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The Skoda Superb is getting a mid-cycle refresh including sharper looks and new technology. Its updated front-end styling consists of new headlight designs and a full-width grille in the lower bumper section that incorporates LED fog lamps. For the first time, Skoda will offer LED matrix headlights, too, which provide dynamic illumination on the move without dazzling other road users.
Due to the new styling of the front and rear bumpers, the Superb has grown in length by 8mm, while the Combi (estate) version increases in length by 6mm. There is no change to the internal dimensions, meaning the Superb remains one of the roomiest passenger cars on sale today. Boot space in the Superb is 625 litres, rising to 660 litres in the Combi, and that's before you fold the rear seats down. Following the trend set out in other new models in its range, the Skoda name replaces the logo on the rear of the Superb, sitting above a new chrome strip that connects the back lights.
A range-topping Lauren & Klement specification will be available over the regular trim grades as before, as will the popular Sportline specification. The latter comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED Matrix headlights and a sports chassis that is 10mm lower than the standard car's. On the inside it features a mix of Alcantara and leather upholstery.
Snazzy LED Matrix headlights aren't the only new tech to feature in the updated Skoda Superb. A new Predictive Cruise Control system makes its debut, as does Side Assist, which can work up to a distance of 70 metres. Other updates include new seat upholstery options and coloured contrast stitching.
Skoda has brought all of its engines up to the latest emissions standards and buyers will have a choice of three diesel and three petrol engines ranging in power outputs from 120hp to 272hp. As before, these engines will come with a choice of automatic and manual gearboxes and front- or all-wheel drive.
As part of a range of updates to the Skoda Superb, the company's flagship model will be available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time. It will be called the Superb iV and is powered by the combination of a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, producing 156hp, and a 115hp electric motor; in total, the hybrid system produces up to 218hp.
The battery element of the Superb iV PHEV is a 13kWh unit that is capable of providing an electric driving range of up to 55 kilometres under WLTP conditions. It can be charged via public or home charge points or through a domestic household three-pin plug socket with a different charging cable. The charge port is located behind a cover on the left side of the front grille. Charging time at 3.6kW takes 3 hours and 30 minutes. On the move, it is also possible to recharge the battery fully by using the car's TSI petrol engine, and it will naturally add back to the battery in smaller amounts through regenerative braking. To help the Superb iV's efficiency, the car also features a unique wheel design to improve the aerodynamics. The battery is placed in front of the rear axle and does reduce the Superb's boot capacity to 485 litres in the saloon and 510 litres in the estate (down from 625 litres and 660 litres respectively).
At the car's unveiling, Christian Strube, Skoda Board Member for Technical Development, said: "Entering the era of e-mobility is an important step into the future for Skoda. The Superb iV plug-in hybrid and the CitigoE iV are just the beginning. The first all-electric Skoda based on the Volkswagen Group's MED modular electric car platform will follow as early as 2020, and by the end of 2022 we will have launched a total of ten electrified vehicles."
Skoda claims that the total driving range of the Superb iV is up to 850 kilometres and the good news for those with an eye on tax is that it will have CO2 emissions below 40g/km, putting it in the second lowest band for annual motor tax. The Superb iV PHEV will also be available as an estate car.