SEAT el-Born will make its first appearance in front of the world’s media at the Volkswagen Group night, before its public debut at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. SEAT el-Born is a concept car that answers the varied questions posed by the electric revolution, and becomes a game changer in the process.
The world is changing and with it, mobility too. Just as the combustion engine changed the way we travelled in the early 20th century, electrification is moving us towards the next-generation of automotive development. As this change happens, pushed by commitments to reduce CO2 emissions and our impact on the environment, SEAT is assuming greater responsibility and helping accelerate the change towards a low carbon future.
Cities are becoming more densely populated but customers want to continue to use personal mobility, so the SEAT el-Born concept fuses the core aspects driving change in the automotive industry: electrification, autonomous driving, shared-mobility.
SEAT el-Born is the first 100% electric SEAT vehicle based on the Volkswagen Group MEB platform. A concept car named after one of the most iconic neighborhood of Barcelona. An inspiration for designers and engineers of SEAT who have created a sporty vehicle with the most advanced electric technology.
The vehicle is designed and developed in Barcelona and will be manufactured at the Zwickau plant in Germany; SEAT will be the second brand to introduce an all-electric vehicle based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform. The car is expected to hit markets by 2020.
“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,” said Luca de Meo, President of SEAT.
With a power and energy dense battery pack at its very centre giving the SEAT el-Born a range of up to 420km on the WLTP official test cycle and the ability to reach 100km/h in only 7.5 seconds, the vehicle is as dynamic and practical as you are expecting it of a SEAT. Add to this the ability to recharge the battery in as little as 47 minutes and it starts to change the perceptions of electrification.
The SEAT el-Born isn’t just about the promise of usable electrification, but the integration of other technologies too. The vehicle incorporates autonomous functionality to support the driver as well as a host of assistance systems.
The SEAT el-Born is designed to drive. Its dynamic proportions are enabled by its electric powertrain, pushing the wheels to the four corners of the vehicle and allowing a more vibrant and energetic stance compared to traditionally powered cars.
It embodies the future of vehicle design in a modern and integrated way, emphasised most acutely at the front of the vehicle. Aerodynamics are key to maximising the vehicle’s range, to this end the SEAT logo on the front is flush to the body, where there is no need to take in air to cool the engine so no demand for a grille. Cooling vents are placed lower down the vehicle’s front, providing air to the battery pack and so streamlining air flow over the front of the vehicle.
As the eye moves over the SEAT el-Born, the position of the A-pillar has noticeably moved further forward, creating a sleeker look, and internally, more room in the cabin. This is facilitated by the electric powertrain requiring less room.
“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”, said Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Director of Design at SEAT.
Improved aerodynamics play an enormous role along the side of the vehicle, with an air curtain incorporated into the design, an elegant yet practical answer to the conundrum of balancing performance with aesthetic appeal.
This is perhaps highlighted in no better way than at the wheels. With 20” wheels, the need to maximise performance was crucial. The turbine design creates a positive flow of air that not only improves aerodynamics but also ventilates the brakes to maintain dynamism. The wheels provide the perfect balance between aerodynamics, heat evacuation and lightness.
At the rear of the vehicle a double layer spoiler contributes to the aerodynamic performance of the SEAT el-Born too, making sure that air flow remains smooth and turbulence is minimised. It also provides an awareness of the vehicle’s dynamic and performance virtues.
Inside, space is maximised thanks to the all-electric powertrain, giving the opportunity to offer a completely new experience.
The sculpted cabin gives a feeling of lightness and floatability, but also technological advancement, with the integration of the digital cockpit, a 10” infotainment and connectivity screen perched in the centre of the dashboard.
Once inside, the immediate focus is on the driver, with all the lines in the dashboard pointing towards whoever is behind the steering wheel. Space is no longer a premium inside the cabin, with all occupants enjoying more room to relax into their cocooning seats, thanks to the increased internal proportions, but the space is also used to maximise practicality and functionality. There is also greater storage space too; the ability to stow a bag between the two front seats is a simple and effective example of this maximised capacity.
SEAT el-Born is a true game changer in the market with performance that matches the customers desire and the necessity of real world driving, unlike any vehicle has before now.
With a power output of up to 150kW (204PS) the vehicle can reach 100km/h in as little as 7.5 seconds – enough to meet the demands of any driving scenario. But that is only half the story.
Electric vehicles aren’t solely judged on their performance, but also their ability to travel further on a single charge of their batteries and minimise the time taken to recharge once the stored energy has been depleted. A metric that the el-Born excels in.
With a real world range of up to 420km based on the WLTP drive cycle from its 62kWh energy dense battery pack respectively, the vehicle is ready to travel wherever the customer needs to. And with compatibility with up to 100kW DC supercharging, the battery can be returned from 0 to 80% in as little as 47 minutes.
The vehicle also integrates an advanced thermal management system to maximise vehicle range in the most extreme of environmental conditions. The vehicle’s heat pump can reduce the electrical heating consumption, saving up to 60km in autonomy – useful in countries where temperatures can drop and occupants need to use climate control systems.
As our roads become increasingly congested, cars need to take some of the strain from the occupants. SEAT el-Born does just this, integrating the latest developments in autonomous functionality and connectivity to relieve some of the pressure of modern life.
The SEAT el-Born benefits from autonomous level two systems, giving partial automation to the vehicle so it can control steering, acceleration and deceleration events. Add to this amongst other Intelligent Park Assist and the SEAT el-Born is a concept car that encapsulates the future of driving.