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SEAT is an abbreviation for Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo (Spanish Society for the Production of Touring Cars), the name of a company founded in Barcelona in 1950.
The origins of the enterprise were the National Institute of Industry (INI) of the Franco government, six large Spanish banks and the Italian concern FIAT, chosen by them as a foreign partner.
From 1953 to 1982 under the SEAT brand, licensed copies of FIAT cars were produced for the Spanish market.
In 1982, Fiat withdrew from the shareholders, and the Spanish authorities turned to the German company Volkswagen for help.
In 1986, SEAT became part of the Volkswagen Group, which still owns it today. Modern SEAT models are based on common platforms with Volkswagen, but have a distinctive design.
In 2018, SEAT spun off its Cupra sports division as a brand in its own right.
The headquarters and main production center of SEAT are located in Martorell near Barcelona.
About 450,000 cars are produced there annually, which are exported to 75 countries of the world.
SEAT separates Cupra into an independent brand within the Volkswagen Group, with its own logo, headquarters and dealer network.
Cupra presented itself as "an unconventional challenger brand based on stimulating style and modern performance, inspiring the world from Barcelona with progressive cars and experiences."
Now the best-selling SEAT models are the SEAT Ibiza Mk5 and SEAT Leon Mk4 passenger hatchbacks.
Since 2016, three crossovers have already appeared in the company's model range: the subcompact SEAT Arona, the compact SEAT Ateca and the mid-size SEAT Tarraco.
The Cupra lineup includes three models: the Cupra Leon hot hatchback, the Cupra ST all-wheel drive station wagon and the Cupra Formentor sports crossover.
They are equipped with a 2-liter 4-cylinder petrol turbo engine with a capacity of 250 or 300 hp. and a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.
A hybrid powertrain is also available with a 1.4-liter petrol engine and an electric motor, with a total output of 250 hp, while the Cupra Formentor is equipped with a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline 5-cylinder engine with 390 hp.
In 2021, the all-electric Cupra Born crossover, based on the Volkswagen ID.3, entered the market.
The basic version has a 150-hp electric motor on the rear axle and a 45 kWh battery with a range of 340 km.
There is also a modification with a 204 hp electric motor, a 58 kWh battery and a range of 420 km.