Skoda Superb iV plug-in hybrid production begins

Production of the Skoda Superb iV PHEV has started ahead of the car's launch in 2020

The Skoda Superb iV plug-in hybrid has entered production at the firm's plant in Kvasiny in the Czech Republic, with the car set to launch in 2020.

The Czech manufacturer has spent €12 million (around £10.6 million) upgrading the facility to produce electrified vehicles: it has the capacity to build 60 Superb iVs per day, alongside the internal-combustion-engined versions of the car.

The Skoda Superb iV plug-in hybrid was announced earlier this year as part of a mid-life model facelift for the model; it's the first time the big saloon has been offered with an electrified powertrain.

The Superb iV will use the same technology as the latest Volkswagen Passat GTE: a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine plus a gearbox-mounted electric motor. Together they generate 215bhp, with power for the motor coming from a 13kWh battery.

An electric range of 35 miles is promised, as well as official CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km. This should deliver rock-bottom company-car costs and free access to the London Congestion Charge zone until October 2021.

Economy figures haven't been confirmed yet, but Skoda says the Superb iV will be able to travel nearly 530 miles on a tank of fuel.

The Superb has welcomed a series of visual updates, with new LED matrix headlights, a refreshed front grille, a new front bumper design, revised rear lights and strip of chrome trim along the bootlid. Modern digital gauges and infotainment screens can be found inside.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain will not form a standalone variant of the Superb; instead it'll be offered as an engine option alongside petrol and diesel in various trim levels.

Alongside the PHEV setup, the line-up will encompass three petrol and three diesel engines, with the former offering outputs between 148 and 268bhp and the latter between 118 and 188bhp.

As is customary with Volkswagen Group cars, six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG automatic gearboxes will be offered.