What is it?
Remember when plug-in hybrids used to be expensive? I know, I know; they still very much are for the most part. But this year we should see one or two new PHEV arrivals begin to change that – and the first is this, the first ultra-low-carbon, plug-in machine of any kind to be built by Czech value champions Skoda.
The Superb iV is one half of a duo of electrified Skodas that's emerging right now onto UK roads – the other half being the Citigo iV all-electric city car. There will be eight more ‘iV’-badged models along over the next three years, which combined are the upshot of a €2bn investment. And while it may be a little confusing that the firm has elected to brand its plug-in hybrid and all-electric wares alike, we can be assured – apparently – that all of them will bring new value appeal to a market for electrified new cars that's now set to become very much more competitive and diverse very quickly indeed.
The new petrol-electric Superb certainly kicks things off in that direction. Priced from a whisker under £32,000, it’s some 20 per cent cheaper than the entry-point for sales of the BMW 330e, and has a 15 per cent advantage over the related VW Passat GTE. The latter comparison is particularly interesting in light of the fact that the car uses the same hybrid powertrain (which mates a 154bhp 1.4-litre TSI engine with a six-speed twin-clutch gearbox and a 114bhp electric motor) as the Passat, and has the same 13kWh lithium-ion drive battery.