Seat reveals plug-in hybrid Leon concept

The Spanish car maker has designed a prototype model based on the current Seat Leon which matches an electric motor to a petrol engine.

The Seat Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive concept, says Seat, is capable of travelling up to 32 miles on purely electric power at a top speed of 75mph.

The range and top speed can then be bolstered by the petrol engine which works alongside the electric motor.

As a result, the car emits just 39g/km of CO2 emissions. As a comparison the Fiat 500 TwinAir, one of the most frugal petrol engines available today, emits double that figure.

Seat says the hybrid system will be a viable solution for those worried about the shorter range of electric cars but still want lower driving costs.

For example, the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive is exempt from road tax in the UK because of its low levels of emissions and benefits from exemption from the London congestion charge.

Dr Rabe said: ‘The Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive is an exciting and ground-breaking solution. Technically, it allows you to drive in all-electric mode, while at the same time enjoying smart hybrid drive.

‘Thanks to its great range, none of our customers will need to change their lifestyle or transport habits.’

Despite being a concept car, Seat plans to launch an electric plug-in hybrid car by 2015 and the Leon TwinDrive is a design study to help reach this target.

Seat has also revealed plans to launch an all-electric car into Seat dealerships by 2016, possibly based on the Seat Altea compact MPV.