Greener Skoda Superb to attract fleets
Already, around 60-70% of Superb hatch sales are to businesses, while the proportion for the estate is slightly higher, but brand director Alasdair Stewart feels both models have been held back to some extent by their CO2 figures.
‘The new car will be a strong entry into the fleet market for us and improve our overall market penetration,’ he said. ‘The retail side of the business is up 30% this year, but if you are going to grow, you have got to grow in the fleet market and the outgoing car had relatively high CO2 figures.’
Emissions of the new engine range have been reduced by up to 19%. It includes a 1.6-litre diesel and a couple of 2.0-litre units, which will be particularly appealing to business drivers. There are also 1.2, 1.8 and 3.2-litre (V6) petrol units.
All diesels now have engine stop/start to help achieve the CO2 reductions, and all but the V6 recover braking energy when decelerating. Emissions start at 109g/km for the GreenLine diesel hatch, and 113g/km for the corresponding estate. Both feature more economical gearing and aerodynamic additions.
The revised Superb range has been completely restyled at the front, with less extensive changes elsewhere, and has an upgraded interior with more standard equipment in most versions.
The hatchback's clever luggage area access, which can be opened like a conventional boot lid or a full-depth tailgate, now has two buttons instead of one for easier operation. And with the all-important Chinese market in mind it is possible for rear passengers to move the front passenger's seat using a control on the door.
Stewart believes Skoda can achieve a record 60,000-plus sales in the UK this year, boosted by the introduction of eight new models, and become a 100,000-cars-a-year brand within five years.
Already in 2013 an all-new Octavia hatch and estate and an Octavia 4×4 have been revealed, and the high-performance Octavia VRS will make its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
The new Superb models go on sale on 17th July. Later in the year there will be a facelift for the Yeti crossover and a new Spaceback version of the Rapid. Skoda also plans special editions of its compact MPV, the Roomster, to freshen up the range.
The next all-new Skoda will be a replacement for the Fabia at the start of 2015.