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Skoda reveals Superb facelift

Superb large car receives midlife nip and tuck as Skoda Australia confirms Q4 launch

24 May 2019

AFTER a two-week teaser campaign, Skoda has revealed in full the lightly facelifted Superb large car ahead of its Australian launch in November.


As expected, the update does not see extensive changes to sheetmetal, with only the Superb’s front and rear bumpers coming in for a tweak.


As a result, the sedan (4869mm) and wagon (4862mm) are 8mm and 6mm longer respectively. All other dimensions are unchanged.


Meanwhile, the Superb’s grille now features double slats and is larger, connecting it to narrower headlights that are now available with adaptive Matrix LED technology – a first for any Skoda model.


Its full LED tail-light have also been redesigned and now feature dynamic indicators, while a chrome strip bisects them and ‘Skoda’ block lettering on the tailgate sits between – the norm for the Czech brand.


The Coming/Leaving Home function is another new addition, automatically turning off the lighting clusters’ main LED modules in favour of ‘needle-like’ structures. This occurs as part of an animation that is engaged when getting in or out of the vehicle.


Fresh sets of 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels and the addition of Crystal Black and Race Blue metallic paintwork to the exterior colour palette complete the changes outside.


Inside, news trims are available for the dashboard, centre stack/console and doors, while contrast stitching is now found on the leather and Alcantara upholstery, which adorns the seats and armrests. The latter can also cover the headliner for the first time.


Key upgrades include wireless smartphone charging and Skoda parent company Volkswagen Group’s new MIB3 infotainment system that uses a SIM card for internet access, a Wi-Fi hotspot and mobile connectivity. It powers either an 8.0- or 9.2-inch touchscreen.


Two advanced driver-assist systems have also been added to the Superb’s suite, with predictive cruise control using a windshield-mounted camera and satellite-navigation data to detect speed limits and bends and then automatically adjust vehicle speed in preparation.


The other is emergency assist, which is designed to automatically and safely steer the vehicle into the emergency lane on multi-lane roads and bring it to a stop if the driver becomes unresponsive.


In order to complete this action, the system harnesses adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and park assist. The adaptive cruise control tech also now features pedestrian detection.


Other minor changes include a new electromechanical brake booster and the addition of aerodynamic covers for the rear suspension, which are said to improve driving stability.


As reported, the Australian-market Superb line-up will continue with the same powertrains, including one diesel (140kW/400Nm 140TDI) and two petrols (162kW/350Nm 162TSI and 206kW/350Nm 206TSI), all of which are 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines.


A plug-in hybrid variant, dubbed iV, will not be heading Down Under. It pairs a 115kW 1.4-litre turbo-petrol unit with an 85kW electric motor for a combined power output of 160kW, while maximum torque is 400Nm.


The iV’s 13kWh lithium-ion battery enables up to 55km of pure-electric driving range on Europe’s recently introduced WLTP test. It can be fully charged in as little as 3.5 hours when using a 3.6kW wallbox.


The powertrain is controlled by three driving modes (E-mode, Hybrid and Sport), while its claimed carbon dioxide emissions are less than 40 grams per kilometre.


Similarly, the new off-road-focused Superb Scout wagon is also not on the agenda for the Australian market. It follows in the tyre tracks of its Octavia Scout sibling with its all-wheel-drive system, Off-Road driving mode, increased ground clearance (+15mm) and rugged looks inside and out.


Sales of the Superb have significantly improved this year, with 330 examples sold to the end of April – a 33.6 per cent increase over the 247 deliveries made during the same period in 2018.


The Superb plays in the dwindling sub-$70,000 large-car segment in which two other models are currently active: Holden’s Commodore (2031 units, -36.2%) and Kia’s Stinger (613, -10.0%).

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