New Skoda Superb to launch this year

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Replacement for popular executive wagon will get combustion power and sit alongside an all-new EV line-up.

Skoda has confirmed it will launch the heavily updated fourth generation of its Superb in 2023, with a range of powertrain options and a wagon bodystyle available.

Predominantly ICE-powered, the new Skoda Superb will directly rival the Peugeot 508 and play a major role in maintaining and advancing the Czech firm’s market share, which took a hit based on 2022 sales figures. Last year, the sedan sold 60,800 examples worldwide, representing a drop of 8 per cent on the previous year.

As part of Skoda’s rapid advance towards electrification, it unveiled a plan to guide its transition that includes investing €5.6 billion (AUD$8.7bn) in e-mobility, including three new electric cars by 2026 – a flagship SUV, a city car and an electric alternative to the Skoda Karoq crossover.

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However, in the lead-up to the 2030 ICE ban, it will continue to update its existing combustion models, with a next-gen Skoda Kodiaq also confirmed for launched this year. By this time, the firm estimates ICE cars will still account for 30 per cent of its total sales.

The current Superb is built at Skoda’s factory in Emden, Germany, alongside its sibling car, the Volkswagen Passat. Given that the Czech car shares many of its underpinnings with Volkswagen’s best-selling sedan, we expect the latest Superb to broadly follow the same path, meaning the 2023 Superb will be based on Volkswagen’s latest ICE car platform – MQB Evo.

As such, we suspect powertrain options to be similair to the current VW crop: a mix of pure-ICE and electrified options in two- and four-wheel drive configurations, in line with Skoda’s ploy to cater to a larger range of buyers and strengthen its position in the premium executive segment.

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A mixture of petrol and diesel engines are available with the current Superb, with 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines and 1.6-litre and 2.0-liter diesel engines. The electrified plug-in hybrid pairs a 1.4-litre petrol four-pot with an electric motor and 13kWh battery for a combined output of 160kW and an electric-only range of around 50km.

Whether these powertrains will drive the new car remain to be seen because details remain scarce. However, given Skoda’s aim of catering to a large bracket of customers, this line-up will bring about the sort of cost-efficiency needed to achieve that goal.

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As shown in the accompanying spy shots, we have seen only a wagon testing. Whether the four-door liftback Superb will return is yet to be confirmed. However, with Volkswagen’s axing of the Passat sedan in 2021, (thus confirming the shrinking of traditional executive sedan market), we’re not holding our breath. The Ford Mondeo and Opel Insignia have also made high-profile exits recently.

The grille, lighting and trim details are visible beneath the test car’s camouflage, with refreshed overall design cues to bring it in line with other models in the range such as the Scala, Kodiaq and Octavia. Its silhouette leaves it indistinguishable from the current car’s, with the firm clearly adopting evolution over revolution for its design.

Production is tipped to take place on a new line in Czechia, although this hasn’t yet been officially confirmed.

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