SEAT aims to clean up in green market

SEAT Leon TwinDrive

SEAT claim driving the hybrid means no change in driving habits.

SPANISH carmaker SEAT is planning a twin-pronged attack on the green motoring sector with its first electric car — the Altea XL Electric Ecomotive — and a prototype plug-in hybrid, the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive.
SEAT is making models of both available for real world trials in Catalonia and Madrid to assess the cars prior to full production of a plug-in hybrid in 2015, with an all-electric model the following year.
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.”
The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive’s engine produces 115hp (85kW) which results in a limited 83mph top speed. With a room interior and boot, the model is aimed at families and company car drivers. Batteries are fitted under the rear seats and in the boot so as not to take up cabin space. Range is extended by the use of regeneration systems as part of the brakes. Rooftop photocells kick in to power a cooling system for the cabin when the car is parked so as not to drain the batteries.
The Leon TwinDrive combines the advantage of emission-free motoring and the longer range allowed by an internal combustion engine.
When driving in electric-only mode, the car has a range of 32 miles and a top speed of around 74mph. Using both power systems, SEAT claim the TwinDrive will  use onl 1.7 litres of fuel per 100kms, which is 166 miles per gallon, emit just 39g/km of CO2 and achieve a top speed of 105mph.
Dr Matthias Rabe, SEAT executive vice-president for research and development, said: “The Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive is an exciting and ground-breaking solution.  Technically, it allows you to drive in all-electric mode, while at the same time enjoying smart hybrid drive.
“Thanks to its great range, none of our customers will need to change their lifestyle or transport habits.”
The news of the green models comes at the same time as SEAT announces that it will launch four new models in the next 12 months, including a new urban vehicle, the Mii.