Czech mate, it’s a winner
awareness has grown from about 40 per cent to 60 per cent, according to Roy Morgan research. Wiesner says the Superb will help ‘‘mature’’ and ‘‘stretch’’ the brand with its appeal to private buyers, userchoosers and fleets.
‘‘Our customers (for the Superb) are large-car users and from corporate and semi-government,’’ he says.
‘‘They can stick to a large car and still get a diesel.’’ A lot is expected from the Superb. It’s likely to compete against the big Australian six-cylinder sedans, Japanese medium-sized cars and fellow European models.
The Superb comes in five models with VW-sourced petrol and diesel power plants, all with direct fuel injection. The opener is the 1.8-litre TSI Ambition mated to a sevenspeed DSG gearbox and costs $42,990. The 1.8-litre engine is shared with the Octavia.
The 2.0-litre TDI diesel adds an extra $3000 and gets a six-speed DSG gearbox.
The Ambition petrol and diesel gets electronic stability control, dual-zone airconditioning, six-CD sound system with touch screen and SD memory card, tyre-pressure monitors, cruise control, rear parking sensors, self-retracting wing mirrors and foglights.
The same petrol and TDI engines are found in the $45,990 Elegance, which adds adaptive bi-xenon headlights, an alarm electric driver’s seat and upgraded 10-speaker sound system. The 2.0-litre Elegance TDI is an extra $3000.
The range-topper is a 3.6-litre V6 petrol in Elegance trim, only with Haldex all-wheel-drive and a sixspeed sequential automatic. The V6 FSI costs $56,990.
Wiesner did not wish to speculate on sales figures, but says Skoda has about 100 Superbs in the country with orders ‘‘in the teens’’.
The wagon version will have the same trim and engine configuration as the sedan.
However, Wiesner will not confirm a sporty RS version.
Apart from its VW-sourced turbodiesel engines, the Superb’s most distinguishing feature is its patented ‘‘TwinDoor’’ two-part hinged liftback boot.
At the flick of a switch on the electro-mechanical lock, the tailgate can act like a normal boot or a large hatchback.
Lift the boot and there is an enormous 565-litre, flat-floored, carpeted cargo area bigger than the Ford Falcon boot. With the rear seats folded space expands to 1670 litres.
Under the floor is a full-size spare in the front-wheel-drive models and a space saver in the all-wheel drive range-topper. Apart from the versatile boot the Superb has several other surprising innovations and quirky technological features.
Among them are headlights that change focal point and spread according to speed and weather conditions (standard in Elegance), foglights that automatically light up corners at slow speeds, a rain braking system that dries the discs by bringing the pads into gentle contact with the discs every 3km for three seconds, and nine airbags, including a knee airbag.
Options include an $890 selfparking system and $2290 solarpowered sunroof, which circulates cabin air to keep the car cool.