New Skoda Superb vRS to bring performance focus to family favourite

Skoda is set to give the Superb the vRS treatment – we preview its looks and performance

  • First ever Skoda Superb vRS
  • Bespoke sporty styling
  • Possible plug-in hybrid option

We first laid eyes upon the all-new Skoda Superb at the end of last year, and the Czech carmaker has suggested that a sportier, Superb vRS model is in the works. When asked about a Superb vRS, CEO Klaus Zellmer said, “I couldn’t agree more. Let’s see. We have not announced anything, but I think your arguments are valid.” We’ve driven other Skodas that have undergone the vRS treatment, from the excellent Octavia vRS to the new all-electric Enyaq vRS, but this is the first time that the badge will have been applied to the Superb.

The Skoda Superb is the brand’s largest non-SUV, first appearing in 2001 as a saloon based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Passat and Audi A4. It’s marginally grown over the past 23 years, spawning an estate variant in 2009, but the connection to other VW Group cars remains – the all-new model shares its platform and various engines with the latest Volkswagen Passat.

What can we expect from the Skoda Superb vRS?

Up until now, the most powerful Skoda Superb was the previous-generation model equipped with the 276bhp four-cylinder petrol engine. The all-new model hasn’t been able to top this figure so far, with a 261bhp two-litre petrol engine currently sitting at the top of the range. 

However, we expect the new flagship vRS model to surpass this figure, perhaps nudging above the 300bhp barrier for the first time in the Superb’s history. Looking at its Passat sibling, it's possible that the sporty Superb could use that model’s plug-in hybrid setup. In the Volkswagen this engine produces 268bhp, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Skoda’s engineers dial up the power for a vRS model. 

Whichever engine finds its way into the Superb vRS, we expect a host of chassis and suspension upgrades to improve its handling over the regular model. If it drives anything like its smaller sibling, the Octavia vRS, then it should be a hoot to pilot along a B-road while not compromising on comfort too much.

The manual gearbox was dropped entirely for this new generation of Superb – the DSG automatic is now standard across all models. The Superb vRS will use the same automatic gearbox, possibly sending power to all four wheels as previous top-spec Superbs have done.

Best estate cars 2024Top 10 best estate cars 2024

It won’t all be about speed for the new Superb vRS, however. When discussing the relevance of top speed and acceleration for Skoda’s sporty cars, Zellmer said, “there are more important aspects. 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.”

Externally, the Superb vRS is likely to receive more aggressive styling all around, with unique bumper and wheel designs. Our exclusive renders preview this sportier look, in both saloon and estate bodystyles. In line with other vRS models, we expect chrome trim pieces to be swapped for black items, larger air intakes and all-important red brake callipers.

The new Superb debuted with an entirely overhauled interior, complete with a 13-inch infotainment screen and 10-inch digital driver’s display. As the vRS model will sit at the top of the Superb range, we expect it to come with all the bells and whistles, from heated seats to LED matrix headlights.

We’re still waiting for the new Superb to reach UK showrooms, so it looks like we’ll have to hang on until 2025 for the arrival of the vRS model. A starting price of around £50,000 is likely.

In the meantime, why not read our list of the top 8 best hybrid performance cars…

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