Skoda Superb facelift revealed: first Skoda to get plug-in hybrid drive

 The Skoda Superb PHEV has an electric range of 55 kilometres and gets brand new matrix LED headlamps.

By: | Published: May 24, 2019 1:07 PM

As the Volkswagen Passat received an update earlier this year, it was inevitable that its sibling the Skoda Superb was next in line for similar updates, albeit with some differences to set itself apart. Czech automaker revealed the 2020 Skoda Superb at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, in Bratislava, Slovakia, an event the brand has been associated with since 1993.

The new 2020 Superb is only a mid-cycle update for the B8 generation, rather than an all-new generation. However, the changes on the new Superb are significant, as it gets a new plug-in hybrid powertrain, yet the upgrades are discreet.

One of the major changes on the new Superb is that the automaker has done away with the corporate logo at the rear of the car, and instead has gone with the bold and spaced out ‘SKODA’ letting on the boot lid, like the Kamiq and Scala SUVs. The all LED-tail lamps have been tweaked slightly and now come with the dynamic turn signals that have trickled down from more premium VW brands like Audi. The new restyled bumper has made the car marginally longer in length by 8mm. At the front, the headlights might look similar to the ones found the on the pre-facelift model, however, they are slightly tweaked and sport LED Matrix technology found on the more premium Audi A6; a first for a Skoda. The front grille has been tweaked as well making it slimmer and a new bumper that makes it look imposing and elegant. The final changes on the exterior include a choice of a standard set of 18-inch or optional 19-inch alloy wheels in addition to more body colour options like Race Blue and Crystal Black.

In the cabin of the new Skoda Superb, the updates are of comparable kind. Some trim levels will come with options of new upholstery, as well as chrome and cosmetic trims on the centre console, and dash. The range-topping L&K trim will get an Alcantara headliner finished in beige or black, including the B-pillars.

Engine options will remain the same, with variation from region to region. When the new Superb facelift is launched in India it will continue to be powered by the 1.8-litre TSI petrol and the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with VW’s twin-clutch 7 and 6-speed gearboxes respectively. However, the new Superb will be introduced globally with a new Plug-In Hybrid powertrain option early 2020. The first ever PHEV Skoda will be equipped with a 1.4-litre, 4-cylinder turbo petrol TSI engine that develops 156hp that works in tandem with an electric motor that generates 115hp, the combined power output for the Superb iV stands at 218hp. The engine will come mated to a 6-speed twin-clutch DSG. The 13-kWh battery pack will allow the Superb to be able to travel for 55 kilometres on sole electric juice based on the WLTP cycle. The power unit and the drive train are both borrowed from its sibling the Passat GTE which was expected to be launched in India, however, plans were scrapped after the high taxation on hybrids was introduced in India in order to promote full EVs.

Now the new FAME II policy that was updated in February 2019 includes incentives even for hybrids,  which is a good sign that Skoda might throw in the dual motor version of the Superb when it arrives in India next year. However, to comply with the FAME II for the incentives, the vehicle will have to feature some amount of localization. The Superb with the hybrid model will compete against the two Japanese models that are already available in India; The Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Honda Accord Hybrid.

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