Skoda has been testing the updated version of the Superb, the Czech company’s flagship model which is set to get a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The undisguised test car reveals subtle exterior styling changes over the current Skoda Superb. These include redesigned bumpers front and rear, while the lighting units will also get an LED update and styling refresh, as will the grille that’s expected to be inspired by the Vision C study. The cabin will be improved with the VW Group’s latest infotainment systems, as well as new trim options.
Under hood – new 1.5 TSI and PHEV version
Beyond some mild improvements to the existing powertrains, the facelifted Superb is expected to replace the current 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engines with the VW Group’s latest 1.5-liter TSI featuring cylinder-deactivation tech in 130hp and 150hp variants.
More importantly, the 2019 Superb is going to borrow the VW Passat GTE’s plug-in hybrid electrified powertrain, meaning a turbocharged 1.4-liter petrol engine mated to an electric motor for a combined output of around 215hp.
However, the latest reports suggest that Skoda will use a bigger 13kWh battery pack for the plug-in hybrid 2019 Superb in a bid to offer a zero-emissions range of 70km (44 miles). The VW Passat GTE currently uses a 9.9kWh battery pack, giving it an up to 50km (31 miles) all-electric range.
Last time we reported on the matter, Skoda will pay close attention to how the plug-in hybrid Superb will do in the market before pulling the trigger on electrified versions of its Kodiaq and Karoq.
“It’s not a question of the technology, but we have to see what our customers are expecting from such a product, and how much they’re willing to pay for it, because the plug-in hybrid systems don’t come free”, said Martin Hrdlicka, Skoda’s powertrain chief back in February. “So, first we have to see how the Superb goes, and the reaction of our customers.”
Skoda has already announced a fully electric model for 2020, based on the same architecture with VW ID hatch.