We take a tour of Seat's car collection, which is brimming with classic models, modern concepts and glimpses into the history of the Spanish car maker

Like all car makers, Seat has a collection of its most significant vehicles, from production cars and concepts to competition models.

However, the Spanish manufacturer does not have a museum that is accessible to the public, so some real gems and curios are currently hidden from view. 

On Autocar’s recent trip to Barcelona to drive a fleet of historic Ibiza models, the company allowed us into a factory warehouse for a brief walk around the collection. 

Aside from examples of the rebadged Fiat models that the company made for many years, there are also a number of concept cars which neatly show how Seat tried to reinvent itself as a standalone company by developing unique models with their own character while leveraging Volkswagen Group technology.

One of the most intriguing of the preserved models is the 1990 Seat Proto C, which was created by ItalDesign. This neat, Polo-size one-box car was quite a way ahead of its time, being a spacious and slippery one-box shape. It was probably the inspiration for the later Salsa concept, which failed to be translated into a convincing production car. 

Take a look through the gallery above and pick your top Seat model.

Our Verdict

Seat Ibiza

The Seat Ibiza is good looking, well-priced and spacious supermini that doesn’t quite live up to Seat’s sporty image

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16 May 2014
But presumably VW was the unwilling partner. Where would Seat be now if the suits on Wolfsburg had agreed to dance? Probably not suffering such an identity crisis. Anyway it still looks great, had the perfect name and there's still a small sportscar-sized gap in VAG's portfolio. But based on the timelag getting a Seat SUV into production, a two-seater will never appear now.

16 May 2014
SEAT always seems to be the poor relation of the VW Group. I can't help feeling that if the company was given a free reign and allowed to produce some of these concepts, it might have become the Spanish Alfa Romeo it was intended to be.
I've always associated SEAT with the company that produced old Fiats, but these hidden museum pieces show that there is so much more to this company than this popular image.

16 May 2014
Anymore details on the GT racer? I didn't even know it existed!

16 May 2014
All these coupe and roadster concepts show where SEAT should be!
Should be building these sporty cars.
Unfortunately VW wont let them in case they steal sales of the Sirocco, A5, Eos, TT, CC etc. - THAT, Autocar commentators, is why VW should NEVER be allowed to own Alfa Romeo.

16 May 2014
I loved the SEAT Tango when that first appeared and always hoped it would be put into production. Unfortunately this was never to be.

Then VW released their BlueSport Roadster and again was hoping that this would make it to production...

I hate the way the VW group tease us with these small roadsters but never put them into production, such a wasted opportunity.

16 May 2014
Lots of great stuff here and reminders of how VW has held Seat back by not letting it produce some of its many great concepts (Salsa, Tango etc) consigning it to making bread n butter cars only with no halo models or fun cars to attract people to the brand. Hope VW's not wondering why Seat continues not to do very well, when the answer is so obvious. Seems especially stupid since VW have made every other brand theyve bought very sucessful.

16 May 2014
Never really understood Seat's identity, and seeing these cars confirms why. Until very recently they've never had their own 'look', just slightly tweaked Fiats, or VWs. The odd concept in the 90's went towards the amorphous blobby look, but then went nowhere.
Still, does show how cool a lot of Fiat's output was in the 70s-80s!

16 May 2014
Are you still living in the 80's? Did it take you 3 hours to get a dial up connection only to write a stupid comment? Giorgetto Giugiaro designed all Seat's cars since VW bought a majority stake in the brand in the 90's up until the mk 1 Leon, then Walter D'Silva designed for the brand and (introduced the brand character line) up until 2007 when Luc Donkerwalk (who designed the Gallardo) took over up untill recently. Seat design better looking cars than Fiat and VW put together and they have a unique look imo and have rocketed forward in terms of design and technology. Fiat seem to be stuck in history these days with an aging Punto, the 500 and Panda,

19 May 2014
3mocion wrote:

Seat design better looking cars than Fiat and VW put together and they have a unique look imo and have rocketed forward in terms of design and technology.

Irrespective of the designer, i still don't think they've figured out their brand identity. Donkerwolke definitely gave them the edgy surfacing look, which has served them well. But they're a strange collection of Skoda-alikes and tweaked VWs, to my eyes. I don't care if you agree or not, this is just my opinion and yours, so it's completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

16 May 2014
850 Spider - A real classic today


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