Seat has previously eschewed electrified powertrains on cost grounds, but the manufacturer has now announced plans for its own EV

Seat’s first electric vehicle will arrive in 2019, before the arrival of its yet to be confirmed large SUV and after next year’s launch of the Arona small SUV.

Speaking at the launch of the facelifted Leon, product strategy and market research executive Enrique Pastor revealed that the first all-electric Seat would arrive before the large SUV model. This suggests that the car may be a new model entirely, or, alternatively, an all-electric version of the facelifted Ateca or new Leon, both of which will be due around that time. 

Read about the facelifted Leon launch here

Hybrids and electric vehicles were a hot topic at the Leon launch, with the conspicuous absence of an electrified powertrain in the updated Leon sparking discussion about when Seat's first such model would come.

Another source at Seat revealed that hybrid powertrains are at present too expensive for the brand's target market but that concrete plans to build EVs from 2019 are in place. Less clear was the firm's stance on when hybrids would first bear a Seat badge, but Seat dowsed speculations of an upcoming hybrid, saying such a model will not exist “within two years”.

Pastor also played down talk of fully autonomous Seats any time soon, saying fully autonomous cars were still a few years off and that Seat models will have to reflect the brand DNA in other ways on the advent of autonomous cars.

Seat sources, including Pastor, remained tight-lipped on the subject of a large SUV, saying only Seat is "thinking of" such a model at this stage. 

Our Verdict

Seat Ateca

Seat's first attempt at building an SUV is a cracker and knocked the Nissan Qashqai off its perch in the process, so we discover what makes the Ateca our class leader

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19 October 2016
...the last Saab 95 in this image?

20 October 2016

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

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