In Depth

Seat el-Born electric car 2020: spy shots, plus specs and release

Spanish carmaker to join the EV fray with Volkswagen-based hatchback

Seat is on course to become the next Volkswagen-owned carmaker to launch an affordable electric car as prototype versions of its el-Born hatchback have been spotted during testing. 

The electric car, revealed in concept form at the Geneva Motor Show in March, is based on the same production platform as VW’s upcoming ID.3 hatchback and retains that EV’s proportions.

While the silhouettes of the test mules mirror that of the ID.3, Autocar understands that the el-Born’s styling will be 95% that of the concept version. Only “a few minor changes” will appear on the final production model. 

Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Seat’s design chief, told the magazine that the el-Born’s styling will represent “the ultimate translation of our emotional design language into the new world of electrical vehicles”.

He added that “we have to make customers fall in love with the idea” of an electric car

Here’s what we know about the Spanish EV so far:

Price and release

Pricing has yet to be announced. Given that Seat models typically cost less than their VW-badged counterparts, there’s a good chance the el-Born will enter below the ID.3’s price tag, which is expected to be less than €30,000 (£26,750).

As for the car’s release, Autocar says the el-Born will launch next year - after the ID.3 hits showrooms in early 2020. 

Design

As the el-Born shares its underpinnings with the VW ID.3, it comes as little surprise that the camouflage-wrapped EV bears a striking resemblance to its German counterpart. 

The front end, for example, features the ID.3’s short bonnet and sloping windscreen, along with a low nose and a wide grille that runs along the base of the bumper. The wheels, meanwhile, sit right at the edge of the corners of the car, while the roofline slopes downwards towards the rear for a sleek look. 

Other elements, such as the angular front bumper and compact tail-lights, are similar to the Geneva concept, as are the headlights and the small wing at the top of the boot lid. 

Battery range and performance

According to Auto Express, the el-Born will be equipped with a 62kWh battery pack, offering a range of 420km (261 miles) under the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) measuring system.

The EV should also be rear-wheel drive, delivering around 204bhp and 229lb-ft of torque for a limited top speed of 100mph, says Motor1.

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