Separate to EV model also planned for 2020 launch, the crossover could be powered by a performance plug-in hybrid system
Julian Rendell
22 March 2018

A range-topping Cupra version of Seat's new 2020 crossover is likely to be a performance plug-in hybrid with output in excess of 300bhp.

The crossover will become Seat and Cupra's flagship model and is separate to the battery EV model also planned for a 2020 launch.

Plug-in Seat Leon due in 2019 before launch of first stand-alone EV model

Based on the next-generation Leon platform, itself a version of the Volkswagen Group's MQB underpinnings, the car has been designed with a low roofline and "exciting styling".

"The crossover was first designed as a Cupra, but we will also sell it as a Seat, because we need the volume to make the project viable," said Seat boss Luca de Meo.

Seat technical chief Matthias Rabe said new plug-in hybrid powertrains – the first of which is due in the new Leon in 2019 – would be configured with several 'system' powers (describing the combined output of the internal combustion engine and electric motor).

Cooking versions of the plug-in hybrid will have total outputs of around 200bhp, but performance versions will be even more potent.

"I don’t want to say exactly, but more than 300bhp maybe,” said R&D boss Matthias Rabe.

Such an output would make the range-topping version of the crossover more potent than the recently revealed Cupra Ateca. That car is powered by a 296bhp version of the VW Group’s EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and can reach 62mph in 5.4sec.

However, de Meo added that, by the time the Cupra crossover is launched, outright horsepower may not be the main marketing and performance benchmark.

"We are looking at badges and names. But you know 0-60mph or acceleration may be a better measure," he pointed out.

The Cupra brand was officially launched at the end of January and it introduced its first model, the Ateca, at the start of this month. The stand-alone performance division has also previewed a hot version of the Ibiza in concept form, as well as a concept all-electric racing model based on the Leon called the e-Racer.

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Our Verdict

Seat Ibiza

A model upon which Seat has staked its future, the new Ibiza must now deliver in an extremely competitive market. So can the supermini upset the likes of Ford, Mini, Mazda, Nissan and others?

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Comments
1

22 March 2018

If VAG actually manages to sell any then at least we can laugh at the hilarious badge.

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