Youth-orientated Volkswagen Group subsidiary celebrates its heritage, but for now there’s no retro halo model on the way

Seat has launched a ‘digital museum’ dedicated to celebrating its little-known history and showcasing its heritage models.

The museum launch was marked with an event held around Seat’s manufacturing plant in Barcelona, where the full range of the Spanish car maker's heritage models were displayed.

Each model was digitally rendered online, with three-dimensional mock-ups housed in a virtual building designed by a team of architecture students.

The digital museum is part of a push by Seat to increase awareness of its 60-year heritage, but senior brand executive Jochen Dries took the unusal step of denying that the firm had any intention putting a retro-inspired halo model, similar to the Volkswagen Beetle or Fiat 500into production

The digital museum will be expanded as more models are adopted by the heritage collection. Eight models are currently under restoration by a team of Seat employees, including models from the first few years of the brand.

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“We’d never say never to a physical museum, but the digital museum is accessible to everyone," said Dries. "You don’t have to leave your home to see it, where currently our heritage collection has only been open to select people.

“We’re trying to digitise an inventory of our history, which is a work in progress. Collecting everything, from getting the digital museum up and running, to using our heritage cars at different events and classic motor shows, is an ongoing process.

“The problem with making a new retro model would come with choosing a model to base such a car on from our history. It’s not on the shortlist right now. Short-term, it’s not something you’ll see from Seat.”

Although Dries denied plans for a halo heritage model, given the success of other cars in the segment and Seat’s new-found confidence, the company's expansion into new segments is inevitable as the brand grows.

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Comments
3

18 April 2016
An interesting collection of old cars, but seeing that most of them are either rehashed FIATs, or rebodied VWs (many not even built in Spain) it's hard to think of an iconic Seat model.

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18 April 2016
....agreed Mikey, doesn't constitute much of a 'Heritage' IMO

18 April 2016
...SEAT made a pretty good job of rehashing FIATs, much to the annoyance of Italian company after the end of their technical partnership in 1982. The SEAT Ronda was a facelift of the Ritmo (Strada in the UK) which was rather more handsome than FIAT's own cack-handed effort. In fairness to FIAT, it was suggested that SEAT's version got to market first, forcing FIAT to junk their very similar facelift and start again. FIAT actually sued SEAT, claiming that the Ronda was insufficiently different to the Ritmo to qualify as a separate model, but lost the case. The Fura was a similarly facelifted FIAT 127, but again more handsome than FIAT's heavy-handed, plastic-clad effort. SEAT's first (only?) Solo effort predating the VW takeover, the "system Porsche" (engined) Ibiza was also a smart, contemporary car. If I remember correctly, the Porsche designed engine was actually no great shakes.

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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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