Our sources from Skoda Auto tell us that very soon, Skoda is going to transplant the diesel engines on the Laura and Superb. This is due to the BS IV emission norms that will come into effect from April 1, 2010.
The latest generation CRDI engines which will power the Superb and the Laura are the same engines found on the Volkswagen Passat and the new Jetta.
The outgoing Pump Duse (PD) engines are being phased out as they do not meet the new Bharat Stage IV norms that go into effect in 13 major cities across India.
The Laura and the Superb are currently available with two diesel options: The 1.9 TDI and 2.0TDI. The CRDI powerplant is a 139 BHP motor.
The new CRDI diesel is much more refined and technologically advanced than the outgoing PD engines and will significantly enhance the performance and refinement levels of both the Skoda Laura and of the Superb.
Prices have not been yet announced; but we believe there should be a marginal increase in the prices.
Interestingly many automobile manufacturers are going in for new engines for their vehicles to be ready for the BS-4 norms. Expect more more announcements from various companies and brands about their upcoming changes.
The Skoda Laura petrol 1.8 TSi is not affected by the BS IV norms.
Competitors to the Skoda Laura in India currently include the recently launched Chevrolet Cruze (read our Cruze road test), Honda Civic, Toyota Altis and the VW Jetta.
The Superb has competition in the form of the evergreen Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and the VW Passat.
The VW Passat has had only a diesel engine till now – a petrol TSI engine is coming to the Passat, that offers 160 bhp. The Honda Accord, which is its direct rival, pumps out 177 bhp. The Passat though has a turbocharger, which should give the Passat very strong performance, with a 0-100kph time of under nine seconds.