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Geneva show: Superb new Skoda

Petrol and diesel: New Superb is based on Volkswagen's Passat.

Skoda unveils its new flagship at Geneva but the all-new Superb is still a year away

10 Mar 2008

SKODA'S new flagship sedan emerged in the metal at Geneva last week, and the second-generation Superb is expected on sale here in the second quarter of next year.

Due to be launched with petrol and diesel engines, the new Superb range should be bolstered by a FSI V6 AWD variant by late next year.

From launch, expect the VW Passat-based Superb, which takes on the Skoda family look introduced by the new Fabia small hatch and also employs components from its mid-sized Octavia model, to offer 118kW/250Nm 1.8-litre TSI turbocharged, direct-injection petrol power, as well as 125kW/350Nm 2.0-litre TDI common-rail turbo-diesel urge.

Both engines will be mated to the VW Group's impressive DSG double-clutch automated manual transmission - in the TSI's case the second-generation seven-speed version.

In Europe, the MkII Superb will also be available with 1.4-litre TSI, 1.9-litre TDI PD and 2.0 TDI PD DPF engines.

Almost as large as a Commodore, the new Superb is 4838mm long and rides on a 2761mm wheelbase.

Just as the mid-size Octavia is actually a hatchback, however, the Superb differs from both the Passat and its large prestige rivals by featuring a liftback rear-end rather than a conventional boot-with-lid arrangement.

29 center imageIn fact, the Skoda hopes the Superb's unique new "Twindoor" tailgate system will help differentiate its new flagship from its accomplished German peers like the A6, 5 Series and E-class The ability to open the bootlid conventionally to load regular items, or to open the entire tailgate (including the rear window) to stow larger cargo, is claimed to make the Superb's sizeable 565 litres of rear cargo space (85 litres more than the Superb it replaces) even more flexible. A total of 1760 litres with the rear seats folded makes the Superb a cavernous load-lugger.

Adaptive Frontlight System (AFS), which alters the headlight beam's geometry to suit different driving conditions, is new to Superb, as is a DVD-based navigation system comprising a touch-screen interface and hard-drive on which to store music.

Other new-to-Skoda technologies to be available across Europe's three-grade Superb range will be tyre pressure monitoring, a braking and hill-hold assistant and a parking steering. A wet umbrella storage compartment, located in the inner panel of the left rear door, continues to be a Superb feature.

Developed by the VW Group's third largest development centre, Skoda Auto's Technological Development Department in Mladá Boleslav, the Superb is also claimed to bring big increases in interior space, as well as quality.

Just as the Octavia undercuts VW's Jetta sedan on price, so too is the Superb expected to represent better value than the Passat, which currently opens at $42,490 for the 103kW 2.0 TDI auto sedan.

The new model launches in Europe in June, and we'll bring you full Australian specifications when they become available.

Read more:

First look: Second coming for Skoda's Superb

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