Seat plots urban EV as it commits to keep making cars

Seat hasn’t launched its final car, Autocar understands, with the Spanish brand considering an entry-level electric city car twinned with the upcoming Volkswagen ID 1.

The revelation comes after Seat chairman Thomas Schäfer told Autocar last year that “the future of Seat is Cupra”, strongly suggesting that Seat would pivot to a mobility solutions brand while Cupra handled cars.

Schäfer said the current Seat line-up would continue to be produced until the end of their current lifecycles but the Volkswagen Group was working to “find a different role” for the brand after that.

Now Seat and Cupra UK boss Marcus Gossen has confirmed that the Spanish brand is still growing alongside Cupra and that “Seat will have a car in five years’ time”.

‘We’re working hard to have the right entry level for the [Volkswagen] Group, and the lead for that is Seat SA in Spain,” he said.

Given that economies of scale will be the only way to justify a value EV such as the ID 1, a Seat-badged version makes sense.

It’s likely to be even cheaper than the Volkswagen version and give consumers an affordable entry point into the Volkswagen Group stable while securing the Seat brand.

Volkswagen ID 1 rendered by Autocar

Gossen said: “There’s no statement about a BEV product for Seat today. There’s always room for dreams.” But he added: “With the ID 1, you only make it work by sharing [technology].”

As a sibling to the ID 1, the new Seat would cost comfortably less than £20,000, sit on a bespoke value platform and forgo the now-normal large infotainment screens and longer ranges to ensure the price were kept down.

Just as Volkswagen’s smallest EV will be an obvious replacement for the Up, so too will Seat’s fill the gap left by the retirement of the near-identical Mii.

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