Seat's first bespoke electric car, the el-Born, is on display at the Geneva motor show with a 201bhp motor, a range of up to 261 miles and the promise that it will offer a “sporty” driving experience.
The machine, named after a neighbourhood in Barcelona, will be the second EV built on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric architecture to go on sale when it is launched in 2020, after the Volkswagen ID hatchback. The engineering and powertrain of the two compact models are expected to be closely aligned, with a range of power outputs offered.
The el-Born features a 62kWh battery mounted in the skateboard chassis and Seat claims it will achieve 0-62mph in 7.5sec. It will be compatible with 100kW DC supercharging, allowing the battery to be filled from empty to 80% in 47 minutes. It will also feature a thermal management system to maximise range in hot weather.
The machine features a similar hatchback profile to the ID and styling that showcases what Seat design chief Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos calls “the ultimate translation of our emotional design language into the new world of electrical vehicles”. He added that “we have to make customers fall in love with the idea” of an EV.
Although the el-Born is officially a concept, Autocar understands that it's 95% production ready, with only minor changes expected before it goes on sale next year.
The design features several streamlined areas to boost aerodynamic efficiency, including the Seat logo positioned flush on the front bodywork of the car, above small cooling vents that provide air to the battery pack.
The A-pillar of the car has been pushed forward to maximise internal space, with the sharp side lines creating an air curtain. The rear features an LED light strip that runs the full width of the bootlid, with a double-layer spoiler contributing to the car's aerodynamic efficiency.