Skoda's third generation Superb will be shown officially in February, but details have already emerged that give us a good indication of what the new car will be like. To begin with, Skoda's foray into the realm of entry-level luxury will continue unabated. The new third-generation Superb will look more grown-up on the outside, even more spacious on the inside, and better equipped than the previous-gen car. Based on VW's MQB platform architecture that's shared with cars like the new Passat, Octavia and Golf, it will also come with a set of well-engineered mechanical bits.
The biggest difference over the current car, however, will be the new, smoother flowing profile and the more grown up luxury car look (think Audi A6 or A8). What has allowed this to happen is the fact that Skoda have done away with the twin door rear; the unique bit that allowed the luggage compartment to be accessed via both a large hatchback lid as well as a traditional boot lid. The removal of all the extra hardware has resulted in a less upright rear and an smoother overall profile. And it looks much nicer around the back too, the curved rear section and the semi fast-back-like raked rear windscreen add a coupe-like sportiness. Despite this, the Superb is more practical that the older car; boot space is up by more than 60 litres, at 625 litres, and you can expand that to 1,760 litres once the rear seats are folded down.
Up front, the new Superb gets Skoda's new two part, butterfly-shaped grille and a set of larger headlamps with a distinct hollowed out section below them. The nose now looks more aggressive, and the sharp cutlines on the bonnet and fenders, and the tastefully flared wheel arches add to the sporty stance. Now 20mm longer, a considerable 50mm wider and using a new stretched (by 80mm) wheelbase, the new Superb will be larger still on the inside. The legroom has improved over the older car, the cabin is wide enough to fit three abreast in the rear, and the roominess up front is better as well. Despite its larger size, the new Superb will also be around 75kg lighter.
Because it shares its platform with cars like the VW Passat, the new Superb is also likely to have a lot of the latest goodies found on VW's new B8, such as adjustable dampers and a new-gen infotainment system. There will be a slight roll back on the heavy use of traditional materials like wood, leather and chrome. This is to ensure that Skoda falls in line with the Volkswagen group's hierarchy; above the Czech brand sits Volkswagen, then Audi and Bentley. However, the new car will not be any less luxurious, according to Skoda's design chief Joseph Kaban (spl): "It will be a younger, more youthful interpretation of luxury, and you will find the car has no compromises."
Power is expected to come from a 2.0-litre diesel motor tuned for around 170bhp or the 1.8-litre 177bhp turbo-petrol engine. The current automatic DSG gearboxes are expected to be carried forward. Expect the new Superb to hit Indian dealerships towards the end of 2015.