SEAT has expanded the appeal of its Tarraco SUV with the introduction of a plug-in hybrid version in sporty FR trim which will go on sale in early 2020. Not only will this give the Tarraco some added punch, it also means very low WLTP emissions, very high WLTP fuel economy and around 30 miles on electric-only power.
SEAT has combined the venerable 1.4 litre, 147bhp TSI petrol engine – a stalwart across the VW Group range – with an 114bhp electric motor to bring the Tarraco FR's system output to 241bhp and 295lb-ft of torque. This endows the Tarraco FR with a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds.
Storing the energy for the electric motor is a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack which gives the Tarraco enough juice to do around 30 miles on electric-only power on the WLTP cycle. It should also sneak under 50g/km of carbon dioxide (though SEAT states that figure is TBC) which will make it a tax-friendly option.
Dynamics shouldn't suffer too much, despite the added weight of the PHEV powertrain, with Luca de Meo, President of SEAT, stating: “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 sporty FR trim adds some styling details and brings with it a decent level of standard equipment.
On the looks front, the Tarraco FR gets wider wheel arches that cover standard 19 inch alloys with a 20 inch option available. At the front there's an FR-specific grille and at the back there's a spoiler and 'coast-to-coast' (wrap-around) rear lights, and 'Tarraco FR' is embossed on the rear hatch. Finally, there is the option of getting the Tarraco FR in Fura Grey, an all-new colour from SEAT.
Inside, the Tarraco FR comes with the latest generation of SEAT's infotainment and navigation system. This offers all the latest in connectivity and is managed through a 9.2 inch touchscreen interface. Up front, the driver and passenger get sports bucket seats with memory function on the driver side. The driver also gets aluminium pedals and a sports steering wheel specific to FR trimmed Tarracos.
SEAT is moving forwards with its electrification strategy which includes the CUPRA brand. Its goal is to have six battery electric and PHEV models across the brands by 2021. On the CUPRA side of things we've already seen the Formentor concept and now, in advance of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, CUPRA has shown off its Tavascan large SUV, BEV concept.
Based on VW's MEB platform and riding on the popularity wave of SUVs across Europe, the Tavascan concept is a striking coupe SUV which combines a muscular exterior with a powerful EV powertrain. The concept has a 77kWh battery pack housed in the floor – as is the case with all MEB-based cars – offering a low centre of gravity which CUPRA hopes will help it maintain its dynamic aspirations.
Two motors – one front and one rear – distribute a total of 302bhp to all four wheels which should see the Tavascan hit 62mph in less than 6.5 seconds. Range is estimated to be 280 miles on the WLTP cycle.
As with any concept there's no guarantee that the Tavascan will actually hit the road in a configuration or with a look that is remotely similar to the car CUPRA has shown us. However, nothing about it is so wacky that it's out of the question for series production as part of SEAT's electrification programme so watch this space.
Keep an eye out for our Frankfurt Motor Show round-up in the coming weeks in which we'll bring you all of the electric, hybrid and PHEV news from the show.