Seat Ateca SUV to be unveiled at Geneva motor show

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Seat’s first ever SUV model, based on the Leon hatchback, will take the Ateca name when it goes on sale in the UK later this year.

The new SUV, which will be seen for the first time at next month’s Geneva motor show, has been spotted testing numerous times in the run up to its official unveiling and is part of a three-model family planned by the Spanish car maker.

Styled to present its off-road credentials

Visually, Seat’s Ateca SUV will not be styled to present its off-road credentials, with Seat preferring a reserved design more akin to the current Leon family instead.

The styling of the SUV has been previewed before, firstly with the IBX concept in 2011 and latterly with the 20v20 concept at last year’s Geneva show.

The Ateca name follow Seat’s tradition of naming its cars after locations in its Spanish homeland. Ateca is a town in the north of the country.

The first Seat SUV is envisioned as a rival for the Nissan Qashqai and was described by former Seat boss Jürgen Stackmann as having agile and precise handling. Speaking to Autocar last year, Stackmann said: “We have done a lot of research into why people buy these kinds of vehicles and what our competitors already offer, and these characteristics should help us stand out.”

Power for the Seat SUV could come from the existing Leon family of engines while a hot Cupra version is also being considered.

The new Seat SUV should quickly become a volume model for the brand when it goes on sale, capitalising on the rising demand for crossovers and SUVs in Europe.