A new generation Skoda Superb is currently under development and we have new spy photos showing an early test mule. What you see in the gallery below is a prototype of the brand’s next-gen flagship model riding with the body of the outgoing Superb. There’s a solid amount of camouflage covering the front end, though there are already things worth talking about.

First and foremost, this prototype confirms the new Superb will be available as a sedan or, rather, a large liftback, which will join the Superb wagon spied in October last year. As a reminder, the Volkswagen Passat, which will share its underpinnings with the new Superb, will be sold exclusively as a station wagon. Both Volkswagen Group D-segment models will be built on the assembly line at the revamped Bratislava plant in Slovakia, which means the Superb won’t be made in the Czech Republic and the Passat won’t be assembled in Germany anymore.

Gallery: Next-gen Skoda Superb mule spy photos

Back to this prototype, we can’t tell much about the design of the new Superb based on the trial car alone as it is obviously featuring the body of the current-gen model. The camouflaged front end could give some hints at the new design language of the vehicle with its more angular front bumper, though, again, with so much disguise on, it’s virtually impossible to predict the look of the Superb. However, Skoda's Exterior Design Coordinator Petr Matušinec released early design sketches of the car last year, which hinted at an evolutionary design influenced by the current Octavia.

This is likely the last generation Superb that will be available with combustion engines. A range of mild-hybrid gas and diesel mills is expected, as well as two plug-in hybrid versions. While the brand’s CEO Thomas Schäfer said last year that PHEVs are not the future, a PHEV setup still makes sense in the Octavia and Superb for fleets. The next-gen Passat is rumored to be available only with an automatic gearbox, which likely means the new Superb will also lose its clutch pedal.

The Superb and Passat will face a weakened competition in Europe’s D-segment as the Ford Mondeo, Citroen C5, Opel Insignia, and others have already been or will soon be discontinued. Their successors will be positioned as SUV-like models with lifted suspension and a more rugged appearance, while the Superb and Passat are expected to retain their classic D-segment look.

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