New SEAT el-Born 2020: concept version of electric car revealed

Spanish brand's electric hatchback concept based on Volkswagen I.D. platform

SEAT's 2019 Geneva Motor Show electric concept car is called the SEAT el-Born. It's essentially the Spanish brand's version of the Volkswagen I.D. hatchback, based on the Volkswagen Group's 'MEB' platform – a common set of electric-car underpinnings.

The company says the el-Born "answers the varied questions posed by the electric revolution and becomes a game changer in the process" and "fuses the core aspects driving change in the automotive industry: electrification, autonomous driving, shared mobility and connectivity."

As well as being electrically powered, the el-Born showcases extensive mobile and internet connectivity features, in line with market trends. Although the car being revealed at Geneva is being referred to as a concept, SEAT says a production version will be on sale in 2020.

The el-Born follows closely behind the reveal of the SEAT Minimo 'urban mobility' concept at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The two-seater electric quadricycle will also be on display at the Geneva show, alongside the new concept.

SEAT el-Born range and performance

The el-Born has a range of just over 260 miles, calculated under the latest WLTP testing procedure. Its 0-62mph time is given as 7.5 seconds. The car's 62kWh battery can be recharged in as little as 47 minutes using a 100kW DC fast-charging point. Total power output is just over 200bhp.

Design

SEAT says the el-Born's electric drivetrain has allowed the four wheels to be pushed to the corners of the car, giving it "more vibrant and energetic stance" than traditional internal-combustion-engined cars.

Aerodynamics have had a major influence on the el-Born's looks, with the large SEAT 'S' logo flush with the body up front. There are cooling vents low down on the front of the car, to channel air to the battery pack, but no need for a conventional radiator. A set of 20-inch 'turbine' alloy wheels also contribute to aerodynamic efficiency, while there's a double-layer spoiler at the back.

"el-Born is the ultimate translation of our emotional SEAT design language into the new world of electrical vehicles. Our design team has taken very seriously the challenge of making our first full electric vehicle attractive. I believe that driving electric cars has to be thrilling, has to be fun. We have to make customers fall in love with the idea of the electric car," said Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, SEAT's director of design.

Interior

Inside, the el-Born has a digital cockpit, a 10-inch infotainment screen and "increased internal proportions" compared to a typical internal-combustion-engined car of similar size. Storage space has been boosted, too, with space to keep a bag between the two front seats.

On-board technology included 'Level 2' autonomous capability, assisting the driver with steering, acceleration and deceleration, along with intelligent parking assistance.

Price and on-sale date

There's no indication of an exact UK price for the el-Born yet, but it's expected to be competitive with family hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf. SEAT has confirmed it'll go on sale some time in 2020.