Without doubt, this is the year of the Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle. They are the hot topic when it comes to vehicle offering and choice. All motor manufacturers are now bringing either a full Electric or Hybrid choice to the market, the latest being Škoda, with the Superb iV, which will retail for €40,350 for the Liftback Ambition model.
The popularity of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles has seen sales doubling in Ireland in the past two years to 11,540 vehicles in 2019. Škoda Ireland has advised customers to place their orders early to avoid disappointment, as availability will be limited to 250 units in 2020.
There are few criticisms of any of the Škoda models. One can confidently say that they deliver across their range, at the top of which is their confidently named Superb, in family Liftback or Combi, debuted to us back in October 2019. Boot space is down from the Internal Combustion Engine variants due to the Lithium -ion batteries - 625- to 485 litres in the Liftback, while the Combi’s space is reduced from 680 - to 510 litres.
Now for 2020, the Superb iV sits on the forecourt as their Plug-in Hybrid variant, with four trim levels to choose from. The Superb iV is powered by an electric motor with a power output of 85kW (115 bhp), giving it a range of 62km on pure electric, as confirmed in the WLTP test cycle.
Driven in E-mode, the Superb iV is a zero-emission vehicle, working silently and efficiently, ideal for short commutes across the urban or city landscapes. The electric motor is paired to a 1.4 TSI petrol engine, producing 115kW (156bhp), which together give up to 930km of range without refuelling. When both power units are working simultaneously, the Superb iV has a combined power output of 160 kW (218 bhp).
Only those with a forensic eye will note the exterior changes on the iV, said nom-de plume on the lower rear, the majority being on the tech side and manifesting itself once on the road. Here, the electric motor provides some serious push, which can be altered via the Driving Mode Select that allows the driver to alter the vehicles driving characteristics and comfort settings by varying the steering, transmission and Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC).
In addition to Sport mode, drivers can also select E-mode and Hybrid mode. In E-mode, the Superb iV is powered entirely by the electric motor. For safety, an E-noise sound generator creates a unique sound to alert pedestrians and cyclists.
In Hybrid mode, both power units work together, and their interplay is automatically controlled electronically. This delivers combined consumption of 1.5 l of petrol per 100 km and 14.0 to 14.5 kWh per 100 km, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 33 to 35 g/km. Annual road tax is €170.
The Hybrid Superb is driven through a six-speed, double-clutch, (DSG), transmission and delivers smooth, peaceful progress, which made my short launch drive virtually one of therapy. Given encouragement, this car can dispose of tarmac with easy enthusiasm, the presence of cruise control and a speed limiter, two folk who should be your best friends.
The lithium-ion battery is built into the chassis floor in front of the rear axle of the Superb iV. It stores the power required for electric drive and also powers the Climatronic air-conditioning system and heating, that can be programmed remotely using the ŠKODA Connect mobile app.
Charging the Superb iV
It can be fully charged in about three and a half hours using the Mode 3 charging cable and a wall box with a charging output of 3.6kW.
· Using the Mode 2 cable together with a standard household three pin plug socket, it is possible to charge the battery in approximately five hours.
· While in motion, the Superb iV can charge its battery or maintain the battery level using regenerative braking and also power from the petrol engine.
Offered in Liftback and Combi, the Superb iV is offered with four specification levels:
3. Sport Line
The standard Superb iV comes with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), as well as the latest MIB infotainment systems, coupled to digital dashboard displays. Prices start from €41,850 (excluding delivery charges and inclusive of government grants).
John Donegan, Brand Director, Škoda Ireland, commented on the Superb iV’s arrival, “Škoda’s electric journey starts today with the Superb iV. The Superb iV offers the best of both worlds. The ability to plug-in and charge at home or work, means commuters in Naas, Drogheda, Navan or Greystones travelling to Dublin daily have the potential to commute, powered entirely by electricity. Plug-in hybrid vehicles offer significant advantages over so-called “self-charging hybrids” including significantly lower CO2 emissions and superior fuel economy.”
Pricing: Škoda Superb iV* Includes €5,000 SEAI Grant and €2,500 VRT Relief