Future Skoda models will flesh out the brand’s reputation for practicality by offering more interior and luggage space than the opposition.
Dr Frank Welsch, Skoda’s board member for technical development, told Autocar that the new Fabia and other future models would “deliver on the company’s brand values of roominess at a reasonable price”.
Welsch said the next-generation Superb “would have a longer wheelbase than the new Volkswagen Passat” while still “being under 5m long”. The new Superb will be unveiled in “less than six months”, Welsch revealed.
The new Fabia is part of the trend, offering class-leading boot space while still being just 4m long. “The Rapid is 4.3m long and the Octavia 4.6m long, so you can see how the Superb will slot in at the top of the range,” said Welsch.
He also hinted that the replacement for today’s 4.2m-long Yeti would probably be stretched by about 10cm to improve rear legroom and luggage space. Although Welch didn’t refer to Skoda’s upcoming large SUV, it is likely to be based on the same version of VW’s MQB architecture as the next Superb.
“Switching to using the MQB architecture does not restrict Skoda,” Welsch said . It allows us more flexibility to build specific cars. If we are going to have strong brands [in the VW Group] we can’t just use the same platforms. We need to stick to our own philosophy and serve our own customers.” He added that differentiation would be further extended for Skoda models sold in China.
In Europe, estate cars produce significant sales volume for Skoda. In the UK, current Superb sales are still split 50/50 between the estate and notchback, while the Octavia splits 55/45 between the hatchback and the estate.
Welsch confirmed that there would not be a vRS version of the new Fabia due to profitability concerns. Although the previous Fabia vRS sold well in the UK, it had not made the same impact across the rest of Europe.
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