Living up to its Name
The Superb is a unique car the way it is positioned in the Indian market. It is the understated luxury car of choice for those who do not want a Mercedes, Audi or BMW. You see, cars like the Audi A3 and Mercedes CLA are aimed at people who don’t mind a small car for the price as long as it wears a premium badge on the bonnet. The Superb is quite the opposite. You spend the same money as an Audi A3, but what you get is something with the creature comforts of an Audi A6. And it doesn’t attract the same kind of attention which is perfect if you are the sort of person who doesn’t want to flaunt your wealth.
The car we have may very well be the first tuned B8 Superb in the country. It is not fitting for a car of this class to slap on an aftermarket body kit or some racing style wheels; so the restraint that has been executed in this one, deserves special mention. It hasn’t lost any of the understated elegance it naturally comes with, while the mods ensure it oozes tonnes of street cred at car meets.
This black beauty belongs to Shemil from Kannur whose X5 with M kit was on our cover a couple of issues back. Most of the cosmetic work and the suspension were done from Lap 47 while the performance side was taken care of by Red Band Racing in association with Tune-o-tronics.
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The New Superb based on the MQB platform is 28mm longer, 47mm wider and has a wheelbase that has grown by a significant 80mm. It is also 75kg lighter than the earlier model and looks much sleeker thanks to better proportions. There are beautiful crystalline details inside the headlamps that pay homage to the ancient Czech glass making industry. There are subtle chrome embellishments throughout, but none too excessive. It is one elegant and timeless design that will appeal to everyone. The chrome wheels once did duty in Shemil’s Audi TT and were the ideal replacements for the OE wheels the Superb came with. They offer the perfect stance and look just right without erring on the bling side.
The interiors are left stock and about as lavish as you would get for this price. The front seats have 12 way adjustment and hold you well in the corners. The rear seats have Mercedes S class – rivalling legroom and a suitably sloped floor for that perfect seating posture. It is a little short on headroom compared to the old Superb and twin-door boot mechanism is gone too. It still offers a whopping 620 litres of cargo space.
The 2.0 litre diesel with 174bhp and 350N-m comes only as an automatic but this is the more reliable 6 speed twin clutch automatic. Refinement levels are fairly adequate and this engine has always been a willing performer. It has great low end torque and is quite at home in the city where the gearbox is eager to shift up to higher gears quite fast. Press hard on the accelerator pedal and you can often see the traction control light coming on. It revs up to 5000rpm and with the remap, it just darts forward. There is enough performance to worry some big capacity German diesels. The 6 speed box isn’t quick to deliver downshifts as the 7 speed one in the petrol variant, but it doesn’t stand in the way of driving pleasure.
At nearly 5 metres long this 1500kg car isn’t one you’d buy to derive driving pleasure out of, but the new Superb feels surprisingly light around its feet. With KW suspension, it begs to be hurled into corners. It feels as nimble as smaller Octavia and manages to stay focused and neutral. The front MacPherson and rear multi-link setup is common to all models, unlike the Octavia which gets an inferior non-independent rear setup for the diesel. Steering lacks feel, but is quite precise and the brakes have good bite.Shemil has no big plans for the Superb now than to use it as his daily. He enjoys driving the Superb as much as his other car, which includes a GLA45 AMG. If ever he had a complaint, it is with the roads in his area. He says the lowering is a bit too much for the speedbreakers and plans to raise it a bit after our photoshoot. Glad we got to capture it at its best.
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