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First look: Skoda sprouts Superb wagon

Czech estate: Skoda's largest model hits Europe in November - and Australia in the second quarter of 2010.

Skoda's inaugural Superb wagon surfaces as Czech maker fills another niche

Skoda logo26 Aug 2009

By MARTON PETTENDY

SKODA has revealed its first ever Superb wagon, which will make its international public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September 15, before going on sale in Australia around April next year as the Czech marque’s range-topping model.

Based on the second (modern) generation Superb Liftback released here in July, the Volkswagen brand’s latest load-lugger will eschew the unique split tailgate design of its five-door hatchback/sedan flagship in favour of a traditional wagon profile.

Apart from a couple of close-ups of its new tail-light and D-pillar designs, a silhouette of the Superb wagon is all Skoda has revealed. But it’s clear the new model is identical to its donor car forward of the C-pillar, including its teardrop headlights and upright 19-bar grille, while adding a longer daylight opening with a fourth side window.

29 center imageLeft: Superb wagon features a unique D-pillar and tail-lights. Below: Skoda sedan/hatch/liftback. Although its wheelbase is not expected to grow from the sedan’s rangy 2761mm, word is the Superb wagon’s rear seats will be reworked to maximise luggage space, at the expense of some of the sedan’s Statesman-like rear legroom.

However, given the Commodore-rivalling 4838mm-long Superb sedan’s expansive, Falcon-beating boot extends from 565 litres to 1670 litres with the rear seats folded, the Superb wagon won’t be short of cargo room.

The latest Superb sedan has found more than 42,000 customers globally in its first year on sale. Skoda says the inaugural Superb wagon, which like the small Fabia and mid-size Octavia wagon will be known as the Combi in Europe, is “a logical continuation of the Superb model series and offers an ideal combination of practicality and elegance.

“The Superb Combi extends the tradition of the range of estate versions typical of Skoda cars – its timeless design and spacious interior make the Superb Combi an ideal car for every driver who requires a comfortable, reliable car in all circumstances,” says Skoda. “The new model offers customers what they have become used to in Skoda cars: a spacious, practical interior, outstanding value and timeless design.” The same three petrol and three diesel engines that power Europe’s Superb sedan will be available there in the wagon, but it’s not yet clear which engine or engines will be available in Australia, where the all-automatic Superb currently comes in 1.8 TSI turbo-petrol (from $42,990), 2.0 TDI turbo-diesel (from $45,990) and 3.6 FSI petrol V6 4x4 guises.

The latter tops the Skoda Australia’s range at $56,990, so a top-shelf Superb wagon with all-wheel drive and V6 power would still undercut its most direct rivals from Europe, including Saab’s aged 9-5 Estate (from $61,900) and Volvo’s much newer V70, which is available only in 3.0 T6 AWD spec for $69,950.

Skoda revealed the Superb wagon on the same day facelifted versions of the Octavia RS sports models were launched in Australia. An RS version of the Superb sedan is also believed to be in development for release in 2010, though it’s unclear whether the RS treatment will extend to Skoda’s largest Combi.

The fledgling Eastern European brand will have a big year in Australia in 2010, which should also bring the volume-selling Yeti compact SUV and the (facelifted) Fabia small hatch, a facelifted Roomster and an automatic version of the upgraded Octavia Scout TDI.

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