It’s a Seat Leon, esteemed reader, but not as you know it. This is the super-frugal Leon Verde, a plug-in hybrid version of the popular Golf-based hatchback that could save you a fortune in running costs. If Seat ever gives it the green light, that is.
The Leon Verde combines a 122PS 1.4-litre TSI petrol lump with a 102PS electric motor. With the electric motor fully charged, Seat claims 176.6mpg of and a range of 507 miles. Only the Vauxhall Ampera/Chevrolet Volt can beat those figures, although real-world figures in both cases are likely to be less impressive.
The Leon Verde can run in a full-electric mode for a total of 31 miles before a recharge is needed.
To keep your electricity bill down, the Seat Leon Verde can detect when the grid is experiencing low demand and will charge itself at these times only using a lower tariff.
When the car is sitting idly in the garage with a full battery, the onboard 20kW charger can also pump electricity to flow from the car to your home to potentially reduce your energy bills.
An app has been created that allows you to monitor the Leon Verde remotely. This means you can check the battery level before setting off as well as check general energy consumption figures.
Although the Seat Leon Verde sounds like a sure-fire winner, don’t get your hopes up for hopping behind the wheel any time soon. It is merely a prototype that forms part of a larger research project designed to investigate the feasibility of electric cars in Spain. That said, there’s every possibility it could inspire a hybrid Seat later in the future.