Saturday November 12th, 2011 20:19 All-Electric Car In the Works for SEAT

 

SEAT has revealed that it is currently working on prototypes of a fully electric and a plug-in hybrid car. The Spanish car manufacturer anticipates that the plug-in hybrid car will be launched in 2015, followed by the all-electric car in 2016.

In the mean time, units of the all-electric Altea XL Electric Ecomotive and the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive will both be made available to Spanish government institutions in Catalonia and Madrid. This should enable SEAT to assess the usage of these cars, giving the car manufacturer an idea about the potential for mass production in the future.

Talking about the reasoning behind SEAT’s strategy, SEAT President James Muir said: “Customers demand a more sustainable form of mobility, but their needs are diverse. Therefore, we believe that a parallel strategy of developing two different technologies will put SEAT in the best position to meet their needs.”

So what about some actual information about the two forthcoming green models? Well, the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive plug-in hybrid has a range of 52 kilometres when full electric mode is engaged. Its top speed in this mode is 120 kph. When it is in its combined mode, it should have a top speed of 170 kph, and an impressive emissions rate of 39g/km of CO2.

In comparison, the Altea XL Electric Ecomotive will have a top speed of 135 kph. The electric engine will produce 115 hp as well as 270 Nm of torque. A climate control system whereby rooftop photovoltaic cells recirculate fresh air inside the passenger compartment will reduce energy needs. Impressive stuff.

It is not just these two new green cars that the Spanish firm has in the pipeline, as in the next year, four new models will be launched next year. The first of these models is the SEAT Mii, set for a European release in spring.

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Sunday November 6th, 2011 21:49 SEAT Look to the Future with the IBX Concept Car

Earlier this year, at the Geneva Motor Show, SEAT unveiled its latest concept car – the IBX hybrid car. The concept car has been described by SEAT as a cross between a sports utility vehicle and a sports coupe, and represents the company’s vision for an urban SUV.

In terms of its appearance, the two-door concept car has an understated, minimalist feel to it. A crisp and clean exterior, devoid of any flashy design features, gives the SEAT IBX a confident and sporty look. The IBX bears no ornamentation, and SEAT representatives say this is because “perfect design requires no decoration.”

SEAT’s Chief Designer Luc Donckerwolke said of the IBX: “We are proving that with our design, our sporty pedigree and our youthful character, we can also create a vehicle concept that is unique among SUVs.”

This uniqueness among SUVs may come from the fact that the IBX is both agile and compact enough to meet the demands of urban streets and parking spaces.

SEAT say that the IBX has an electric range of 50 kilometres, something that will no doubt appeal to those living in city areas. This electric range should be more than enough to cover local everyday journeys, while having an emission rate of zero. The car can be charged from a domestic power point, but the IBX’s internal combustion engine means that the concept car will be able to handle longer journeys just as easily.

Although there has been no official confirmation, there have been reports that the IBX concept car will go into production in the near future. If it does, then SEAT’s hybrid car is sure to create a stir with in the SUV market with its sports coupe sensibilities.

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Tuesday November 9th, 2010 11:37 SEAT iBe – the concept car with style

SEAT has recently unveiled its latest concept car, the SEAT IBe. Although earlier in the year a prototype was seen at the Geneva Motor Show, a fully functional version of the all-electric 2+2 sport coupe was on display at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

The theme for SEAT’s new concept car is that of an aggressively styled, driver-oriented car that achieves zero tailpipe emissions without sacrificing driving dynamics. The bold, sharp lines of the car’s exterior are credited to Luc Donckerwolke. The chief of SEAT’s design department, Mr. Donckerwolke formerly served as head of design for Lamborghini. In the case of the IBe, the exterior lines unmistakably point up the car’s sporting intentions.

As pleasing as the car is to look at, the IBe holds its own in terms of performance as well. With a total length of just 3.83 meters and tipping the scales at only 1100 kg, the car’s 102 hp electric motor to can bring the IBe from 0 to 62 mph in 9.7 seconds. Early reports on the IBe’s handling have been favorable, with the independent suspension working in synergy with the car’s low center of gravity and wide stance to deliver taut driving dynamics.

The IBE features a front-engine layout with the car’s battery positioned in the rear to achieve the most favorable weight distribution. Speaking of batteries, the IBe has an estimated range of 81 miles on a full charge — sufficient for urban motorists but by no means a boundless grand tourer. In addition to its striking looks and lively performance capabilities, the SEAT IBe is intended to provide a measure of practicality by offering space for 4 adults via its 2+2 seating arrangement. The concept car debuted well ahead of availability on the retail market, which is estimated to begin in 2014.

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