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Sexed-up sporty SUV hybrid planned as SEAT ramps up its electric line-up

The Tarraco FR PHEV will hit forecourts next year and is part of SEAT’s electrification strategy
The Tarraco FR PHEV will hit forecourts next year and is part of SEAT’s electrification strategy

By Paul Connolly

SEAT has unveiled a performance SUV – complete with a petrol-electric hybrid engine.

The move sees the existing Tarraco SUV sexed up with a 242bhp drivetrain featuring a 13kWh battery and sporty FR trim level.

The Tarraco FR PHEV will hit forecourts next year and is part of SEAT’s electrification strategy, which will see the introduction of six electric and plug-in hybrid SEAT and SEAT CUPRA models in the next 15 months.

The new 2020 model goes on sale next year, and customers will also be able to optionally spec the PHEV powertrain for other trim levels and not just FR trim.

The heart of the Tarraco FR PHEV is a 1.4 litre TSI 110 kW petrol engine, married to an 85kW electric motor and a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

This allows drivers multiple driving modes, including pure-electric mode which will officially last for up to 31 miles on electric power alone, which should be very useful particularly to urban drivers.

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No official figures have been given for mileage on the various petrol-hybrid modes, but the car promises to be very efficient.

It’s also powerful, with SEAT saying total power out is 245PS (180kW)/400Nm giving the plug-in hybrid Tarraco a top speed of 134mph and a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds.

CO2 emissions, says the manufacturer, will be below 50g/km on the tougher new WLTP test cycle, meaning the car should qualify for zero road tax in the UK.

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SEAT president Luca de Meo said: “The Tarraco plug-in hybrid perfectly illustrates our move towards a more sustainable mobility yet maintaining the dynamism and fun-to-drive, typical of any SEAT.

“The Tarraco will be one of the few options with a plug-in hybrid powertrain on the large SUV segment, and we believe that it has a great potential.”

SEAT’s performance-orientated FR trim is being used on the Tarraco for the first time, adding wider wheel arches, a sporty rear spoiler and FR-specific 19” alloy wheels, with an option to have machined 20” wheels available.

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At the front, the FR grille houses the SEAT badge; at the back, the coast-to-coast rear light highlights the FR look.

A new colour – Fura Grey – underlines the changes to the exterior and brings additional options to customers to help personalise their vehicle further.

The Tarraco also improves in safety and practicality with additional specs like trailer assist – which is designed to make towing easier and reduce the likelihood users will encounter difficulties when parking.

There’s also Parking Heater, a system that allow you to warm the engine and vehicle faster in extremely cold weather.

The cabin has SEAT’s latest generation infotainment system including a new navigation system with 9.2’’ screen, with more digitalisation and passenger connectivity. Other enhancements include electric sports bucket seats. 

The SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV will debut at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, with production and sales expected next year. Expect more detail, including full UK spec and prices, soon.

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