Frankfurt IAA 2019: SEAT Accelerates Electric Future
- CUPRA displays the Tavascan concept car, the brand's first wholly electric vehicle
- The plug-in hybrid SEAT Tarraco makes its appearance in late 2020
- The Mii electric lays the foundations of electric mobility democratisation
- Mattias Ekström, new CUPRA ambassador
SEAT arrives at the Frankfurt Motor Show with its electric offensive in top gear. Following the announcement of the SEAT Mii electric and the el-Born, the brand's first two fully electric models, at the international event CUPRA is presenting its new Tavascan concept car. It will be joined in by the new SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV, the brand's first plug-in hybrid electric SUV, which will be making its world debut in Frankfurt and is the fourth electric model of the six that the company announced it would launch by 2021.
Following the CUPRA Formentor, the first model developed specifically for the brand, equipped with a hybrid engine and scheduled for market release next year, the Tavascan concept car is CUPRA’s first fully electric vehicle, and it was developed on the MEB platform.
SEAT touches down in Frankfurt after achieving the highest January to August sales figure in its history. The company's worldwide deliveries went up by 7.2% for a total volume of 411,600 cars.
In a press conference, SEAT President Luca de Meo stated that “the IAA comes at a great time for us, with historic sales and financial results. Our position enables us to remain committed to and continue investing in mobility for future generations with solutions that adapt for tomorrow. Electrification is a key part of this mobility, as are micromobility and the development of solutions that cater to it.”
SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV
Two imposing models on stage
The new CUPRA Tavascan and the SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV represent a step forward in their electric mobility offensive. The CUPRA concept car merges the solidity of an SUV with the sportiness of a coupe, conceived with the highest standards of sophistication, elegance and design that distinguish the brand. In the boot it integrates the concept CUPRA eXS kickScooter, specially developed for the occasion.
Furthermore, the new SEAT Tarraco is now available in a hybrid engine version and FR trim, featuring a range of more than 50 km and emissions below 50 g/km. Delivering 245 hp thanks to its 110 kW/150 hp petrol engine and its 85 kW/116 hp electric motor, the Tarraco PHEV is the most powerful in the range.
At a press conference, SEAT Vice-president for R&D Axel Andorff emphasised that “the plug-in hybrid Tarraco perfectly illustrates our strategy towards more sustainable mobility, and at the same time it retains all the dynamism and driving fun that characterise any SEAT model and especially our FR models.”
Goal: to democratise electric mobility
SEAT is announcing at Frankfurt motor show that pre-sales of the new Mii electric will begin from late autumn in the UK – pricing will be announced when the EV opens for order, contributing to affordable electric mobility with a vehicle that is agile and urban.
The Mii electric is being sold in 14 countries (Spain, Germany, Italy, France, the UK, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Poland) and will enter the market in early 2020.
Coinciding with the commercial launch of the new Mii electric, SEAT will introduce a smart wallbox home charging device. Customers can purchase the device, installation included, along with the vehicle, and it will enable them to optimise the car's recharging time and manage all the information on their mobile phone or via an online platform.
The CUPRA family grows
To continue boosting the future of motor racing, CUPRA presents Mattias Ekström as a new brand ambassador. The Swedish race driver joins the tribe to lead CUPRA's electric racing strategy. In addition, Ekström will become the official driver of the CUPRA e-Racer at the future electric racing competitions and will collaborate on the development of the brand's electric racing models.
SEAT Vice-president for Sales and Marketing and CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths shared that “the CUPRA Tavascan is an impressive concept car that demonstrates the brand's enormous potential. Its large size, sporty design, sophisticated interior and technologically advanced engine conform a significant milestone on the road travelled by CUPRA.” He went on to say that “motorsport is at the core of CUPRA's DNA. We spearheaded the creation of the first wholly electric touring race car, the CUPRA e-Racer. Now we can count on the know-how and experience of Mattias Ekström for both the development of this model and the brand's electric racing strategy to continue to be leaders in this field.”
This news follows on the consolidation of CUPRA's organisational structure with the appointment of the top management team and the expansion of the workforce by 50%. The new brand is breaking records this year and from January to August it sold 17,100 cars, which is 71% more than in the same period of 2018. In addition, this year has seen the beginning of construction of its new headquarters, located next to SEAT's head office facilities in Martorell. Last August, CUPRA announced the agreement with FC Barcelona, making it the Barça team's global automotive and mobility partner.
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. Member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exports the 80% of its vehicles, and is present in 80 countries on all five continents. In 2018, SEAT sold 517,600 cars, the highest figure in the 68-year history of the brand, posted a profit after tax of 294 million euros and a record turnover of close to 10 billion euros.
The SEAT Group employs over 15,000 professionals and has three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Arona and Leon. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca in the Czech Republic, the Tarraco in Germany, the Alhambra in Portugal and soon the Mii electric production will start in Slovakia.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focused on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and it is currently engaged in the company’s global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.