A camouflaged, pre-production version of the all-new SEAT el-Born hatchback has been caught on camera during its winter testing programme. It will be the Spanish brand’s first dedicated all-electric car when it reaches the UK market later this year, acting as a rival for the Nissan Leaf, the Kia e-Niro and Renault Zoe.
These latest spy shots suggest that the styling of SEAT’s production-ready EV won’t change dramatically from the el-Born concept we saw at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. This mule retains the same profile as the show car, with a short bonnet, a fared-in radiator grille, large front quarter light windows and a large tailgate spoiler.
The el-Born concept looks similar in length to a SEAT Leon, but the larger wheel size (20 inches) confirms the suggestion, made to Auto Express last year by SEAT’s R&D boss Dr Thomas Rabe, that the car will sit between the Leon and Ateca in size. Its wheelbase looks long – a typical MEB trait, designed to deliver the interior space of a car from the class above.
We’re yet to see the interior of the production-ready el-Born, but the Geneva concept and already revealed Volkswagen ID.3 both offer a reasonable indication of how it will look. Like the Volkswagen’s cabin, the el-Born will be both modern and functional inside, with a digital instrument binnacle, a floating 10-inch infotainment screen and a touch-sensitive strip which controls the car’s heating and ventilation.
The el-Born will be based on the same MEB platform as the Volkswagen ID.3. SEAT has also already confirmed that the el-Born will be offered with the same 62kWh battery pack available in the ID.3, which will provide a range of up to 420km (261 miles) on the WLTP test cycle. In addition, the EV will offer support for 100kW DC charging, allowing it to recover an 80 per cent charge in 47 minutes.
SEAT executives recently confirmed that the rear-wheel-drive el-Born will have “up to 201bhp” and a 0–62mph time of 7.5 seconds. More modest power outputs will also be available, with smaller batteries and a lower price tag. Should the el-Born follow the ID.3’s principle, its pricing should start from around £26,000 – or the equivalent to a well-specced diesel-powered Leon.
New SEAT el-Born concept previews all-electric family car at Geneva
This is the SEAT el-Born, a close preview of how the Spanish manufacturer’s first all-electric family car will look when it arrives next year.
SEAT’s star of the Geneva show, the el-Born is the sister vehicle to the Volkswagen ID. hatchback. It shares that car’s MEB chassis architecture, will be produced at the same plant in Zwickau, Germany, along with Skoda’s upcoming Vision iV. The first el-Borns likely to arrive in SEAT dealers in the first half of 2020. Indeed, SEAT has already confirmed that it will be the second of the VW Group brands to bring an MEB car to market.
The el-Born’s profile is pretty similar to that of the ID. hatchback too. It has a short bonnet, a flush front grille incorporating some neat triangular patterns and a blacked-out C-pillar designed to make the roof appear as if it’s floating.
If anything, the interior of the concept looks even more close to production, with sensible materials and fabrics, and a layout that manages to look both modern and functional. Conventional instruments have been replaced by a small digital screen, and a glimpse of the letter ‘P’ at its right-hand side suggests that the gear selector will be mounted up high and beyond the steering wheel, much as in a BMW i3. This, in turn, frees up useful storage space between the front seats.
The interior shots mark our first glimpse at the basic layout of the ID. incidentally, since elements like the instrument panel and infotainment screen are probably shared with the VW.
The el-Born will be SEAT’s bespoke car made for an electric powertrain, following on from its first all-electric car, e-Mii city car.
Now read all the latest on the recently launched Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback…