My how times have changed. When MotorMartin was a boy, ŠKODA was worthy of our ridicule only. Lumped in with Lada they were forever the butt of schoolchildrens’ jokes in playgrounds the length and breadth of the country and beyond. So cruel. With the benefit of hindsight and a greater understanding of the social and political turmoil taking place in the Czech Republic, or Czechoslovakia as it was then, it’s a surprise that ŠKODA managed to produce any cars at all.
The Czech economy had been performing well up until the 1960s but then began to suffer because of new technology in the western world. ŠKODA continued to make new and improved cars – in the form of the Octavia, the Felicia, the MB range and the Rapid – but production really only grew again with the arrival of the Favorit model range in 1987.
ŠKODA have shared with MotorMartin that along with the political changes of 1989, when the Berlin Wall was brought down, also came new market economy conditions. The government of the Czech Republic and the management of ŠKODA began to search for a strong foreign partner in an effort to secure the company’s long term international competitiveness. In perhaps one of the best decisions yet made by ŠKODA, in December 1990, they decided on Volkswagen and a joint venture began the following year. ŠKODA became the fourth brand in the Volkswagen group, alongside Volkswagen, Audi and Seat and it could be argued, have never looked back.
By 2002, ŠKODA had realised that they needed a new, large saloon with which to compete and so the Superb was born. Since 2002, the Superb has been constantly updated with new styling and technology until we find ourselves looking at possibly the most complete vehicle yet to leave the production line.
And now, arriving at MotorMartin Towers comes the news that the ŠKODA Superb could add to its incredible haul of industry accolades as it has qualified for the final of the prestigious 2016 World Car of the Year title.
ŠKODA are rightly proud to announce that the all-new Superb’s inclusion on the World Car of the Year award 10-car finalist list marks only the second time a ŠKODA has been included in the latter stages of the judging process. It was back in 2014 when the Octavia managed the same feat.
Since its introduction to the modern era line-up in 2001, ŠKODA’s flagship model has become the benchmark car for space and comfort, with no other sector rival able to match its passenger and load carrying ability as well as its quite amazing mix of brand new technology and value for money. This is a car that encompasses MotorMartin’s ‘real life’ motoring in the flesh. The all-new version builds on this legacy, with improvements in all key areas.
As befits a car at the top of the ŠKODA range, the new Superb is brimming with the latest technology and ŠKODA’s acclaimed Simply Clever features. It is also considerably more efficient thanks to a new range of turbocharged engines that deliver exceptional fuel economy and low CO2 emissions and a kerbweight up to 75kg lighter than its predecessor. Amazing.
With the modern consumer being far more aware of what makes a great, safe vehicle, the Superb also excels on the safety front and is available with Blind spot detection; Rear traffic alert, third-generation Park assist and Traffic jam assist. All of which show ŠKODA’s continued commitment to making cars that are not only Superb to drive but also include all the modern safety features that you would expect from a top of the range saloon.
Publicly unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, the Superb went on sale in the UK in both Hatchback and Estate forms last September. Prices start from a quite unbelievable £18,640.
Commenting to MotorMartin on the 2016 World Car of the Year qualification, Duncan Movassaghi, Brand Director for ŠKODA UK said: “We regard the new Superb as the most advanced car we’ve ever built and the start of a new chapter in ŠKODA design. To be recognised by the World Car of the Year jury is a great boost to the team responsible for creating such a remarkable car.”
The World Car of the Year is one of the world’s most prestigious and coveted car awards, and has been running since 2005. The panel currently comprises 73 motoring journalists from around the world. The top three finalists will be announced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday March 1st, with the overall winner named at a prize-giving ceremony at the New York Internatonal Auto Show on Thursday March 24th.
It just remains to say a MotorMartin well done to all at ŠKODA for their amazing work on designing, building and completing their most advances car yet and MotorMartin can’t wait to see what they can come up with next.
Where will you go?