Škoda never spoke of the Superb as a pure luxury car, it was always obvious at first glance that you were sitting in a flagship. It is no different for the new generation, although the previously published pictures and especially the comparison with the Kodiaq, with which the superb shares the on-board technology and the layout of the control elements, “spoiled” the surprise.
The dashboard has a different architecture than the kodiaq, it is subtle and the line under the up to 13-inch display (10 inches in the base) is closer to the enyaq. The extreme ventilation outlets are tastefully hidden in vertical ribs, in front of the driver there is a large display covered by a traditional “visor”, the steering wheel is two-spoke and fitted with buttons and rollers for scrolling through the menu.
I like the choice of door panels in the area of minimalist handles, it reminds me a lot of Lexus cars, the split center armrest opens to the sides and hides a huge space that can hold a laptop. The rotary selector for the automatic transmission is under the steering wheel (the new superb will not offer a manual), which has cleared the central tunnel with compartments covered by blinds. Under them, you will not only find enough space for essentials, but also a fast and cooled inductive phone charger.
At first glance, it looks like most of the controls have moved to the center display. However, like the Kodiaq, the Superb is equipped with large Smart Dials located under the central air vents. They are rotatable, mounted in the middle of the display and control many functions. The controls for the driver and front passenger set the temperature of the air conditioning and the heating and ventilation of the seats, the middle control affects the ventilation speed, direction of ventilation, air conditioning settings, audio volume, driving modes and map zoom. In addition, it is configurable, with the user able to save four of the six available functions (this number was found to be optimal).
As I already wrote in the article about the Kodiaq, statically it is a gem, but the control while driving will be something else. But you know it – you have to focus on the road, and the displays in the controls require a certain amount of attention. They are not simply single-purpose buttons, as we used to find in cars, and we easily commanded them by touch. Well, we’ll see after the first ride sometime in the middle of next year.
Space for anything
In terms of equipment, you won’t miss anything in the Superb. There is heating and ventilation of the seats, a heated steering wheel, finally a projection head-up display, massage functions of the front seats, extendable seats in the front and so on. In short, a car for a demanding clientele, if they have enough money for all the extras. However, a huge crew space is standard on all versions. You have a lot of room in the elbows at the front and at the back, you won’t be cramped above your head, there was maybe 15 cm of space left in front of my knees (I was sitting “behind myself”) and the long doors ensure comfortable entry and exit. In short, a limousine in the Czech version, and even a luxurious place for sleeping. Superb offers a sleeping package with special headrests (they hold your head so it doesn’t fall to your side) and a blanket.
Good news also comes from under the rear hatch. The already large trunk of the superb has increased between generations to 645 liters for the liftback (+20 liters) and 690 liters for the station wagon (+30 liters). The station wagon also received an electrically sliding cover blind, known for example from Audi cars. Before you close the trunk after loading your luggage, you don’t have to reach for it all the way to the back seats. There are hooks for bags, partitions to separate the space, a ski pass, and the rear backrests can be unlocked directly from the trunk of the liftback and station wagon. The more practical body version will then offer a volume of up to 1,920 liters, 45 liters more than before.
Engines: It’s not overdone with electricity
There is no doubt that the superb, or its “spiritual successor”, will one day arrive in an all-electric version, but this does not apply to the fourth generation. The basis of the offer is the 48V mild-hybrid four-cylinder 1.5 TSI mHEV (EA211 evo2) with an output of 110 kW, the weaker of the pair of diesel four-cylinders 2.0 TDI has the same output. The 2.0 TSI engines have 150 (front-wheel drive) and 195 kW (4×4 drive), the powerful two-liter diesel with all-wheel drive has 142 kW. All these engines are intended for liftbacks and station wagons and in combination with a seven-speed DSG gearbox.
The last superb already had a plug-in hybrid version, but the new one is based on the 1.5 TSI engine and is intended exclusively for the station wagon. It is a front-wheel drive with a six-speed DSG and a system output of 150 kW. The battery has a capacity of 25.7 kWh and according to the WLTP methodology, the car should be able to drive more than 100 km on it. You can fully charge the battery from the wallbox in 2.5 hours (11 kW power), with fast charging with a power of up to 50 kW, you can go from 10 to 80% in 25 minutes. When I consider that I drive about 90 km a day and I have the possibility to charge at work from the normal home network and wall box, the internal combustion engine would rarely come into play in my case.
|Engines for the new Škoda Superb|
|Motor||Transmission||Max. power (kW)|
|1.5 TSI (mHEV)||7 st. DSG||110|
|2.0 TSI||7 st. DSG 4×4||150|
|2.0 TDI||7 st. DSG||110|
|2.0 TDI||7 st. DSG 4×4||142|
|1.5 TSI iV PHEV – exclusively station wagon||6 st. DSG||150|
You can have the new superb with 17- to 19-inch wheels, a classic chassis, but also improved DCC Plus shock absorbers (standard for Superb L&K). It has two independently controlled valves to separate the rebound and compression parts of the suspension. Previously, both functions were controlled by a single valve, the press release says. Škoda promises faster damping adjustment and a wider range of damping characteristics. Among other things, this is reflected in better driving dynamics and higher driving comfort. So we’ll see.
One of the advantages of a closer friendship with the new Passat is the chassis itself. Not so long ago, in the video (I put it under this paragraph), Martin Vaculík raved about the aluminum axle, which the previous Passat had, but the Superb did not. Now things have evened out. The front axle will be stiffer and quieter, and the axle will no longer rust like before. The rear axle is also stiffer, and diesel four-wheelers should be quieter thanks to the use of a flywheel with a pendulum, which better dampens torsional vibrations passing from the engine through the cardan to the rear axle.
Czech price in a few days!
The new Škoda Superb is more new than the previous one was when it arrived. The fourth generation has changed the place of production, it has more in common with the Volkswagen Passat concern, but from the technical point of view it is more than beneficial. The preservation of traditional gasoline and diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid with a long range and fast charging, and the possibility of choosing between two body types will be pleasing, which is a privilege that Volkswagen took away from the new Passat.
It is after the world premiere, but the new Škoda Superb has everything ahead of it. According to information from Škoda, the prices will be published during the next week. Production of the station wagon will begin during the 48th calendar week of this year, and the first cars will be at dealers during the second quarter of next year. By that time, we should have completed the first test drives. Compared to the new generation Kodiaq SUV, the Superb will be slightly shifted.