Spanish-based auto maker Seat made quite a splash recently when they announced that they’ll release a pair of alternative fuel vehicles beginning in 2015. The company, a subsidiary of VW, unveiled the prototype of the hybrid Leon TwinDrive plug-in along with the prototype of the all-electric Altea XL.
Over the next few months Seat said they will make both models available to governmental institutions in Catalonia and Madrid for use in their vehicle fleets. This will provide the company with valuable information on use of the cars for assessment with a view to mass production of electric vehicles in the medium-term. The company says that the Leon hybrid will hit the streets first followed closely by the all-electric Altea XL.
The Leon TwinDrive hybrid will be available as a three or five door model with room for five. The car has a range of 32 miles with a top speed of about 75MPH in all-electric mode. If drivers switch to combined mode the top speed climbs to around 106 MPH. With the lithium-ion batteries running in concert with the engine expect the car to sip gas at the rate of about 138 MPG.
The Altea XL is a five door, five seat all-electric midsize car with a very similar look to the Seat hybrid model. The Altea Xl is powered by a battery pack that generates 85kW that the motor is able to convert into 115 horse power. Those ponies will move the Altea XL at speeds of up to an electronically limited 84 MPH. The car features regenerative braking technology, rooftop photovoltaic cells that can be used when the car is parked to recirculate fresh air around the passenger compartment reducing the energy needed afterwards by the climatic system.
In the words of Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT executive Vice-president for R&D, “The Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive is an exciting and ground-breaking solution. Thanks to its great range, none of our customers will need to change their lifestyle or transport habits… With the electric Altea XL we are showing just how mature our technology is.”