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Concept has a range of 81 miles, bold styling

The 2010 Paris Motor Show is in full swing and the hot topic on everyone's lips is electrified vehicles.  On Thursday the IBE battery electric vehicle (BEV) concept was unveiled to the public.

The vehicle is designed by Spanish automaker SEAT, S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Germany's Volkswagen Group.  SEAT is a mid-volume automaker, producing around 400,000 vehicles a year.  Nonetheless, it is quite popular in Europe for it best-selling Ibiza sedan and its rally/sports tour vehicles.

A prototype of SEAT's IBE first popped in March at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.  The new concept, like the prototype, is a 2+2 (two full-size front seats, two smaller seats in the back) compact sports coupe, featuring bold styling.  In the looks department, the vehicle looks somewhat like a fusion of body styles of the 2011 Ford Fiesta and recent Mazda vehicles (like the 2010 Mazda 3).

While the looks have helped the car generate a nice buzz, the performance is a mixed bag.  On the one hand the car is quite efficient, offering an 81 mile range on a 18 kWh pack, compare to a mere 100 miles on a much larger 24 kWh pack in Nissan's 2011 LEAF BEV.  And the efficiency and performance are enhanced by a low curb weight of 2,425-pounds, a bit over a metric ton.

On the other hand the car takes 10 seconds to jump from 0 to 60 mph and has a top speed of 100 mph.  And its 108 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque are relatively lean compared to competitive compacts like the 2011 Ford Fiesta.

SEAT has not announced any plans to produce the vehicle yet.  It's possible that Volkswagen may pick the vehicle to spearhead its fledgling electric vehicle efforts.  SEAT calls the vehicle the "super-compact sports coupe for urban mobility in the near future", so it seems clear that this won't be the last we'll see of it.

If it ever sees release, the car would join a growing stable of EVs on the international scene that includes the Chevy Volt EV (PHEV), the Nissan LEAF EV (BEV), the Ford Focus EV (BEV), Toyota Prius EV (PHEV) and the Tesla Model S (BEV)

At the auto show SEAT also unveiled a lineup of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines dubbed EcoMotion.  Similar to Volkswagen's BlueMotion series, these lean engines offer outstanding fuel economy and low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The TDI 1.2 L Ibiza engine (diesel) gets approximately 70 mpg and offers 75 hp.  The TDI 1.6 L Leon engine gets approximately 60 mpg and bumps the horsepower up to 105 hp.

The line's fuel economy savings come largely thanks to a new Start & Stop system and a mechanical Brake Energy Regeneration System.  It is unlikely that the EcoMotion engines or the IBE will reach the U.S. anytime in the near future.


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Efficient?
By cpeter38 on 10/1/2010 2:04:29 PM , Rating: 4
Jason,
I do not want to nitpick, but your statement that
quote:
the car is quite efficient, offering an 81 mile range on a 18 kWh pack, compare to a mere 100 miles on a much larger 24 kWh pack

really made me chuckle. If you do the basic math, a 24kWh pack would only take the Volkswagen's "efficient" concept out to a 108 mile range. When you consider that the extra weight of the larger battery and the production safety systems that are in the Leaf, I doubt there is much of a difference.

Either way, Who is going to buy a car with a 100 mile range?

Even worse, this range will drastically decrease when using A/C or heat!




RE: Efficient?
By Hieyeck on 10/1/2010 2:20:16 PM , Rating: 5
It's all because it's not a proper battery. It's a batttery, like some Chinese knockoff.

quote:
Spanish Automaker SEAT Unveils Batttery EV Sports Coupe Concept


RE: Efficient?
By Motoman on 10/2/2010 5:09:34 PM , Rating: 3
New and improved, with 50% more "t"s!


RE: Efficient?
By sepirocth on 10/1/2010 2:29:45 PM , Rating: 4
well considering most people dont drive more than 100 miles daily, it is actually suitable for millions of people to go to work/school, come back home and recharge it at the end of the day.


RE: Efficient?
By vol7ron on 10/1/2010 4:36:30 PM , Rating: 1
And then... want to go for a trip?
              ... or get stuck in traffic b/c of a bad accident?

Fuel efficiency in the rain is also probably not as good.

I wouldn't want to be stuck behind a car because they don't have enough juice. I can see this becoming more of an issue in the years to come.


RE: Efficient?
By Wierdo on 10/1/2010 5:51:28 PM , Rating: 3
The travel culture in Europe is different, so this fits in just fine considering long trips are done through efficient and cheap mass transportation options in place there.

It's obviously not a one size fits all proposition. This would be a fine option for local commuting, so it may work in some big cities down here, but it's a good fit to European lifestyle in many cases.


RE: Efficient?
By vol7ron on 10/1/2010 6:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with that. US is more spread out.

I think these would be more of a consideration for taxi drivers, depending on:
- how long it takes to recharge
- how many batteries can be used/installed
- max capacity of batteries used
- maintenance costs
- battery life/cost


RE: Efficient?
By vol7ron on 10/1/2010 6:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
That's to say if it ever comes in 4-door


RE: Efficient?
By bug77 on 10/2/2010 5:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
I beg to differ.
I'm also in Europe and most of my friends use mass transit to get to work and only use their cars when going shopping or on a trip during week-ends.


RE: Efficient?
By hughlle on 10/3/2010 8:04:15 AM , Rating: 3
Certainly not a relevant vehicle for me living in Europe. Public transport is anything but cheap here, or efficient.

The only way you'd catch me owning a car that can only do 100 miles is as a secondary vehicle. In the same way i would not use a 7 liter sports car to travel up the motorway to yorkshire, i'd take a sensible fuel efficient car. I'd have to own 2. Unless you are filthy rich, having one or the other isn't an option, you need something that works in all areas.


Toys for people into pain
By Beenthere on 10/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: Toys for people into pain
By BZDTemp on 10/3/2010 8:13:52 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The sexy 2+2 styling means two small adults and two small bags of groceries. Lotsa luck with that.


Most car only carry one person most of the time so where is the problem with 2+2?

For lots of people even the +2 is just not needed. I drive a sports car with just two seats as my daily drive. When I need more seats/space renting a car for the day is a none issue and I gladly do it because my daily drive is so much more fun.

I don't get why people like you are so judgmental when it comes to things meant for other people. What is wrong with being positive about new things even if they are not for you? Fx. an eco Diesel would not make sense for me because I mostly drive short distances and then it actually pollutes more but it does not make go "Lotsa luck with Diesels".


RE: Toys for people into pain
By bug77 on 10/3/2010 12:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't get why people like you are so judgmental when it comes to things meant for other people.


The thing is, this doesn't seem to be meant for anyone. When you buy a car, you need it to more versatile than this Seat. This could, in theory, come in handy as a second car, but it will most likely cost too much.
I mean, DT has been littered with announcements of new EVs the whole year. How many posts did you see of people even hinting at buying one?


RE: Toys for people into pain
By BZDTemp on 10/4/2010 6:01:04 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The thing is, this doesn't seem to be meant for anyone. When you buy a car, you need it to more versatile than this Seat. This could, in theory, come in handy as a second car, but it will most likely cost too much.


Here we go again. For most people the range this SEAT offers will do just fine in 99% of the time and space wise it's the same thing for many. Sure a small car with limited range is not as versatile as a big SUV but then again a SUV is not as versatile as a bus...

As for the price. Yes - it's not gonna be cheap but for many people cost is only one of the factors in play when they buy a car just as versatility is a factor. Look at the Prius - it's certainly not the most sexy, the most versatile or the cheapest car around but it still sells.


RE: Toys for people into pain
By bug77 on 10/4/2010 7:05:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For most people the range this SEAT offers will do just fine in 99% of the time and space wise it's the same thing for many.


Sure Obi-Wan, whatever you say.
It's not like you could use the bus or the underground instead. At least here in Europe...
And Prius compares to this... how?


RE: Toys for people into pain
By topkill on 10/4/2010 3:42:57 PM , Rating: 1
I would gladly buy one. I only commute about 12 miles to work and I hardly ever need to go more than about 70 miles in a day. Just don't need to and if I did, that's what the wife's car is for.

And I could not give a RAT'S ASS about the pollution so this has nothing to do with tree hugging. I don't like buying oil and sending $400billion a year out of the US economy to foreign countries or paying for wars in the middle east.

If you don't want an electric car or can't use one for practical reasons, then good for you. I'm not bitching about your SUV and the petroleum you use, so you worry about what you drive and I'll worry about what I want to drive.


I'm not sure why...
By MrBlastman on 10/1/2010 2:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
But the look of it reminds me of a Saturn.




RE: I'm not sure why...
By Smartless on 10/1/2010 2:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I thought that too. Think its the emblem mixed with the rear design? Almost like a Sky or something...

In any case, that's a pretty nice line up of cars but so what if it can't accelerate or go 100mph, its large golf cart. I'm guessing the killer is going to be the price...


funny
By vol7ron on 10/1/2010 6:01:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
compare to a mere 100 miles on a much larger 24 kWh pack


As stated:
100mi/24kWh = 4.17mi/kWh : Nissan
81mi/18kWh = 4.50mi/kWh : SEAT Concept

Differences:
24kWh - 18kWh = 6kWh : battery size difference
6kWh * 4.5mi/kWh = 27 mi : additional miles from larger battery
27mi+81mi = 108mi

Result:
100mi/24kWh = 4.17mi/kWh : Nissan
108mi/24kWh = 4.50mi/kWh : SEAT Concept

Given the consideration that a larger battery will not require additional parts (larger harness), add more weight, cause the car to be less aerodynamic; basically maintain the same 4.5mi/kWh ratio, you're only getting an 8mi improved efficiency.

This could make a big difference, but 108mi vs a "mere" 100mi is comical. - 132mi or 200mi would look a lot better.




nits to pick
By Flunk on 10/1/2010 3:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
Fiesta is a sub-compact.

I do agree that it looks a lot like a Fiesta or Mazda 2/3 hatchback.




By solarrocker on 10/1/2010 4:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Can they make a regular version of this, kind of like the way it looks. But would rather want it in a V6 version or something.

Mean why not make one body, then just give engine options (Including electric). Yes there would be some engineering issues, but see it as a challenge.




By Johnmcl7 on 10/1/2010 5:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
Skoda (another VW company) also announced an electric car although theirs is much more conventional as it was using an existing Octavia body:

http://www.rac.co.uk/news-advice/motoring-news/pos...

The current Octavia shares its platform with the Seat Leon which looks the same class as the electric Seat mentioned here. I wouldn't be surprised to see an electric Golf or A3 announced as well given they also share that platform.

John




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