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SEAT reveals el-Born EV. Image by SEAT.

SEAT reveals el-Born EV
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What's all this about?

Do you remember that weird period in SEAT's history, where it seemed to decide that every car it made should look like an MPV? Sort of mid-2000s to earlier this decade, if we recall. Things like the Leon and the Altea/XL. Even the Toledo went this shape for its third generation. Now, look at this 2019 Geneva Motor Show reveal and tell us what you think...

I think you're being a bit harsh. What is it, anyway?

Oh, it looks nice, don't get us wrong, but there's more than a whiff of Walter da Silva's Mk2 Leon about it. However, we digress. This is the SEAT el-Born, the first fully electric vehicle the Spanish outfit will launch on the world (in 2020), with the vehicle based on the Volkswagen Group MEB chassis. Blending electrification, autonomous driving, shared mobility and connectivity into one zero-emissions package, SEAT reckons this is the future of personal transport.

What are its specs?

The drivetrain is formed of a 150kW (204hp) e-motor, served by a 62kWh lithium-ion battery pack. There's enough grunt to let the el-Born punt from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds and enough juice to see it go around 260 miles on a single charge, according to WLTP figures. And fear not on range anxiety, woes, as the SEAT can be hooked up to a 100kW rapid DC charger, meaning it can suck up 80 per cent of its battery's charge in just 47 minutes. Enough time for you to get a massively over-priced coffee and Danish from a motorway services boutique, eh?

Quite. Any other details?

Its highly aerodynamic outline contributes to the el-Born's impressive range claims - look, even the 20-inch wheels are turbine-shaped and smoothly efficient. With wheels shoved to the corners and an A-pillar sitting a long way forward, space inside is said to be generous; you can even stow a bag between the front two seats. The human-machine interface is made up of a digital cluster and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display, while the el-Born has level 2 autonomy, allowing it to steer, accelerate and brake to a modest degree.

So, el-Born - wasn't he Superman's dad?

That was Jor-El, you bloody fool! The name el-Born comes from a funky district of Barcelona, the hometown of SEAT.

Any words from the SEAT team?

Luca de Meo, president of SEAT, said: "Mobility is evolving and with it, the cars we drive. SEAT is at the forefront of this change, and the el-Born concept embodies the technologies and design philosophy that will help us meet the challenges we face in the future."

Anything else?

Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, director of design at SEAT, added: "el-Born is the ultimate translation of our emotional SEAT design language into the new world of electrical vehicles. Our Design Team has taken very seriously the challenge of making our first full electric vehicle attractive. I believe that driving electric cars has to be thrilling, has to be fun. We have to make customers fall in love with the idea of the electric car."

Matt Robinson - 1 Mar 2019

2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.

2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT el-Born concept. Image by SEAT.    - SEAT road tests
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