Car designers in the Czech Republic are putting the finishing touches to a ‘wow factor’ that will allow Skoda’s next new model to make a stronger challenge to Britain’s top-selling fleet cars.
Dramatic style lines set in lower and wider bodywork will prompt more business motorists to swap their Vauxhall Insignias and Ford Mondeos for the next-generation Superb range, believes Skoda Auto chairman Winfried Vahland.
"We will set a fresh benchmark in space with a design that has more width and styling that will be noticeably more aggressive than our competitors in the volume sector," he told Fleet News
"My plan is that it will come as such a surprise that more people will be attracted to our showrooms to see what we have to offer – and my aim is for this car to win substantial business from the UK market leaders."
In an interview as the company previewed the Spaceback version of its Rapid saloon in Italy, he said the use of lower seating mounts would also contribute to maintaining the class-leading spaciousness of the current Superb (pictured), when the new model is introduced in summer, 2015.
“We intend the styling of this saloon and estate range to come as a surprise that is backed up by a tempting offer of new power units and a raft of advanced technology,” he said.
Vahland confirmed that by 2016, Skoda would be offering a sport utility model as part of its plan to become an ‘active’ volume brand with annual sales of more than one million units.
“It will be based on the Volkswagen Tiguan platform that will be stretched by 100mm to allow us to provide seven seats in a quality SUV that will maintain the value people associate with out brand. And adding this eighth produce line means Skoda will be represented in 85% of car markets across Europe,” he said.
Before they are asked to invest up to £150,000 each in re-branding and facility improvements, UK dealers will go to the company’s headquarters in Mlada Boleslav next month to view prototypes of the Superb and the SUV, plus a range of product enhancements that will include the launch of Monte Carlo versions of the Citigo, Fabia, Spaceback and Yeti ranges next year.
Aimed at promoting a more sporty appearance at relatively low cost, the Monte Carlo package will include upgraded interiors and trims, distinctive wheels and special colour finishes.