BARCELONA - Seat will push its new Toledo upmarket when it goes on sale in December.
The Toledo will be available only as a sedan, although Seat may add other body styles later, said Detlev Schmidt, Seat sales and marketing director.
Base price is L30 million ($16,750) in Italy, the only country for which prices have been set - even though the car will be launched first in Belgium.
The Toledo will be built at Volkswagen's Brussels plant alongside the Golf, with which it shares a platform.
In 1999, the Toledo's first full year of production, planned output is 75,000 units, of which 20,000 are intended for Spain. Total investment in the new Toledo project is 60 billion pesetas ($389 million).
The basic styling and the detailed treatment of the front end was done by Italdesign in cooperation with Seat's own designers and its technical center in Martorell, Spain. Future Seat models will follow the Toledo in displaying the Seat badge prominently in the center of the car's front.
Although Seat has cultivated a sporty image by developing rally versions of the Ibiza and Cordoba, there are no plans for a Toledo rally car. The brand is targeting young drivers in southern Europe using the slogan, 'The automotive joy of life.' The campaign is designed to help continue the repositioning of the Seat brand as a rival to Alfa Romeo.
The Toledo comes in three trim levels: the basic Stella, Sport, and Signum. The range-topping V-5 offers the same equipment as the Signum 1.8-liter gasoline and 1.9-liter turbodiesels. The Stella versions have a choice of a 1.6-liter gasoline engine or a 1.9-liter turbodiesel making 90hp or 110hp.
Luggage capacity is generous, and can be extended from 500 liters to 830 liters by folding the rear seats. 'Big trunks are a Seat trademark that we want to keep,' said Schmidt.
The new Toledo is 100mm wider and 30mm higher than its predecessor, but has better aerodynamics, at 0.31Cd.