Seat has confirmed it will launch its first electric vehicle at Geneva motor show next week.
The Spanish brand has released a darkened image previewing the car, which will be built on the Volkswagen Group MEB platform, a modular architecture to be used on Audi, VW, Skoda and Seat electric models.
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Seat boss Luca de Meo described the concept car as a “project of passion” and said it “shows what can be achieved through the synergy of design, technology and pushing the boundaries to meet the demands of future mobility”.
The at-yet-unnamed EV will be twinned with the 2019 Volkswagen ID hatch, thanks to shared VW Group underpinnings. That platform will also be used by Skoda's first purpose-built electric SUV, which will take inspiration from its Vision E concept.
The image shows a model that is taller than the ID hatch but not as high as a traditional SUV, suggesting it will be a crossover of sorts.
Seat boss Luca de Meo, talking at the reveal of its Minimo urban concept car earlier this week said: “We are the second brand after Volkswagen to use the MEB platform. It shows you our brand positioning and how group management sees the role of Seat.
“Over the past five or six years, we’ve shown that, given the right ingredients, we can cook very well. Just look at [the success of the] Leon.” Design chief Alejandro Mesonero added that the electric concept car was “97% there” in terms of final production design.
The electric hatch will come at the tail end of an aggressive range expansion that will soon see the introduction of the Tarraco SUV, which shares its underpinnings with the Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The electrified range will coincide with a new design direction for Seat. It will begin with the forthcoming fourth-generation Leon, according to design boss Mesonero. He told Autocar last year that the Leon's design would be “a bigger step” than the company has taken since the relaunch of the brand with the current Leon in 2012.
“Sometimes you need to take a bigger step so as not to be obsolete. We’re ready very soon for the next, bolder step in design,” he said.
The new Leon will also introduce the firm's first plug-in hybrid powertrain. No details of the powertrain have been released, but it's expected to be an updated version of the powertrain used in the next-generation Volkswagen Golf GTE.
The next Leon will also get what R&D boss Matthias Rabe has described as "fantastic technology and a fantastic user interface" as part of what insiders suggest will be class-leading infotainment, set to be rolled out across the rest of the range after its introduction.
Seat is also keen to emphasise that it “will remain committed to internal combustion engines” when expanding its plug-in range. It will also offer internal combustion engines fuelled by clean-burning compressed natural gas.