Skoda has whipped the covers off a ruggedised version of its large Superb wagon for the first time in Australia.
Known as the Superb Scout, it’s based on the mid-grade Sportline and sports a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 200kW and 350Nm, which is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox.
In a first for both Skoda and the Volkswagen brand, the Superb’s EA888 engine is fitted with a petrol particulate filter, which is designed to decrease emissions at the tailpipe. It drops six kilowatts of power as a result, and a steady diet of 95 RON fuel or better is mandatory, rather than advised.
This is down to the poor quality of Australian petrol, which is burdened with the highest sulfur count of any fuel in the developed world at 50 parts per million (PPF).
“This particulate filter can withstand petrol with 50 parts per million of sulfur, but it must be understood that these cars can run only on premium unleaded,” says Skoda Australia’s managing director Michael Irmer.
“While that’s also true of all our non-filtered petrol cars, which will not run to their full capability on basic unleaded petrol, ‘underfuelling’ accidentally or to save money at the pump will rapidly require the costly replacement of the filter.”
Mr Irmer said the brand will try and source engines for its cars that are not fitted with the PPF, but points out that better quality fuel would mitigate any risks.
“Our view is that all motorists would benefit by the immediate introduction of a higher quality petrol - as used in most first world countries - with less than 10ppm in place of current ‘Premium’,” he said.
The Superb Scout differs from its Sportline brethren by way of a 15mm lift in its suspension, an additional offroad mode in its driver-adjustable settings and underbody protection for the engine and gearbox.
It boasts a long list of standard inclusions like a digital dashboard, a Canton stereo linked to an Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatible multimedia system, leather upholstery, heated seats front and rear, a heated steering wheel, nine airbags, AEB with city assist and pedestrian detection, inductive phone charging, electric tailgate, 18-inch alloys and LED exterior lighting.
The Skoda Superb Scout is only available in a single grade, priced at $59,490 plus on-road costs with the only options being metallic paint at $770, Velvet red paint for $1100, the Tangerine paint as pictured above at $1700, and a panoramic sunroof for $1900.