Next-generation Seat Leon: the key to save the Spanish company

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Under Sea's new five-year plan, the next-generation Leon will launch its first hybrid and electric cars in 2012. To date, no plan has been mentioned about Seat's intention to enter into new market segments. Tests are now being conducted on a plug-in hybrid version of the Leon, known as Twin Drive. This version will be part of the next Leon range that's set to arrive in late 2012.

Volkswagen actually revealed plans to produce an all-electric version of the Golf (where the Leon is based) from 2013. It's expected that the car's drivetrain will come from Seat IBE Concept from Geneva.

So far, VW has provided no details on whether the IBE will go into protection. The standard Leon range itself will be the first Seat to have many of the new design features of the IBE concept.

There will be three and five-door hatchback variants that will be available. The estate version is will also likely make it to production due to Seat's expressed desire to increase capacity at its Martorell plant.

Confirmation has been received that Seat, along with Skoda, will launch its own variant of VW's Up city car. The model is also slated for a 2012 launch. Currently, the car remains at the design stage of its development.

Like VW's Up, Seat's version will likely be offered with an all-electric drivetrain. New CEO James Muir, who entered Seat from Mazda last September, will be explaining its five-year plan.

Muir has utilized the spare capacity of Martorell. Muir expects its plant employees to work at more than 90% of its capacity, up from the 60%.

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