SEAT is making its roadmap for electrification announced last year a reality. After presenting the new generation SEAT and CUPRA Leon, which have plug-in hybrid versions, the company has presented the production version of the CUPRA Formentor in a web video conference, which was meant to be showcased at Geneva Motorshow. Formentor is the first vehicle designed exclusively for CUPRA and will also have a plug-in hybrid version.
With the electrification of the models in its range, SEAT aims to offer customers a more sustainable driving option: they all feature an electric range of 60 km and CO2 emissions of less than 50 g/km. The carmaker is thus stepping up its commitment to the environment and to the Paris agreements, with the goal of becoming a CO2-neutral company by 2050, both in terms of its cars as well as its production activity.
At the online press conference, SEAT President Carsten Isensee said “the message is clear: 2019 was the best year in our history. We were the fastest growing volume brand in Europe, achieving a double-digit increase for the third consecutive year, in a context of declining markets. We began 2020 on an upward trend, and although it will be a more challenging year, we are paving the way for the future.”
Furthermore, SEAT Vice-president for Sales and marketing and CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths pointed out that “these past two years of CUPRA have been spectacular. Since we launched it as stand-alone brand in Terramar we have reached 40,000 cars sold in this period. The brand is a key lever for moving SEAT’s centre of gravity towards more emotional models with a higher transaction price; we expect to achieve a turnover of around 1 billion euros, which is 10% of SEAT’s total, once all CUPRA models are launched this year.”
Both managers emphasised that although 2020 will be a less favourable year for the economy and the car industry than previous years, SEAT kicked off the year with the same positive sales trend that brought 2019 to a close.
Six models by 2021
The new SEAT Leon, in its 5-door and Break versions, is already in production at SEAT’s headquarters in Martorell. These will be joined by the CUPRA Leon in the middle of the year and the CUPRA Formentor, which will start production in the second half of the year. Making these new models at SEAT’s central facilities in Martorell will help boost the plant’s production volume, which is currently approaching its maximum capacity. These hybrids to be manufactured in Martorell will be joined by the Tarraco PHEV and the battery electric Mii electric and el-Born.
The SEAT Leon (hatchback and Break) and the SEAT Leon family will have a comprehensive engines line-up: combustion, CNG, PHEV and mHEV (micro-hybrid). In the case of the CNG version, it is being presented for the first time with a 1.5-litre CNG unit that generates a power output of 96 kW/130 hp. The vehicle integrates three CNG tanks with a total net capacity of 17.3 kg, giving the new SEAT Leon TGI a range of 440 km without refuelling.
As for the electric models, the Leon includes a state-of-the-art hybrid engine that combines a TSI petrol engine with a plug-in electric motor, a layout that generates 150 kW/204 hp of power. It has a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides a range of 60 km in electric-only mode. It also includes mild hybrid technology (eTSI), available with the 81 kW/110 hp 1.0 TSI unit and the 110 kW/150 hp 1.5 petrol unit, which combines 48 V mild hybrid technology with a combustion engine.
CUPRA, stronger than ever
After consolidating the organisational structure of the new company and following the recent inauguration of its new corporate headquarters, CUPRA presents proudly its first own model, the CUPRA Formentor. The brand created by and for motor enthusiasts is also displaying its product offensive, including the Formentor, the CUPRA Ateca and the new CUPRA Leon.
The CUPRA Formentor, CUPRA’s first fully self-developed car, will be launched in the second half of the year and will be available with two types of engine. This high performance crossover combines the brand’s hallmark DNA, along with its engineering and design created with the future in mind, to offer an iconic model that blends sophistication, innovation and a driving experience which is both dynamic and intuitive. The Formentor is targeting a growing market, the CUV segment, which is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.