The car provides telling evidence of the progress that Skoda has made in recent years, firstly by producing a car to compete in the executive sector, and secondly by naming it Superb without anyone batting an eyelid.
If the UK models match the launch prices announced for Germany (DM 44,000, or less than £15,000) Skoda will have another car that competes in the price sector below its size.
Fleets are already tuning into this message, with Skoda recording a 25% increase in its fleet sales for the first eight months of this year compared to 2000. In volume terms the increase is still relatively modest, representing year-to-date sales of 4,542 cars but the direction is clear, as is the growing (18 - 20%) proportion of Skoda sales going into the corporate sector.
The Superb is clearly from the Volkswagen Group stable, with a distinct Passat resemblance from certain angles. It will offer a choice of three petrol engines (1.8T, 2.0-litre and 2.8 V6, and two diesel units, (1.9TDI PD 130bhp and 2.5 TDI PD 155bhp).
The car will have four airbags as standard. In top specification, the Superb will feature 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights and electrically operated front seats, with the option of head airbags and even Tiptronic transmission.