The new Skoda Superb is more than ever the twin brother of the Volkswagen Passat. This was also the case with the first modern Skoda Superb, and even then it was not the case with Volkswagen, but Skoda was actually the starting point.
Have you seen the new Skoda Superb yet? Even if you missed our article on that car, the answer may be yes. The new Skoda Superb is largely identical to the new Volkswagen Passat as well, although the latter is only available as a variant while the Skoda is available in two guises. Although the Passat came before, Skoda influences are clearly visible throughout the car. For example, just like the previous Superb, the Superb is very spacious, the new Superb looks quite similar to the previous one, and the Passat has typical Skoda features such as a sunshade in the door and a funnel built into the windshield washer reservoir. “Simply clever,” remember?
It is known that the first modern Skoda Superb (there was also a Superb in the 1930s) had a lot in common with the Passat of that time. The Skoda Superb appeared in 2001, the year Volkswagen launched a heavily modified version of the Passat B5. The Passat B5.5 and Skoda Superb also looked very similar, but there were differences too. Shortly after the turn of the century, it was not Volkswagen, but Skoda that offered only one body style. The first Superb was a sedan, but it was about 10 centimeters longer than the Passat sedan on which it was based. It shared its platform with a longer version of the Passat B5, the Passat L, which was only delivered in China.
Partly for this reason, it is often believed that the Skoda Superb was actually Skoda’s version of the extended Passat, but strictly speaking this is not the case. The Chinese Passat stretch, just like the European Passat sedan, had an additional window behind the tailgate, while in Skoda this fixed glass was built into the door itself. This has serious consequences for the car’s body, which has a completely different rear window pattern due to the different tailgate and missing window. To further differentiate, Skoda has also installed a different front and rear fascia, with different headlights and taillights that, like the hatch, extend further downward than on the Passat of the same year.
Then came 2005 and Volkswagen’s Chinese branch thought it was time to replace the B5 L version of the Passat. The successor was called the Volkswagen Passat Linggio and was actually a “renamed” version of our Skoda Superb. So it had the same bodywork as the car, including the “alternate” tailgate. The front of the Lingyu also clearly shows that Skoda served as the basis here, because Volkswagen used the same headlights and only made limited modifications to the hood and grille. Just as in 2023, the starting point was actually not Volkswagen, but Skoda, albeit of course on the Volkswagen platform and with Volkswagen technology.
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