Seat shocked Madrid show-goers last week with this Toledo Prototipo concept. The car itself wasn’t a jaw-dropper, but the fact that it will go into production virtually unchanged marks a shift in strategy for the Spanish firm.
‘There will be no more conventional hatches or saloons for Europe,’ said Steve Lewis, Seat’s chief designer. That means the company is looking to follow the move mooted by Nissan bosses, who feel the market for a traditional Almera replacement is shrinking too fast to be economically viable.
‘We are entering into controversial styling, we want to be unconventional,’ said Lewis. ‘The Altea was the first step, this is the second, and there are more to come.’
By that, he means the next-generation Seat Leon, which will evolve into a sporty four-door version of the 2001 Salsa concept and become the third and final Seat car spun off VW’s PQ35 platform, as used by the new Golf. ‘The Leon will still be a shock,’ said Lewis at the launch of the Altea concept last year. ‘It will be a car with the potential to lead its class. From a styling point of view it will be ahead of the competition, in terms of the radical sporty looks that are not expected in that class.’