MADRID – Spanish automaker SEAT unveils its el-Born, a prototype of a battery-electric vehicle based on the MEB mechanical platform of parent Volkswagen Group.
The final version of the car, not very different from the prototype, goes on sale in late 2020.
The el-Born is 169.3 ins. (4,300 mm) long – the size of the SEAT Leon – and is powered by a 204-hp electric motor that allows reaching 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.5 seconds.
The EV is equipped with 62-kWh batteries that provide 260 miles (420 km) of range and a
100-kW DC supercharging system that charges to 80% of capacity in 47 minutes.
The position of the A-pillar has been moved forward, creating a sleeker look and more room in the cabin. This is facilitated by the electric powertrain, which requires less room under the hood than a conventional engine.
At the rear of the el-Born a double-layer spoiler improves aerodynamics by minimizing turbulence.
Though designed in Barcelona, the el-Born will be assembled not in Spain but in Zwickau, Germany, alongside the ID, VW’s first electric car that also will use the MEB platform. The ID comes to market later this year, one year before the el-Born.
The el-Born name comes from a word game. Some time ago, SEAT had expressed its desire to name one of its new EVs for a Barcelona neighborhood known as El Born. Marketers with the automaker tweaked the name into el-Born (from electric-born).
Although the el-Born appears to be the key model in the electrification of SEAT, the automaker plans to launch this year an electric version of its Mii city car, a smaller vehicle than the el-Born with nearly 180 miles (300 km) of range.
SEAT also plans to market plug-in hybrid versions of the future Leon and its Tarraco large SUV. Mild-hybrid versions also will be incorporated from 48V electrical architectures. Except for the future Leon, all these new vehicles will be assembled outside of Spain.