Friday 20 July 2018

Seat revamp to add new Leon

The venerable Seat Leon (above) will be replaced by a new generation which will come with two variants and is earmarked for arrival next year.
The venerable Seat Leon (above) will be replaced by a new generation which will come with two variants and is earmarked for arrival next year.

Martin Brennan

Hot on the heels of VW saying it will have 19 SUVs on sale worldwide in the next two years - accounting for 40pc of its sales - Seat, the Spanish arm of the global company, is planning its own offensive.

Seat is to launch a new car every six months to 2020 with a zero-emission EV in the pack with a claimed range of 500km (310 miles).

The first new vehicles will be the Tarraco, a large SUV with new Seat design features, clamshell bonnet, a new grille and LED lights front and rear. Some interior design features in the dash area will be similar to the Skoda Kodiaq. Another early arrival will be a performance model, the Cupra Ateca. Both should be in the showrooms by the end of the year.

Also on the way is a new generation Leon which will come with two variants and is earmarked for arrival next year. It will have the option of plug-in hybrid technology and there will also be a fully electric version with 500km capability and boasting advanced connectivity and infotainment systems and up to level 2 autonomous driving capability by 2020. It will be based on the next generation Leon platform with a low roofline. It may be badged as a Seat as well as the standalone high performance Cupra brand launched by Seat in January.

The industry is awash with SUV and Crossover vehicles of all sizes and Seat is promising more brands and sub-brands as well as replacement models, new engines and new energy sources. An Arona TGI will be launched this year which will see the arrival of the only SUV in the world powered by natural gas, Seat claim. The majority of models in the Seat line-up are less than three years old because of increased investment in developing manufacturing facilities.

The company has plans to enter three new segments of the market as this is a VW policy now to cover every angle in the booming SUV/Crossover segment. VW has a T-Cross, based on the new Polo to come in under the recently launched T-Roc. So expect to see Seat in this market also next year to compete with the likes of Suzuki which is planning a new Jimmy, Nissan's new Juke, the DS3 with a new Crossback, a new Mercedes Benz GLA, based on the A-Class, and Skoda, never one to be left out, will arrive with its smallest Crossover which will come in under the Karoq.

Sunday Independent

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