When you want to be fast on a rally stage, you need to find the right rhythm. It’s much like dancing. You can have your dance steps rehearsed perfectly and be wearing the prettiest dress in the room, but if you are not in sync with the rhythm of the music, all your effort is for nothing.
In rally, you have to find the proper rhythm of the stage’s corners, or you can never post a good time. This means you have to start turning at the exactly right moment so that you slide right to the apex and are able to switch the car from one corner to the next in the S-bends. On snow, the proper rhythm is even more important. The moment you lose it you can see the exact spot in the snowbank - tens or hundreds of meters ahead of you - where you are going to stick your car’s nose or land sideways. Even on studded tyres, snow has a lot less grip than gravel, which means that the car’s transverse moves have more momentum. Catching the right rhythm is, of course, easier in a competitive car with properly tuned suspension and, most of all, good balance. If you don’t like driving with your helmet on, then the ŠKODA SUPERB SPORTLINE 2.0 TSI 4x4 may be the car for you.
Long wheelbase and excellent four-wheel drive
The excellent weight balance is one of the greatest advantages of the ŠKODA SUPERB. From the driver’s point of view, we can say that good balance counts among the Simply Clever solutions which are typical of ŠKODA cars. In this case, the rear overhang contains more than just an unusually large luggage compartment. The balance is also helped by the rear wheel drive mechanism with multi-plate clutch, mounted above the rear differential, in the exact spot where the FABIA Rally2 evo has the element disconnecting the rear wheel drive when the handbrake is engaged. The momentum of the heavier rear end is quite noticeable when driving on snow, and when entering a corner, the easily predictable movement of the rear will help you steer the car into the arc.
The all-wheel drive is perfectly complemented by the ESC Sport mode. You can feel that its actions have been carefully set for the SUPERB to show you the fun of driving, while staying on the safe side. On sweeping snowy corners, the car is able to drive in a controlled drift, similarly to the FABIA Rally2. The electronic stability control constantly evaluates the driving dynamics and your driving style. Based on the driver’s input and the accelerator pedal position, it can tell whether you really are in full control of the car. If it thinks that’s not the case, it can brake individual wheels, varying the torque split to return the car to a stable state. If you are smooth with your controls, however, it will allow you to do nice, long drifts that many a rally driver would be proud of.
The excellent handling is also helped by the 15 mm reduction in the ride height, which is standard for the SPORTLINE version. After a few impressive slides, all you need to do is to reactivate the electronic stability control by pushing the ESC button and the SUPERB returns to being an unusually practical and comfortably family car.
Two-litres of muscle under the hood
The dynamic character of the 2.0 TSI engine stands out among the SUPERB’s powertrain options. A power of 200 kW allows it to reach 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds and propels the car to its top speed of 250 km/h. It is, by the way, just 14 kW less than what’s under the hood of the FABIA Rally2 evo rallycar. Drivers will be delighted by immediate, intensive response of the engine and its great flexibility in the low- and mid-rpm range. On snow, it is able to break the traction of all four wheels even in higher gears without needing to downshift.
The engine is also surprisingly frugal for its power, able to easily keep to around 7 l/100 km when driving normally. The 2.0 TSI and all-wheel-drive represent the ideal combination for all driving enthusiasts.
Generous equipment on par with cars of upper classes
Besides driving fun, the ŠKODA SUPERB now sports several new features after last year’s facelift, which include the Full LED Matrix headlights. The SUPERB is the first production ŠKODA with this technology available as an option. The light beam of the LED Matrix headlights consists of several independently controlled segments. This makes it possible to have high-beams always on without dazzling other drivers. The camera under the windshield, coupled with intelligent technology, detects cars ahead and approaching in the opposite direction, as well as persons and objects with reflective elements. The headlights may not be as powerful as the light ramp of the FABIA Rally2, but their price is a lot lower than rallycar headlights.
Besides full LED Matrix headlights, the modernized ŠKODA SUPERB offers many other innovative driving assist systems to help the driver. Some of them have come to this class from cars in higher classes. For the first time in a production ŠKODA, the SUPERB is equipped with predictive adaptive cruise control, and there is a new Emergency Assist for multi-lane roads.