Seat plans new SUV family

* Seat planning up to three SUVs * First is a Nissan Qashqai rival in 2016 * Juke rival also planned...

Seat plans new SUV family

Seat is planning a family of SUVs, according to the company’s head of research and development, Matteus Rabe.

Speaking to What Car?, Rabe admitted that a Nissan Qashqai-rivalling car, heavily based on the Leon hatch, was in development and would be the first to launch, and was close to being given the green light by VW’s senior management. If so, it would go on sale sometime in 2016.

‘I believe that an SUV fits perfectly with Seat’s DNA,’ Rabe told What Car?, ‘but it has to fit rational needs so be easy to handle and have low CO2.’ He also revealed that an eventual production car would be related to the Leon and have a family look, but would have its own identity with a separate name.

However, senior sources admitted that it was unlikely to be named after the ill-fated Tribu concept car that was axed before it made production.

Rabe also admitted that the Leon SUV could open the door for an SUV to sit above and below it in a new range. Company management, he said, are considering a Nissan Juke rival based on the next-generation Ibiza, plus a larger SUV. The bigger car is likely to be a seven-seater and could be based on the VW Crossblue concept shown at this year’s Shanghai motor show. 

Seat's big car plans end with SUVs, however, as Rabe conceded that Seat would not be producing a replacement for the Exeo or any other large saloons.