The first generation of a modern Škoda Superb turns 20!

ŠKODA has a long tradition of producing medium-sized and premium models. As early as 1907, twelve years after the founding of Laurin & Klement in Mlada Boleslav, the newly acquired company launched the Type FF, a vehicle that offered true luxury. The in-line eight-cylinder engine was designed in the same drivetrain as the following models with engines that were extremely powerful. They were also equipped with an innovative Knight skid control system among other features. Between 1925 and 1936, the ŠKODA Hispano-Suiza limousine was used by the then President of the Republic, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, in addition to many other prominent figures of the time. In the early 1930s, the car manufacturer from Mladá Boleslav offered a wide range of models with six-cylinder (ŠKODA 633, 645 and 650) or eight-cylinder engines (ŠKODA 860).

However, the new model with the SUPERB label has become the flagship of the Czech manufacturer. This name first appeared in the company’s internal documents on October 22, 1934. Serial production began in the spring of 1935, and by 1949 almost 900 units of the ŠKODA SUPERB model had left the production line in five variants: in addition to the six-cylinder 640 SUPERB (1934-1936), the SUPERB Type 902 (1936) and SUPERB Type 913 models were also produced. (1936-1939), SUPERB 3000 OHV Type 924 (1938-1949) and SUPERB 4000 Type 919 (1938-1940) with V8 powertrain. Many of these models had custom bodies made to the specifications of specific customers.

Return and debut to remember

In 2001, ŠKODA re-introduced the model designation and introduced the first generation of the modern ŠKODA SUPERB. With this launch, the Czech carmaker highlighted its dynamic development after joining the Volkswagen Group 10 years earlier. Following the premiere of the compact OCTAVIA in 1996, this marked the return of the ŠKODA brand to the large family car segment. In early September 2001, even before the official premiere, the SUPERB was transported to Lány Castle in central Bohemia, where then-Czech President and big car lover Václav Havel drove a new sedan for a detailed test drive.

The ŠKODA SUPERB was officially presented at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main on September 11, 2001. The 4,803 mm long, 1,765 mm wide and 1,469 mm high front-wheel drive models had a wheelbase of 2,803 mm. The range of sedan engines included three petrol and two diesel powertrains. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produced 85 kW (115 hp), the other petrol engines were a 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo with 110 kW (150 hp), and the top version was a 2.8-liter V6 with 142 kW (193 hp). With this powertrain, the SUPERB reached a top speed of 237 km / h. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo engine with 110 kW (150 hp) and the 2.8-liter V6 also had innovative five-valve technology. For customers looking for low operating costs, the 1.9-liter TDI with 96 kW (130 hp) was the ideal model, with a standard consumption of just 5.7 liters per 100 km. Another alternative was a 2.5-liter six-cylinder TDI with 114 kW (155 hp). A six-speed transmission was fitted as standard, and a five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission was also available in combination with two V6 engines.

Škoda Superb

In addition to the superior design, the ŠKODA SUPERB also boasts a number of innovative safety features: The braking system came with ABS and EDS, and the ASR anti-skid package was also part of the package. The high-performance six-cylinder versions also benefited from the electronic ESP stabilization system, including braking assistance, which was not widely used at the time. Two front airbags and two side airbags in the front seats, one for each driver and front passenger, round out the extensive safety equipment. Additional head airbags to protect the front and rear passengers were available as an option.

Other equipment details that testified to the consistent technical development of the then ŠKODA models included bi-xenon headlights with integrated headlight washers, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, automatic Climatronic air conditioning and a color navigation system.

Serial production of the new ŠKODA SUPERB was launched on October 1, 2001 at the Kvasiny plant after the site was completely modernized at a cost of € 200 million. By the end of the year, 581 vehicles had been produced before the first comfortable sedan units were delivered in the spring of 2002, with a lifetime mobility guarantee included. The successful career of the first modern SUPERB generation ended in 2008. More than 136,000 units were built at production sites in the Czech Republic, as well as in China, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Škoda Superb

The successor offers even more possibilities

In March 2008, ŠKODA presented the next generation of the SUPERB model at the Geneva Motor Show. A year after the launch of the notchback variant on the market with the innovative Twindoor door, another bodywork followed in 2009 with the SUPERB COMBI model. By 2015, the Czech carmaker had produced 618,000 units of the second-generation SUPERB model, which in 2009 received the “Luxury Car of the Year” award from the British magazine Top Gear.

Škoda Superb

The third generation of the SUPERB model caused a sensation at the world premiere in Prague in 2015, and not only with its design; even more generous space, a wide range of modern assistance systems and highly efficient engines are well received by journalists and customers. At the same time, the third-generation SUPERB introduced several technical innovations to the Czech carmaker’s model range: with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive chassis, parking assist and three-zone air conditioning were available for the first time. The spacious SUPERB COMBI was added to the range the same year. ŠKODA AUTO took the next step in the fall of 2019, launching the production of the SUPERB iV model with a plug-in hybrid drive. The system power of the model is 160 kW (218 hp) with a range of up to 62 km (WLTP) in electric drive mode only. To date, ŠKODA AUTO has produced more than 700,000 units of the current SUPERB generation.

In the last 20 years, ŠKODA AUTO has delivered around 1.5 million units of the ŠKODA SUPERB model.

Škoda Superb

Source: Auto magazin by

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