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Shanghai show: Fresh face for Skoda Superb

Superbly done: Skoda has given the Superb large-car some subtle styling revisions.

Skoda upgrades Superb range with new face and more fuel-efficient engines

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Skoda logo4 Apr 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

SKODA has refreshed the Superb large car ahead of its debut at the Shanghai motor show later this month – but it will take sharp eyes to pick the differences.

Although difficult to tell, Skoda claims the Superb has been given “a completely new front and rear” incorporating elements from the Czech brand’s design language that features on the all-new Octavia mid-sizer and Rapid small-car.

Entirely redesigned up to the windscreen pillar, the Superb features a restyled grille, front bumper, head and fog-lights, and a more shapely bonnet to differentiate it from the previous version.

Skoda has also added bi-Xenon headlights to the range for the first time.

The Superb wagon gets redesigned tail-lights, however, changes are more obvious on the rear of the liftback with a sharper boot lid reminiscent of sister company Audi’s current A4.

Mechanical updates are relatively minor, with the 103kW 2.0-litre TDI turbo-diesel all-wheel-drive powertrain offered in both Ambition and Elegance specification now available with a manual gearbox.

The more powerful all-paw 125kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel now comes with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

It is not yet known whether these transmission updates will make it to Australian versions.

Skoda said that “selected engines” would benefit from fuel savings of more than 19 per cent. While it did not elaborate on specific variants, the car-maker said stop-start technology and brake energy regeneration would be standard on all Superb diesels.

Slight updates to the interior include nine new fabrics and patterns for the seat covers, and different designs.

The Superb will make its debut at the Shanghai motor show on April 19, and is expected to go on sale in Australia soon after.

The Superb arrived in Australia in August 2009, two years after Skoda launched its local line-up with the mid-size Octavia range in 2007.

Despite the critical acclaim it received upon release, the Superb has only ever sold in middling numbers in Australia.

Skoda shifted 653 units last year and sold 111 cars in the first two months of 2013, down by 43.4 per cent over the same period last year.

The drop coincides with an overall slide in large-car sales in Australia with the segment down more than 30 per cent over the first three months of last year.

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