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Seat unveils a hybrid: Leon Twin Drive Ecomotive

Fri, 23 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0800

By Gareth Evans

First Official Pictures

23 January 2009 09:00

Seat showed its prototype Leon Twin Drive Ecomotive today at its technical centre near Barcelona. The finished petrol-electric hybrid is expected in showrooms by 2014.

The new hybrid Leon uses Twin Drive with power generated by an electric motor for shorter, urban trips while, for longer drives, the car seamlessly switches to an internal combustion engine.

Seat is still developing the gearbox, brakes, heating and cooling systems, and the new hybrid Leon will need extensive changes to the electronics, say engineers.

Although still very much in the development stages, Seat claims it is working towards a fully dependent plug-in electric vehicle and that it will, eventually, phase out internal combustion completely in its Ecomotive range.

Of course, Seat is expected to piggyback the VW Group green fuel strategy. But in the meantime, you’ll have to make do with the latest Ibiza Ecomotive - capable of 76.3mpg combined and a joint class-leading 98g/km CO2 output.

By Gareth Evans