June/July 2001: SEAT is to produce more sporty cars in future as part of plans to increase sales.
Every new model from the Spanish company will be based on a chassis concept that has been created to improve roadholding and enhance handling characteristics.
Dubbed ACC, the concept allows the Volkswagen Group brand to put new emphasis on driving pleasure, company board member Dr Winfried Burgert claimed in Barcelona.
'I think we have found the recipe to stir the emotions of people who genuinely enjoy their driving. It will further distance our brand from the products made by our parent company, and I'm confident it will win us many new friends,' said Burgert. 'Our aim is to produce a series of emotive and individual cars.'
Featuring a package of detail modifications to spring and shock absorber ratings, the agile chassis concept employs thicker anti-roll bars and a new suspension-mounting system and is set to play a key role in a new high-profile version of the Leon hatchback.
Shown in prototype form prior to being made available in the first quarter next year, the Cupra R is the company's fastest car and SEAT Sport will build around 600 examples a year in a special facility near the main production centre at Martorell, near Barcelona.