Czech mate, it’s a win­ner

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

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.

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