SEAT has confirmed that its new flagship SUV will likely be known as Tarraco, after 51,903 SEAT followers voted for the identify in a public vote. A complete of 146,124 votes had been solid in the course of the #SEATseekingName competitors run within the latter phases of 2017, with Tarraco proving to be the most well-liked of 4 decisions, securing 36 per cent of the vote.
It’s going to go on sale later this yr with the choice of seven seats, serving as a SEAT-badged sibling for the Skoda Kodiaq. Alongside affirmation of its identify, SEAT has additionally launched a teaser picture of the car. The shadowy picture exhibits that the Tarraco will usher in a slight evolution of the model’s present household face, with a newly formed grille. Our unique pictures preview the way it may look when it arrives.
• Greatest SUVs on sale 2017
The arrival of the brand new SUV was introduced at SEAT’s final annual press convention in March 2017, the place the producer additionally confirmed an working revenue of €143m (£124m) for 2016 – the very best in its historical past and the primary full yr of profitability since 2008.
In an unique interview in the course of the convention, SEAT boss Luca de Meo outlined how the SUV will begin a “new design cycle” for SEAT, main as much as the discharge of a “landmark” next-generation Leon by the top of the last decade. “We need to be much more emotional and sporty in our design – each with the inside and exterior,” de Meo informed Auto Categorical.
De Meo additionally revealed the brand new SUV, which will likely be out there with both 5 or seven seats, will share the modular MQB A2 platform with the Kodiaq and VW Tiguan. He additionally confirmed that the brand new automobile will likely be “designed in Barcelona and made in Germany” alongside these fashions. In distinction, the Arona will likely be constructed by SEAT at its plant in Martorell, Spain.
“Producing the brand new SUV in Wolfsburg, within the coronary heart of the VW Group, will reinforce the ties between SEAT and Volkswagen,” de Meo stated. The Arona and the brand new SUV are a part of SEAT’s plan to go from 50 to 75 per cent of market mannequin protection within the subsequent yr.
Bosses additionally confirmed the brand new SUV is “designed for Europe”, quite than permitting SEAT’s growth into different world markets. Over 80 per cent of SEAT’s gross sales are in western Europe, whereas the
UK is the model’s third largest market.
Because the flagship SUV is to be underpinned by the MQB platform, we anticipate it to be supplied with a well-recognized vary of four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. Each two and four-wheel drive will likely be supplied – as with the Kodiaq – whereas de Meo stated plug-in hybrid variant would “make sense”. Guide and automated gearbox choices will likely be out there, whereas a range-topping Cupra variant hasn’t been dominated out.
The big SUV will likely be revealed in full in the midst of 2018, with a European launch anticipated quickly after. UK gross sales ought to begin earlier than the top of the yr. Costs have but to be introduced, however anticipate it to be very close to the Kodiaq’s £23,000 place to begin.
New SEAT massive SUV – earlier hints
Three years in the past on the Geneva Motor Present, SEAT confirmed its 20V20 massive SUV idea, and its then-boss Jurgen Stackmann promised that it could attain manufacturing if the corporate’s first SUV, the Ateca, proved a gross sales success. Now the present chief Luca de Meo has admitted that the larger automobile is on monitor to succeed in dealerships earlier than the top of the last decade.
• Geneva Motor Present 2017: information
Requested finally yr’s present if he want to do a SEAT model of the Kodiaq, de Meo replied: “I can’t say immediately, however we’re engaged on it. We see alternatives; we’re trying on the enterprise case and the imaginative and prescient of the product.”
He added, “20V20 was not simply one thing we did for enjoyable; there was some pondering behind that.”
• SEAT 20V20 idea evaluate
“The entire thing about SUVs is it’s the place the cash is immediately,” stated de Meo. “The subsequent large factor will likely be interpretation of the SUV and potential themes – variations on the theme. The SUV will not be a trend factor, it’s a energy – in the end: greater value, greater CO2. It’s the brand new interpretation of a sports activities automobile.”
The brand new SUV (just like the Kodiaq) will use the A2 variation of the structure in its longer wheelbase, sharing many elements with VW’s not too long ago launched Tiguan Allspace.
When quizzed not too long ago by Auto Categorical on what would finally substitute the Alhambra, SEAT design boss Alejandro Mesonero stated, “We don’t need to do this physique fashion any extra. We’ll substitute it, however not with the one-box design we’ve got now.”
The present Alhambra, constructed alongside its Volkswagen Sharan sister automobile, has been on sale for six years, with solely a minor facelift in 2015. When quizzed about what would finally substitute the Ford Galaxy rival, Mesonero stated: “We don’t need to do this bodystyle any extra.”
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De Meo additionally confirmed that he’d be completely satisfied promoting greater, dearer SEAT fashions. “We may go greater; it’s important to do it in the correct approach with the correct timing and typically not in an apparent approach,” he stated.
“When it comes to transaction value, between the outdated Leon and the brand new Leon there was an enormous soar, so we don’t have an issue being on the identical degree as different opponents – like, for instance, the French.
“We’ve to do this step-by-step, we already did it with the Leon, the Ateca was one other step so slowly we will discover a option to construct our presence and the extent of common value between €20,000 and €30,000 – earlier than we was between €10,000 and €20,000.”
Nevertheless, di Meo did sound a warning about SEAT pushing too far upmarket. “If everybody goes up within the group, then all of us find yourself doing precisely the identical factor; then you definitely don’t want 12 manufacturers,” he stated. “It’s essential for SEAT to strengthen its small-car enterprise and achieve success with automobiles like Ibiza and Arona. We have to profile the function of SEAT within the group.”
Despite the arrival of latest SUVs, de Meo confirmed that the model’s profitable Cupra fashions would proceed. “I see further prospects of leveraging the entire story of Cupra,” he stated. “I don’t need to be extra exact than this, however it’s important to keep in mind that I used to be the man who resurrected Abarth once I was at FIAT, so I do know that this sort of factor can work, however it’s important to do it proper.”
When requested if it may apply to SUVs, he stated, “Why not?” Auto Categorical revealed final yr Cupra model of the SEAT Ateca is on the playing cards with energy from the Leon’s 300bhp 2.Zero-litre turbo petrol engine. That mannequin may nonetheless be seen later this yr.
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