Bring up the New Zealand Police department’s new Skoda wheels and you’re likely to get one of two responses. The first is a ‘nice to see them go Euro’, ‘lovely cars’ kind of positive reaction. The second, one that’s been oddly prolific goes along the lines of ‘my car could wipe the floor with one of those things’.
This raised a curious question in the NZ Autocar office; is the new Skoda Superb the definitive fastest car to ever be drafted into police duty in New Zealand?
As previously reported, the Superb will be offered to the police in two variants; a front-wheel drive 162kW model, and an all-wheel drive 206kW model like the one that was on display earlier this month at the Starship Supercar Show.
Both models pair their powertrains to a six-cog DSG dual-clutch transmission, and all up the package tips the scales at around 1600kg. It’s the same engine as that of the previous-generation Volkswagen Golf R, albeit with torque detuned to 350Nm.
Comparing the all-paw Superb to the outgoing Holden ZB Commodore borders on a drubbing in terms of performance. The New Zealand Police only utilised LT-spec Commodores, meaning that they were exclusively front-wheel drive 2.0-litre turbofours. No 3.6-litre V6 here.
The 2.0-litre Commodore can scamper to 100km/h in 7.1 seconds, its power and torque rated at 191lW/350Nm respectively. Despite posting equal torque to the Superb, the power deficit is there to be seen in the acceleration times; the Superb is able to perform the same feat in 5.8 seconds — 1.3-seconds quicker.
But, this isn’t quite enough to cement the Superb’s all-wheel drive TSI as the country’s quickest cop car. It also has to beat the country’s Highway Patrol jiggers that are still in service today; the Holden VF Commodore SV6s.
Issued to the police in a variety of factory Holden colours, including green and orange, the rear-wheel drive VF SV6 was the last Australian car to be given a Kiwi police berth, having been rolled out in 2014.
On paper it’s quite the tussle between the Superb and SV6. The latter’s 3.6-litre brings more power (10kW) and the same torque (350Nm). But, it weighs approximately 100kgs more. This, combined with the Superb’s all-wheel drive shows that in a straight-line race at the lights the Commodore would get pipped.
In the race to 100km/h the SV6 is seven tenths adrift, completing the feat in 6.5 seconds to the Skoda’s 5.8. Around a track? Well, it’s fair to assume that the Skoda will offer more grip while the Commodore’s rear end dances left and right.
At the end of the day without putting both cars on track for an ultimately meaningless comparison, it’s subjective as to which is the quicker car. The bigger takeaway is perhaps to not underestimate these new Czech wagons. They might be a little unassuming on the surface, but under the bonnet is a hot hatch heart.