Friday, February 18, 2011

SEAT Adds 4WD Option to Alhambra Minivan

The VW Sharan's Spanish sibling is now more worthy of the “multi-purpose” label as SEAT has presented a new variant with a permanent all-wheel drive system for the Alhambra. The new model benefits from the latest-generation of VW's 4x4 system, electronically controlled and set up for improved driving dynamics.

According to SEAT, the system has been tuned to offer “a surprising level of sporty driving fun”. The all-wheel drive system is operated by a multi-plate clutch that sends the juice to the axle that needs it the most. In the event that the front wheels slip, an electrically driven annular piston pump builds up the oil pressure necessary for the clutch to divert a large proportion of the driving force to the rear wheels.

The 4WD option will be offered in conjunction with the most powerful diesel engine available, the 2.0-liter TDI which develops 140 horsepower. Linked to a six-speed manual transmission, the oil-burner pushes the Alhambra to a top speed of 191 km/h (118 mph). The standard 0 to 100 km/h sprint takes a decent 11.4 seconds and average fuel consumption is rated at 6.0 liters/100 km (equal to 39.2 US mpg).

The low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 158 grams per km are also due to the Ecomotive package, which includes a brake energy regeneration and an automatic start/stop system.

The SEAT Alhambra 4WD will be available for sale starting this summer, in the Reference and Style versions with interiors configured with 5 seats. Towards the end of the year, the all-wheel drive MPV will also have a 2+2+2 seating arrangement.


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