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Next Year Brings Four New Seat Models

Seat Ibiza ST

Seat’s boss James Muir stated at the beginning of this week that the Spanish automaker will increase its sales this year by 8-10%, before launching four new models in 2012. He told Auto News Europe that the Alhambra and Ibiza ST models the company launched last year will be the most significant for the increase planned for 2011. Last year, Seat managed to sell 340,000 cars.

Muir became the boss of Seat back in 2009 and last year he revealed a 5-year restructuring plan that was “the last attempt for Seat as a brand”. Next year, we will see the new generation of the Leon, a facelift version of the Ibiza, along with a “totally new entry-level model and a four-door sedan”.

This year Seat will hire 300-800 employees (most of them in Spain) to support the company’s growth as well as manufacture the Audi Q3 at its sole Martorell factory.

As a reminder, a few weeks ago the company announced that they will enter the Chinese market and Muir stated that he wants to sell 800,000 units annually by 2018, as part of Volkswagen’s global growth strategy to become the largest car maker in the world. Analysts predict that the Spanish car manufacturer will become profitable again in 2013. Last year wasn’t very good for the company as they recorded a whopping 311 million Euros loss.

Source: autocar.co.uk

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Video: Seat Leon touring car flips during race


Crashes are, sadly, an essential part of motorsport, as contact between cars, either Formula 1 dedicated racers or touring cars, ends up pretty badly.

The latest car crash comes from the UK’s Brands Hatch circuit, where a race in the Seat Leon Euro Cup competition was held.

During the race, Portuguese driver Francisco Carvalho was touched by a fellow racer, which sent his Leon touring car out of control. The car crashed into a barrier which sent it flying over the heads of race officials.

Miraculously, no one was hurt, not even Carvalho, who now has one heck of a story to tell.

Check out the terrifying crash in the video after the jump.
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Seat goes for broke with ‘last chance’ survival plan


The Volkswagen Group definitely has a lot of brands under its corporate umbrella. Among them is Spanish carmaker Seat, which has been adding a dose of Latin design to the German engineering coming from VW.

Sadly, that design hasn’t really boosted sales numbers, which are the most important things for its corporate overlords, and the carmaker ended year after year on a loss. As such, after a previous revival strategy failed, VW placed James Muir as CEO and tasked him with a new five-year strategy, as a ‘last chance’ for the company.

Part of this new strategy, according to Muir, is to profit more from the Martorell plant the carmaker has near Barcelona, which can produce around 500,000 units per year. Currently, due to slow sales, the plant is operating at 60% capacity, way under the profitable mark of 90%. According to sources, the next non-Seat model set to be made in Martorell might be the future Audi Q3 compact crossover, set to arrive around 2011.

Muir is still realistic though, as a bigger effort than building new cars or cutting costs is required to get Seat back on track. Hopefully, for fans of the brand, he will achieve his goal.

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Seat Ibiza Bocanegra ST arriving at Worthersee


Seat isn’t arriving at the upcoming Worthersee Tour empty handed, as the Spanish carmaker, part of the Volkswagen Group, has revealed that it will bring forth a Bocanegra version of the recently revealed Ibiza ST station wagon.

As you can tell by the name, the new project will take styling cues from the older Bocanegra concept and the special edition made last year for the regular Ibiza (pictured above). From what we can tell, the upgraded Ibiza will boast a special two-tone paint, with black accents in the front as well as on the exterior mirror housings. The special black tone will also be used for the front grille and on the roof of the Ibiza Bocanegra ST.

For the inside, the Spanish carmaker added sports seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and aluminum sports pedals. The whole package is rounded off with a set of enlarged wheels.

Besides the Seat Ibiza Bocanegra ST, the company will also present other accessories for models like the Leon.

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JE Design takes Seat Leon Cupra R to 330 HP


The Seat Leon is a pretty powerful hatchback model, sharing many of its engines with the Volkswagen Golf. The Seat Leon Cupra takes things one step higher, and offers quite a lot of performance. The Leon Cupra R takes it to the max, and unleashes 261 HP from that 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

But the max isn’t always the end, at least according to the tuners at JE Design, who have unleashed a brand new cosmetic and performance tuning package for the Spanish hatch. After quite a lot of fiddling with the electronics, a recalibrated ECU and many more, the peak power is now at 330 HP and 420 Nm of torque, dwarfing the factory output of the car.


Handling has been improved, with JE Design adding not only a new, more rigid suspension system, but also a revamped brake system and a quad-pipe exhaust with a much beefier sound.

The looks have also been improved, with a complete body kit consisting of extended front bumper, new mesh grille, badge removal, as well as side skirts, an extended rear bumper and a new wing in the back. All of this is complemented by a new gray color, but we’re not so certain about the red accents.

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Seat presents electric IBE concept in Geneva


Seat has just revealed a new concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Like many prototype cars present at the convention, it’s an electric vehicle and is called the IBE.

While it may look like a compact coupe, the Spanish company insists that the concept bears a shooting brake design, and doesn’t necessarily preview any future production model. Instead, Seat is keen on working together with the Spanish government in order to further promote zero emission electric vehicles as viable means of transportation.


Beneath the elongated hood of the IBE concept is a 75kW (around 100 HP) electric motor, capable of 147 lb-ft (200 Nm) of torque. It will be powered by a lithium ion battery pack, located at the rear, and will be optimized for city driving.

As such, 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) is achieved in 3.4 seconds, while 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.4 seconds. This is largely due to the very low weight the concept has, around 2,205 pounds (1,000 kg).

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