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Superb crossover on Skoda Oz radar

Outdoor life: Skoda’s Superb is already available with all-wheel drive in Australia but the Outdoor pack is claimed to help the car hold its own away from paved roads.

Subaru Outback could have another foe in the shape of Skoda’s Superb Outdoor

6 Jun 2012

SKODA HQ has unveiled a crossover version of its Superb wagon, called the Outdoor, which along with the smaller Octavia Scout could give the Czech brand a two-pronged attack on the Subaru Outback in Australia.

Skoda Australia general manager for press and PR Karl Gehling said the company is looking at importing the Outdoor, but it is too early to discuss potential engine and specification combinations for this market.

In Australia, the least expensive Superb wagon with standard all-wheel drive – and a logical candidate for the Outdoor treatment should it be introduced to Australia – is the 103TDI Ambience 4x4 at $43,990 (plus on-road costs) with standard automatic transmission.

With a premium for the Outdoor kit taken into account, the Superb could end up priced close to the Premium variant of Subaru’s diesel Outback, which costs $46,990 and will become available with an automatic transmission early next year.

The smaller Skoda Octavia Scout, powered by the 103TDI four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, undercuts the Outback with its $39,990 sticker price.

Like other jacked-up, off-road-oriented wagons, the Superb Outdoor – also available as a sedan in its European home market – features black plastic protective cladding on the lower body.

29 center imageFrom top: Skoda Superb Outdoor and Subaru Outback.

Compared with the regular Superb, the Outdoor’s unpainted front bumper has a larger air intake, with round fog-light apertures replacing the standard car’s rectangular items.

It is available in Europe across all Superb engine variants (except the economy-oriented Greenline not sold in Australia) with either front-drive or all-wheel drive.

Skoda says the Outdoor’s upgrades enable the Superb to “hold its own away from paved roads” in town and the country, and is aimed at “demanding customers with an active lifestyle”.

When the mechanically similar Volkswagen Passat Alltrack arrives in Australia late this year fitted with a 125kW turbo-diesel engine, it is expected to be priced in the region of $51,000, around $5000 more than the equivalent Passat wagon and $10,000 more than the least expensive 110kW diesel Outback.

Higher up the price scale will be the Audi A6 Allroad, which will arrive in coming months with a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine and is expected to cost upwards of $120,000.

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