First ever Skoda Superb vRS: new performance flagship is coming to top the range

The plug-in hybrid-powered Skoda Superb vRS is likely to be available in saloon and estate form, and our exclusive images preview how both models could look

Skoda could be teeing up a hot vRS version of its Superb saloon and Estate, Auto Express can exclusively reveal.

Asked at the unveiling of the new Superb in Prague last month whether a Skoda Superb vRS model was on the cards, to compete with hot saloons and estates from rivals such as Mercedes, BMW and Audi, boss Klaus Zellmer said, “I couldn’t agree more. Let’s see. We have not announced anything, but I think your arguments are valid.”

Despite the success of the vRS badge on models like the Fabia, Octavia and Kodiaq – as well as, more recently, on the all-electric Enyaq SUV – Skoda has never built a Superb vRS. The previous generation of the family car could be ordered with a 276bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, but the Czech manufacturer always refrained from giving it the full-fat vRS treatment.

While details of the new Superb vRS have still to be confirmed, it’s possible we’ll see the car inherit the punchiest 268bhp plug-in hybrid set-up from its Volkswagen Passat sister car. At launch, the standard Superb will be offered with a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in powertrains, the most powerful of which will be a 201bhp PHEV, or 262bhp 2.0-litre petrol.

Although the focus of a plug-in hybrid vRS model is likely to be on increasing performance, there will be strong tax incentives to benefit owners, with the big 19.7kWh battery allowing the car to travel up to 62 miles in EV mode.

Our exclusive images show how a new Superb vRS might look, giving Skoda’s Modern Solid design language a sporty twist – across both hatchback and Estate bodystyles. Expect traditional vRS colours, such as Race Blue and Velvet Red, to be offered with a blacked-out grille and door mirrors, plus a deeper front bumper with larger air intakes.

Bigger wheels with red brake callipers, plus a small bootlid spoiler should complete the subtle exterior makeover, while the interior will likely get sports seats, subtle vRS badging and coloured stitching across the dash, doors and seats.

Tech will get a boost in the new Superb, with a 13-inch touchscreen sitting proud of the dash alongside a set of 10-inch virtual cockpit digital dials – both of which will also get a vRS makeover. And as befits a top-of-the-range model, the latest selection of safety and driver-assistance features should all be present and correct.

Although rival brands are in the midst of a power race with their hot saloons and wagons, this isn’t something that Zellmer agrees with. “Horsepower is probably going down in its importance a little bit,” he said.

“They’re all super-fast, but top speed is not really that relevant to [Skoda’s] user profile, so let’s see. I think that what I’m saying is that there are now more aspects that actually influence your buying decision than what we used to say – acceleration, 0-100kph and the like.

“I think this is changing going forward. There are more important aspects,” he told us. “It will be more about efficiency, sustainability in the car materials that you use, decarbonisation throughout the whole value chain. People want to be more responsible about the planet and climate.”

With the new Superb likely to be with its first buyers towards the middle of next year, we wouldn’t expect to see a vRS until much later, with a possible 2025 on-sale date. Prices should start from around £50,000.

Click here for our list of the best performance cars on sale right now...

Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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