Spanish carmaker, SEAT, a Volkswagen subsidiary, unveiled a hybrid prototype version of its Leon hatchback this week
The Leon Twin Drive is intended to run on electric power in urban areas, switching to petrol or diesel power for longer trips out of town. Lithium-ion batteries power the car’s electric motor.
Engineers will use the Leon Twin Drive to research advanced electrical propulsion techniques, battery recharging and vehicle range.
SEAT says it’s working on plug-in hybrid propulsion, as well as the eventual phasing out of internal combustion engines.
SEAT’s Twin Drive development programme, which stretches to 2014, focuses on creating a range of Ecomotive vehicles with exceptional fuel economy and dramatically reduced CO2 emissions.
SEATs have been marketed sporadically, and largely unsuccessfully, in New Zealand, originally in the late 1980s with the Fiat-based Ibiza.