03 March 2012

Seat Toledo Concept

SEAT will unveiled a thinly-disguised fourth generation SEAT Toledo in Geneva Motor Show next week. The new  Toledo marks the return of Toledo nameplate to a more conventional sedan concept, which the 3rd generation unsuccessfully drifted into the midi-MPV arena.

SEAT Toledo traditionally is based on the VW Golf platfrom, but with an added rear overhang to give a massive boot, even greater than the VW Vento which is the Golf-derived sedan. The first two generation were designed by Italdesign Giugiaro and shares major parts with the rest of VW model such as Audi A3, Skoda Ovtavia, and VW Golf ( including Bora). However, the 3rd generation dramatically shift into the midi-MPV arena, when chief designer Walter de Silva penned that generation Toledo into the unsuccessful Renault Vel Satis format. Refer photos below for the evolution of Toledo generations of cars, the 3rd gen is on the right-most.
The latest Toledo concept adopts the classic proportion of a saloon, with a clearly defined 3-box design. Its design language is a further development of the new SEAT corporate  design  with a powerful and solid stance, clear and precisely-executed surfaces and lines, and with the new SEAT signature headlamp design. SEAT has previously presented its new style language with the highly acclaimed IBE, IBX and IBL concept cars. 

The SEAT Toledo front end design is characterized by the trapezoidal radiator grille with honeycomb mesh, with the lower radiator opening adopting the same meshing pattern. The  pentagonal headlamps holds some distinctive features too with the chromed ‘wing’ between the main headlamp and daytime running light.
Meanwhile, the broad rear lights also underscore the mature styling of the new SEAT saloon, while the entire rear end conveys the impression of quality and solidity with its few, simply drawn lines. However, MMN is beginning to feel the somberness of cold Germanic design, which influenced anything from the VW Jetta to Proton EMAS ( and P3-21A) to certain extend. The rear fascia especially, is very familiar sights among the VW Group.  More elaboration after the jump.

The side profile of the Toledo has a taut and dynamic look with its crisp character line than  runs from the headlamps across the shoulders to the rear lights and the area around the sills has a simple, sculptural feel.  The most important element, however, is the roofline.  It carves an elegant arc all the way to the powerful breadth of the C-pillar, which emerges seamlessly from the rear side panel.  The very flat angle of the rear window underscores the coupé look.  But, nevertheless, the designers and engineers paid close attention to achieving a high degree of functionality. The large door cut-outs in the rear, too, ease entry and exit.

The interior of the Toledo Concept reflects the modern, clear lines of the exterior which plays with the simplistic line. The light, roomy cabin boasts a cockpit conveying a feeling of ergonomic clarity, with the top of the dashboard seeming to float effortlessly above the air vents and trim elements. The instrument dials are just as clean in their design as the centre console housing the audio and climate controls.  The light colouring of the interior, the sophisticated stitching of the leather seats and the leather cladding on the cockpit and doors emphasise the fine, premium character of the Toledo Concept.

Packaging wise, the Toledo is 4,480mm long and rides on 2,600mm wheelbase. This makes the new Toledo is great deal smaller than the "sedanized" Golf's Jetta which stands at 4,650mm long and sports a smidgen longer wheelbase at 2,650mm. Despite the sedan look, the new Toledo actually features a hatch rear tail gate, which opens up to a commodious boot that is more than 500L in volume. The practicality is further enhanced by the folding rear seats. Anyway, the commodious boot has been Toledo trademark since the beginning, when the booted-Golf first generation boasts a larger 550L of boot space!
Although SEAT officially billed the Geneva-bound Toledo as a concept car, it is no secret that the car significantly previews the forthcoming fourth generation of Toledo bar some concept car touch such as the massive wheels. The tone-down version is said to be coming down to the dealer later in 2012.  
Small gallery of the Geneva SEAT Toledo Concept can be found below:

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