SEAT’s biggest vehicle ever, the Tarraco midsize SUV will be heading to the Frankfurt Motor Show next month in sports apparel courtesy of the newly introduced FR trim in a fresh Fura Grey paint scheme. Spain’s alter ego of the Skoda Kodiaq gets a new set of 19-inch alloys exclusive to the FR specification, but buyers willing to spend more will have the option of larger 20-inch machined wheels.

To further separate the FR guise from the lesser members of the Tarraco range, SEAT is spicing things up with an FR-exclusive front grille and electric sports bucket seats for the driver and front passenger, with memory function for the former. Aluminium pedals and a sporty design of the steering wheel rounds off the FR-specific list of upgrades. The new range-topping trim level also welcomes an updated infotainment system with a 9.2-inch touchscreen.

Gallery: SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV 2020

SEAT is not only introducing the Tarraco FR, but it’s also using the sporty trim level to inaugurate a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The PHEV system combines a 148-bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol combustion engine with a 114-bhp electric motor to enable a total output of 242 bhp, thus making the electrified version the most powerful Tarraco available.

The PHEV setup is derived from other VAG plug-in hybrids like the Volkswagen Passat GTE and the Skoda Superb iV, but with considerably more power. It offers an ample 295 pound-feet of torque, which helps SEAT’s flagship SUV to complete the 0-62 mph sprint in a decent 7.4 seconds.

Thanks to a 13-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the SEAT’s very first production PHEV will be able to travel for more than 31 miles without sipping any petrol.

SEAT will have the FR and PHEV flavours of the Tarraco on sale in Europe beginning with 2020. Meanwhile, a showcar combining the sporty trim with the eco-friendly powertrain will be exhibited at IAA in Frankfurt next month.

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SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV: Technology, sportiness and efficiency

  • SEAT brings another dimension to its largest SUV with the introduction of the sporty FR trim and the efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain
  • Thanks to its 13kWh battery pack, the Tarraco PHEV can offer an all-electric range of more than 50km* and reduced emissions of  below 50g/km*
  • With a total output power of 245PS thanks to its 110kW/150PS gasoline engine and its 85kW/116PS electric engine, the Tarraco PHEV becomes the most powerful Tarraco within the range
  • The Tarraco also comes with novelties such as the functional coast-to-coast light and a larger 9.2’’ infotainment system
  • Both the FR trim and the PHEV powertrain will be available to order in 2020

SEAT is expanding the efficiency and desirability of the Tarraco, introducing plug-in hybrid powertrain technology and  the sporty FR trim. The Tarraco plug-in hybrid is a demonstration of SEAT strategy towards electrification, which will include six electric and plug-in hybrid SEAT and CUPRA models until the beginning of 2021.

SEAT sold a record 369,500 vehicles in the first seven months of the year, with 55,200 vehicles sold in July alone, a 7.8% increase over 2018. The Tarraco is contributing to increase the company’s presence globally, and the introduction of both the FR trim and plug-in hybrid technology will be key components in achieving its targets.

“The Tarraco plug-in hybrid perfectly illustrates our move towards a more sustainable mobility, yet maintaining the dynamism and fun-to-drive, typical of any SEAT. The Tarraco will be one of the few options with a plug-in hybrid powertrain on the large SUV segment, and we believe that it has a great potential,” said Luca de Meo, President of SEAT.

Plug-in hybrid version: pure efficiency

Designed and developped at SEAT’s facilities in Martorell, the SEAT Tarraco is being produced in Wolfsburg (Germany), at the heart of the Volkswagen Group. With the introduction of the plug-in hybrid powertrain system, the SEAT Tarraco will gain added efficiency, becoming a very sustainable alternative.

The powertrain system, which comprises a 1.4 litre TSI 110 kW petrol engine, 85 kW electric motor and a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, gives drivers the adaptability of multiple driving modes. The plug-in hybrid Tarraco allows users to drive in pure-electric mode for more than 50km* should they need to, reducing tailpipe emissions to zero, or combine the petrol engine and electric motor to provide increased performance.

The technology will help the SUV – and SEAT – improve efficiency without the need to make sacrifices in dynamics or comfort.

Total output for the system is 245PS (180kW)/400Nm giving the plug-in hybrid Tarraco a top speed of 217km/h* and the ability to reach 100km/h in just 7.4 seconds*. But importantly, CO2 emissions will be below 50g/km* on the official WLTP test cycle.

FR trim: Distinction and Sportiness

Introducing the FR trim to the Tarraco will enhance the large SUVs desirability yet further, and bring new levels of sportiness to its character.

The exterior design has been enhanced, with wider wheel arches, a sporty rear spoiler and FR-specific 19” alloy wheels, with an option to have machined 20” wheels available. As well as these changes, at the front, the FR grille proudly houses the SEAT badge; at the back, the coast-to-coast rear light highlights the FR look and the all-body painted exterior emphasises its dynamism. The sportier expression of the Tarraco FR is its name, now embossed in handwriting.

A new colour – Fura Grey – underlines the changes to the exterior and brings additional options to customers to help personalise their vehicle further. The Tarraco also improves in safety and practicality.

New options include trailer assist – which makes towing considerably easier, and reduce the likelihood users will encounter difficulties when parking. Add to this the Parking Heater, a system that allow you to warm the engine and vehicle faster in extremely cold weather, and the Tarraco becomes an even more practical vehicle.

Inside, the interior space has been shrewdly sculptured to heighten the impression of comfort with SEAT’s latest generation infotainment system including a new navigation system with 9.2’’ screen, increasing the SUV’s levels of digitalisation to optimise driver feedback and passenger connectivity.

Front occupants now benefit from electric sports bucket seats with memory function (for the driver side). The bucket seats have a combination of the sportiness of a neoprene look material and the sophistication of an art craft leather work for the confort area. In addition, the driver benefits from aluminium pedals and a new sports steering wheel with FR logo.

The introduction of the FR trim and advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain positions the SEAT Tarraco as one of the sportiest, most efficient models in the large SUV segment, combining state-of-the-art connectivity systems, convenience and assistance systems, design and styling. Start of production of the FR trim and of the PHEV version will take place during the course of 2020.

The SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV will make its world debut at this year’s IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show.