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Driven: Skoda splits top Superb siblings with SportLine

All sports: The Skoda Superb SportLine adds trim and rims to the 206TSI 4x4, and both variants will be sold together for the interim.

New Skoda Superb SportLine variant may succeed 206TSI 4x4 if demand dictates it

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Skoda logo24 Feb 2017

By TIM ROBSON

SKODA Australia has effectively added a new top model to its local Superb range, with the launch of the SportLine variant this week.

Based on the previously top-level 206TSI 4x4, the SportLine kit comprises a number of external and internal trim pieces, including new wheels and Alcantara trim.

However, there are no mechanical changes to the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder powered, all-wheel-drive Superb.

It costs $1000 on top of the price of the $51,990 sedan or the $53,690 wagon (plus on road costs).

Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer told journalists in Sydney that he was pleased by the number of changes that the pack offered, and by their relative complexity.

“I was surprised at the number of interior changes,” said Mr Irmer. “It’s quite genuinely done – they are not things that are done easily. Dealers were putting in $5000 estimates (on the pack), so they were very surprised.” Mr Irmer confirmed that the SportLine-equipped Superb will be a standalone model alongside the 206TSI.

“We will offer both side by side, but in reality depending on response, we might switch 206 entirely to SportLine,” he said. “Capacity is limited with SportLine, so we don’t want to tie it completely to that.

“The 206TSI is more luxury and the SportLine is more sport. For the next year there will be the two options, then the market will decide. We don’t want to walk away from both options at the moment.” Mr Irmer cautioned that the SportLine pack should not be viewed as an RS model, pointing out that the changes to the Superb are not up to the level required of an RS.

“It’s not an RS, because there is no change to the characteristics of the exhaust, suspension and so on. An RS still drives more aggressively,” he said.

“Aussies love their cars and they like them to look cool,” said Skoda Australia product planner Kieran Merrigan. “It was a no brainer for us to tack on SportLine pack – and the looks justifies the performance.

“I’m sure some companies would be happy charging $1000 just for a spoiler.”

SportLine badging is added to the front guards, along with black door mirror caps, diffuser, roof rails and grille, as well as black underside door trim pieces and unique 19-inch alloys.

In all, 17 different items have been changed or added to the car, which launched in 2016 and uses the same 206kW, 350Nm turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and Haldex all-wheel drivetrain as the Volkswagen Golf R.

A six-speed dual-clutch transmission backs up the engine, which can be operated via paddles behind the steering wheel.

Adaptive suspension combines with a five-mode drive select system allows drivers to tune the Superb’s throttle, transmission, traction and stability controls.

A new dash cluster with white trim, Alcantara-trimmed front and rear seats and door card inserts, a flat-bottomed sports wheel, alloy sports pedals, black roof lining and a sports monitor that shows boost, power, engine oil temperature and a lap timer make up the SportLine pack.

The SportLine also gains all of the standard inclusions of the 206TSI, including automatic lights and wipers, LED headlights and tail-lights, heated front and rear seats and an inductive phone charging bay.

It also has radar cruise control, auto emergency braking, lane departure control and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.

Skoda sold 733 Superbs in 2016, beating the 264 mark recorded in 2015 and posting year-on-year growth of 177 per cent.

It was soundly beaten by the mechanically-related Volkswagen Passat with 3090 sales, but it outsold the Hyundai Genesis (373) and Peugeot 508 (165).

Approximately 40 per cent of current Superb sales are 206TSIs.

2017 Skoda Superb SportLine pricing*
Sedan (a)$51,990
Wagon (a)$53,690
*Excludes on-road costs

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