Here is the first glimpse of next year’s Skoda Superb, the firm’s new flagship that aims to sell more than 100,000 units per year.
A handful of journalists from all over the world were granted access to part of the Superb’s pre-production testing programme in a remote part of Portugal, where Skoda revealed the first details of the new car and allowed an exclusive peek at the finished styling - although no photos were allowed.
Behind the camouflage it has much stronger lines than before, with heavily pronounced bonnet folds and side skirts. Its proportions are just about perfect and it hides its size impeccably, thanks in part to a C-pillar that extends further back towards the rear of the tailgate.
While the overall length is little-changed, the new car is significantly wider - 47mm at the front and 54mm at the rear - with an 80mm longer wheelbase. On top-spec models, up to 19-inch wheels that are 30mm wider help to fully fill the wheel arches for bolder stance.
Professor Doctor Winfried Vahland, Skoda CEO, spoke as the car’s covers were removed: “To put it in football terms, we are entering the Champions League.”
The company claims it has double the rear legroom of the new Ford Mondeo, and the largest boot in its class at 625 litres. More than 1,700 litres are opened up by folding the rear seats down - a one-handed task.
New technology is set to be a defining factor for the 2015 Superb, with luxuries like tri-zone climate control, genuinely effective drive mode options and even the facility to mount a tablet device in the rear of the car to allow direct control of the navigation and audio systems.
Over the course of its five- to seven-year expected lifespan Skoda wants the car to sell more than both the last two versions put together; a target of more than 700,000 units.
It will go on sale in the UK in the summer with the first deliveries in September.