SEAT Tribu concept

15 Sep, 2007 1:00am Chris Thorp

Sporty crossover concept may join Freetrack in SEAT dealerships

There’s a rough road ahead for SEAT! Following in the rocky tracks of the VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga, this is the Spanish firm’s new Tribu compact SUV.

The chunky three-door shares some styling cues with its Volkswagen sister 4x4, and is the star of SEAT’s stand at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

And if you think the Tribu’s looks have a hint of supercar, you could be right – as it’s the first model from the brand to be wholly penned by former Lamborghini stylist Luc Donckerwolke.

Bosses claim the show car “signals an evolution of SEAT’s current design themes”. The firm wants to make its models more distinctive by adopting a more angular style than the generic shape now in use across the range. Squared wheelarches fit in with the latest 4x4 trends, and are filled by enormous 20-inch polished alloys.

While SEAT has not yet confirmed if the SUV will go into production, it is highly likely. And a five-door Tribu may even reach UK showrooms by 2009, to join the existing Altea Freetrack.

Inside, the prototype has only four seats; the final model would pro­bably accommodate five, although the Tribu’s clever folding mechanism could be put into use on future production SEATs.

The dashboard features a slick, hi-tech interface, with four screens that show everything from the car’s rev counter to information about how to make more safe and comfortable pro­gress. These displays change to match the driving mode the Tribu is currently in: Urban, Sport or Freerun.

Once the owner has selected the most appropriate mode, the engine management, gearchange and suspen­sion settings are adjusted automatic­ally to best suit the terrain.

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