SEAT is planning a five-seat crossover (2011 IBX concept pictured) to take on the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, according to our friends at Auto Express. The model, code-named Tribu, could go on sale in 2016.
It’s set to be based on the Leon five-door hatch and share its four-cylinder turbo engines. The 4,350-mm long crossover has not been given the go-ahead for production yet, but the British publication says Volkswagen could approve the project very soon.
Having seen the latest design concept in the flesh at SEAT’s technical R&D centre in Martorell, Spain (but not being allowed to photograph it), AE reports that the vehicle bears a strong resemblance to the Leon, but has bigger full-LED headlamps, a more sculpted bonnet and a prominent crease running from the front wheel arch to the boot lid.
Additionally, there’s plastic cladding on the body, squared-off wheel arches and roof rails. An early interior treatment was on display, showing a terrain response dial and a large touch-screen on the dash. AE also saw a driver-oriented centre console and a starter button mounted high on the dash.
Where the new crossover will be built has not been decided yet, but a joint production with a Skoda SUV of the same size is one of the ideas being considered.
SEAT also revealed to AE that next year will see the launch of an Audi allroad-style Leon ST called the ST ‘X-perience’. It will have four-wheel drive, a raised ride height, plastic underbody protection and a premium interior. We could see it at the 2014 Paris show in September.
The third-gen Leon Cupra is also set to arrive next year, with official details expected to come well ahead of its unveiling at the Geneva show in March.