Currently reading: 2020 Seat El-Born: new details revealed for electric hatchback
Seat's version of the Volkswagen ID 3 electric hatchback spotted in updated prototype form, with styling more in line with the Geneva show concept

The Seat El-Born has been pictured undergoing testing, revealing more of the brand's first electric vehicle ahead of its official launch.

The model, named after a fashionable Barcelona neighbourhood, has been updated from prior spy shots with less disguise and a redesigned rear bumper, which more closely matches the dimensions and details seen on the original Geneva motor show concept (below). 

It also appears to gain separate rear light clusters, in place of the full-width strip seen on earlier prototypes, and aerodynamic alloy wheels.

Autocar was told last year that the Geneva concept was 95% production ready, with only a few minor changes coming ahead of production, and that appears to be the case. 

Seat el born plugged into electric mobility 01 hq 1

The El-Born will be the second EV built on the VW Group’s MEB electric architecture to go on sale when it is launched this year, after the Volkswagen ID 3 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 concept featured a 62kWh battery mounted in the skateboard chassis, with an electric motor making 201bhp. Seat claims it will achieve 0-62mph in 7.5sec.

It will be compatible with 100kW DC rapid charging, allowing the battery to be filled from empty to 80% in 47 minutes. The total range is quoted at 261 miles for this concept. It will also feature a thermal management system to maximise range in hot weather. 

The El-Born features a similar hatchback profile to the ID 3 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. 

Seat el born proto spies feb 2020 6


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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 intakes that provide cooling air to the battery pack. 

The A-pillars of the car have been pushed forward to maximise internal space, with the sharp side lines creating an air curtain. The rear of the concept featured an LED light strip across the full width of the tailgate, with a double-layer spoiler contributing to the car's aerodynamic efficiency. 

The interior features a digital instrument display and a 10.0in infotainment touchscreen in a dashboard design that, Seat says, is driver-oriented. 

Seat also says the El-Born will feature "state-of-the-art" driver assistance systems capable of level two autonomy, meaning it can control steering, acceleration and deceleration. A large central bag compartment is located where the transmission tunnel would sit in a regular combustion-engined car. 

The El-Born will be built alongside the ID 3 at Volkswagen’s plant in Zwickau, Germany. The first bespoke electric car from Skoda, Seat's VW Group sibling, will be based on the Vision E concept and also use the MEB platform and similar underpinnings.

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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Onlineo 19 February 2020

Id3 clone

As far as I can tell. This is the vw id3 with different bumpers and lightning. It will be the same size as a new golf.
Dilly 30 September 2019

Looks like an ID3

wait a minute......

That bloke 5 March 2019

If it looks like this, they

If it looks like this, they're going to sell a LOT!