Seat has released a new, high-performance petrol-powered version of its family-friendly Tarraco seven-seat SUV. The 242 bhp petrol engine is shared with the Skoda Octavia vRS hot hatchback and the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and it also recently found a home in the Volkswagen Tiguan SUV.

The ‘EA888’ turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine has long been a favourite for buyers of the Volkswagen Group’s family cars, and it already sees service in less powerful versions of the Tarraco. Now, though, the engine has been tuned to become more potent, making it the most powerful Tarraco on sale today.

With 242 bhp, four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox, the new model will get the Tarraco from 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds, before racing on to a top speed of 142 mph. If driven more sedately, however, it will drink its way through a gallon of petrol every 30.7 miles.

2019 SEAT Tarraco

Customers who want this new, high-end engine will get a choice of four trim levels and two very distinct characters. The FR and FR Sport models add a motorsport-inspired twist to the basic Tarraco shape, while the Xcellence and Xcellence Lux models offer a slightly more luxurious vibe.

To that end, the FR trim comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, sports bumpers and a roof spoiler, as well as gizmos such as tiredness recognition software and keyless entry. The FR Sport ups the ante with 20-inch alloys, heated windscreen washer nozzles and heated seats in the front and rear.

The Xcellence, meanwhile, gets 19-inch alloy wheels, bright chrome roof rails and sports seats with Alcantara upholstery. Park assist technology and adaptive cruise control also form part of the package, adding some high-tech safety kit.

But the Xcellence Lux gets even more kit – and not just the 20-inch alloys that mark it out from its less expensive sibling. The highlight is a 360-degree manoeuvring camera that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the car and its surroundings, but parking space exit assistance is also fitted, warning drivers of oncoming vehicles when backing out of parking spaces. And there’s rollover assist, which can help alert the emergency services if the vehicle rolls over.

Prices for the 242 bhp Tarraco, which wears the ‘245 TSI’ moniker, start at £39,400. The car is available to order from Seat dealers now, ahead of the first vehicles arriving in the UK.

Gallery: Seat Tarraco