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Skoda Superb revealed

Latest version of Skoda's flagship, the Superb.

The Czech brand's flagship model is set to join the Octavia and Roomster in the return of the brand to Australia.

Skoda Australia boss Matthew Wiesner said they had the “full intention of launching the successor here”.

The new Superb successor will be launched at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show in March and available here next year.

“If we wanted to we could get it here this year, but it is probably more sensible to wait to target next January,” Wiesner said.

Like the new Mondeo, the Skoda sedan is actually a hatchback, or a liftback with a large rear door and cargo area.

Liftbacks were fashionable in the 1970s and now seem to be making a comeback.

The striking Skoda features an imposing grille and aggressive wraparound headlights.

Inside, there will be plenty of kit, including a touch screen multi-media interface with a hard drive to store music and an iPod-compatible connection.

It has a choice of six VW-sourced engines — three petrol and three diesel.

Wiesner said they would probably go with a similar mix to what they have chosen for the Octavia which is a 1.9 and 2.0 turbo diesel, 2.0 petrol and 1.8 and 2.0 turbo petrol.

“Diesel will be very important for us,” Wiesner said.

“There are some new engines which we are looking at such as the big new V6 which would be under consideration so long as it fits in our price and product position.

“But we may not consider some of the smaller engines.”

Among the petrol engine options are the 1.4-litre TSI engine from the Golf GT, 2-litre turbo and the 3.6-litre V6, while there will also be 2-litre four-cylinder and 2.7-litre V6 diesels.

The standard line-up of five and six-speed manuals will be joined by the quick-shifting DSG semi-auto.

The cars appear to be quite large, with a tall ride height and significant overhangs and will come in front-wheel drive and VW's Haldex all-wheel drive.

However, Skoda highlighted the Superb's bi-xenon headlights with adaptive front light system (AFS), retractable integrated headlight washer units with an automatic rain sensor and Maxi Dot display.

AFS changes the geometry of the light beam to suit different driving conditions.

There are four modes — Intercity, City, Highway and Rain — each with varying beam widths and penetration and actuated at varying speeds.

They also feature rotating headlights that turn with the steering to light up corners.

Skoda sold 115 Octavia medium-sized cars and 34 Roomster small people movers in the three months since launch.

Wiesner said “the numbers are the numbers”.

“The point is what we are hearing back from the dealers and the market,” he said.

“We're on track and I'm happy.”

Wiesner said at the launch in early October that he expected Roomster would represent about 20 per cent of sales, but it is running slightly higher.

At launch, Wiesner said they had 10 dealers nationwide with one each in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, plus two in Sydney, two in Melbourne and one each in Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.

“We're now looking at five or six new dealers by April and on target for 20 to 23 by the end of the year,” he said.

“That's important to raise the level of awareness of the brand.”

Wisener said a Skoda dealer in Townsville would be in the target 20 and should be added by the middle of the year.


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