Large MPV confirmed; small city car, crossover soft-roader and Leon coupe possible
16 October 2009

A replacement for the Seat Alhambra MPV will be launched next year, Autocar has learned.

The car is part of a series of new models from the Spanish brand, some of which are confirmed, others still under discussion for the next two years.

Bucking the trend for downsizing in the MPV segment, the new Alhambra will stay big.

“The Ford Galaxy is still the segment leader, and the new car will compete with that,” said Seat sales and marketing boss Jan Lafrentz.

Seat Leon coupe plan revealed

“Alhambra is an important car for us, with what we believe is a faithful customer base. We can’t afford to abandon these buyers.”

Later in 2010, possibly pushing into 2011, Seat will introduce its version of the VW Up city car. Lafrentz declined to confirm whether the Arosa name would be brought out of retirement for it.

There will be an all-electric version of Seat’s Up too, he confirmed, although company bosses expect it to sell in very limited numbers.

Beyond that, two significant cars could come into a play: a production version of the Tribu concept to rival the Nissan Qashqai, and a more outlandishly styled brand-building ‘Leon Coupe’.

“The Tribu has been under discussion since we showed the concept,” said Lafrentz. “There is great willingness within Seat to make it, but the final decision has not been taken yet.”

Following the Tribu to market, maybe as early as winter 2011, could be a compact Seat coupe intended to build the brand’s sporting credentials.

A Seat source also confirmed that more four-wheel-drive spin-off Freetrack models are possible.

He also said that there was still no future for the highly regarded Tango concept, or indeed any Seat convertible model.

“The Spanish market doesn’t buy open cars,” he said, “so it’s very difficult for us to make a business case for one of any size.”

Matt Saunders

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Our Verdict

Seat Alhambra

The Seat Alhambra refined and extremely competent seven seat MPV, but it is short on flair

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16 October 2009

lol its about time this design must have been around from about 1995

16 October 2009

Yes, people moan about how long-in-the-tooth the SAAB 9-5 was but this thing is a good two or three years older than that and still a year away from replacement..

16 October 2009

I have seen spy shots of the next gen Sharan, which will come in 2011 with sliding rear doors (a must, IMHO, for a family van this size). I am surprised that an Alhambra is due out in 2010 and I wonder whether it is going to be a Sharan clone (like the current one), complete with sliding doors, which would be surprising since the actual Sharan is not due before 2011; or something less sophisticated, perhaps with the cheaper conventional rear doors.

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