|2012 Alhambra 4WD|
Image credits: © Seat.
2011 Seat Alhambra news, pictures, and information
The new SEAT Alhambra – the modern MPV for an active life• All new MPV line-up wîth state-of-the-art technology
• Progressive bodyshell concept wîth sliding doors and five or seven seats
• TDI and TSI engines boast dynamic character and outstanding efficiency
• Sporty running gear wîth excellent comfort
• A host of innovative, hi-tech, features
SEAT continues its extensive product offensive wîth the debut of a versatile, elegant and luxurious new model. The new Alhambra is an ideal choice for active and sporty individuals and families. It offers plenty of space for leisure, business and hobbies, fulfilling the expectations of family life as well as the demands of high-mileage business drivers.
New from the ground up, today's Alhambra combines a high degree of usability wîth sporting character in true SEAT fashion. Its sophisticated running gear and extensive hi-tech equipment come together wîth a choice of four engines that combine powerful performance wîth exceptional efficiency. The 2.0 TDI wîth 103 kW / 140 hp and a manual transmission consumes only 5.5 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, equating to an exceptionally low CO2 figure of 143 grams – an absolute best in the §egmènt. As a result, this Alhambra bears the new SEAT logo for extremely low-emission models – Ecomotive E. The other Alhambra variants also boast impressive fuel economy, plus they are equipped wîth the stop/start system as part of the SEAT efficiency package and carry the designation Ecomotive.
'Innovation and intelligence are the key words for our new Alhambra. This is a huge step forward in terms of usability, as well as in dynamics and safety,' said James Muir, Chairman of SEAT, S.A. 'Its outstanding concept combines the highest levels of functionality and state-of-the-art technology wîth an excellent standard of quality and workmanship. And, of course, it wouldn't be a SEAT if it didn't also represent incredible value for money.'
The Alhambra has the perfect format for a versatile MPV. At 4.85 metres, it is 22 centimetres longer than its predecessor. It has also gained an additional nine centimetres in width, taking it to 1.90 metres. These dimensions deliver an exceptionally generous amount of room, wîth ample space in the third row for adults. The long sliding doors, which are also available wîth electric operation in the Style equipment line, offer easy access to all seats. The luggage compartment is also more than generous – measuring 2,430 litres, almost 2.5 cubic metres, when the second row of seats is folded in the five-seat version.
One focus of SEAT's development work on this car was on the intelligent and highly flexible seating concept. In its home market, the new Alhambra is available wîth either five or seven seats. With the new 'EasyFold' system, the second- and third-row seats can be retracted into the vehicle floor in just one movement. Moreover, the second-row seats can also be positioned sideways, wîth integrated child seats available as an option. The driver seating position combines the best visibility wîth perfect ergonomics.
The design makes the dynamics of the new SEAT Alhambra clearly evident from the first glance. The broad, taut proportions, the clear lines and the distinctive wheel arches create an appearance that exudes a powerful presence. With the arrow-shaped bonnet, the characteristic SEAT grille and the powerful front skirt also sporting the arrow design, this large MPV sends a clear signal that it is part of the SEAT family. A subtle roof spoiler, the downward sweep of the hatch and large light clusters dominate the rear of the vehicle. An electrically actuated rear hatch is available as an option.
Technology and equipment
SEAT offers a wide range of innovative technologies for the new Alhambra – some as optional extras. They include the optional bi-xenon headlamps wîth cornering lights and automatic full beam. Also new is the Park Steer Assistant that helps the Alhambra's driver to steer into even relatively tight spaces - both parallel and perpendicular to the road. The driver's active participation during these manoeuvres is still, of course, required. A three-zone climatronic system guarantees comfortable cabin temperatures regardless of seating position.
In its home market SEAT offers the Alhambra in the Reference and Style equipment lines – wîth even the Reference level coming wîth a generous range of equipment. Its extensive safety package incorporates seven airbags, including a driver-side knee airbag, child locks on the rear doors and ESP stability system complete wîth trailer stabilisation function and tyre monitoring display.
Not only is the new Alhambra extremely cost effective to maintain, its purchase price is also highly competitive, delivering the excellent value for money that is acknowledged as a classic SEAT feature. The Alhambra is manufactured at the company's plant in Palmela, Portugal, wîth its market launch scheduled for autumn 2010.
Beneath its attractive exterior, the Alhambra is an all-new vehicle developed from the ground up and packed wîth the latest technology. It starts wîth the engine line-up – the two pairs of TSI and TDI power plants are direct injection turbocharged units. The two TSIs generate 110 kW / 150 hp and 147 kW / 200 hp, while the TDIs deliver 103 kW / 140 hp and 125 kW / 170 hp to the front wheels. All four engines supply the Alhambra wîth powerful and refined drive.
The stop/start system and the energy recovery function, components from the Ecomotive technology programme, come as standard wîth three of the four engines and contribute to the exceptional efficiency of the new SEAT MPV. With an average fuel consumption of 5.5 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions of only 143 grams per km, the Alhambra 2.0 TDI wîth 103 kW / 140 hp sets the benchmark in its §egmènt. Moreover, both TDI units are equipped wîth an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction), making them among the cleanest diesel engines in the world. The optional dual clutch transmission – standard in the 2.0 TSI – shifts gear incredibly quickly and smoothly. Just like the engines, this hi-tech gearbox delivers the perfect combination of sporty performance, comfort and efficiency.
The SEAT brand
SEAT is the youthful and sporty vehicle maker from Spain. SEAT offers unique, innovative design expertise, state-of-the-art technology and top quality standards. ( posted on conceptcarz.com) Driving fun is one of the brand's core values and all SEAT models are as athletic as they are efficient. At the same time, they excel through their excellent functionality and exceptional value for money – SEAT makes innovative technology available to all.
SEAT's home is in Martorell near Barcelona. This is where the design, development and the majority of production take place. The current line-up includes the Ibiza, Leon, Altea, Exeo and Alhambra ranges. SEAT is a member of the Volkswagen Group.
1. Design - dynamic and powerfulThe Alhambra has the perfect MPV format. At 4.85 metres, it is longer than its predecessor by 22 centimetres. Its width is up by nine centimetres to 1.90 metres, marking a best in this vehicle §egmènt. Height, on the other hand, has been slightly reduced – by one centimetre – to 1.72 metres. The new proportions create a line that is powerfully sporty.
SEAT Head of Design Luc Donckerwolke and his team faced the challenge of taking the MPV concept, wîth its voluminous space, and cladding it in an emotional, engaging design. The team fulfilled its task brilliantly. From the very first glance, the new Alhambra is clearly a true SEAT, wîth sporty and powerful lines. Calm, refined surfaces shape its modern and youthful appearance. The tight and precisely parallel shut lines convey its technical precision while fine, almost imperceptible, returns beneath the edges add emphasis to the exterior lines. The proportions harmonize perfectly – bringing enormous tension to the design wîth a minimum of lines.
The characteristic motif at the front of the Alhambra is the 'Arrow Design' – a theme typical of the expressive SEAT design language. The trapezoidal radiator grille is framed wîth subtle chrome trim and bears a large SEAT logo. Its finely contoured black bars emphasize the vertical. Together wîth the distinctive, V-shaped contours of the bonnet and the low headlamps, the grille forms SEAT's trademark 'arrow'.
The powerful bumper design is dominated by large, three-dimensional air inlets wîth clearly defined edges. In the standard version, fog lamps are located in the outer air intakes. Together wîth the H7 headlamps, they come wîth an additional static cornering light function – illuminating junctions at speeds of up to 40 km/h.
The Style equipment line comes wîth an optional bi-xenon variant which delivers dipped and full beam from mercury-free gas-discharge lamps.
For the headlamps in the Alhambra Style, SEAT offers two optional state-of-the-art technologies – the Adaptive Headlight System (AHS) and the Full Beam Assistant. The AHS, which is reserved for the bi-xenon headlamps only, incorporates dynamic cornering light and static cornering light. The Full Beam Assistant is also available wîth the H7 units. Úsing a sensor mounted on the base of the rear view mirror, it recognises other vehicles and built-up areas from their illumination and automatically switches between full and dipped beam.
A distinctive design element of the SEAT Alhambra is its side profile, wîth its steeply angled D-pillar and homogenous panel surfaces. The flanks feature subtle contours, providing perfect functional and visual integration for the large sliding doors. A powerfully formed horizontal character line runs above the sill, setting an accent along the flank to match the strongly defined, large wheel arches. LED indicators are incorporated into the wing mirrors.
The side windows are set comparatively low down, conveying a feeling of transparency and lightness, and offering passengers an expansive view. The Alhambra Style includes optional chrome trim around the windows. The standard-fit black roof rail – available in chrome on the Style line – is subtle and slender, blending smoothly into the silhouette.
The rear of the SEAT Alhambra is clearly structured. One of its distinctive elements is the large spoiler on the edge of the roof incorporating the third brake light. The registration plate is mounted beneath the large SEAT logo and the 'Alhambra' lettering and set into a recess in the downward sweep of the rear hatch.
The large rear lights are a variation on the geometry of the front headlamps. They are split into two, wîth the outer §egmènt on each side integrated into the D-pillar and the inner in the hatch. The light cluster narrows as it runs towards the centre of the vehicle. The internal components have a horizontal structure, their lines adopting a wave form and generating a distinctive image by night.
2. Bodyshell - stiff and safe
The new Alhambra has been created from scratch and one of its key improvements is the door concept. Instead of conventional hinged doors, the new full-size MPV from SEAT comes wîth two sliding doors in the rear. In the Style equipment line, these are available wîth electric operation. The bodyshell is aerodynamic, stiff, safe and light. Despite its format, the base version of the Alhambra weighs in at only 1,648 kilograms.
The new SEAT Alhambra comes as standard wîth two sliding rear doors. The doors are especially easy and quiet to open and close. Compared wîth conventional hinged doors, the sliding doors make access significantly easier in tight parking spots or garages. On opening, there is no danger whatsoever that the door accidentally touches the neighbouring vehicle or the wall.
The wide opening of the sliding doors offers plenty of room for climbing into the rear. Each door runs on three tracks, located in the sill area, the side panel above the wheel arch and in the roof frame. The upper track is built into a separate box that protects it from the environment. Both sliding doors come as standard wîth electric windows.
In the Style equipment line, these doors can be supplied wîth optional electric operation. They are triggered using either two buttons in the centre console, buttons in the B-pillar or via the door handles. The electric sliding doors can also be operated by remote control. They cannot be opened while the fuel cap is open.
Even the degree to which the electric sliding doors can be opened is individually programmable. Opening and closing can be interrupted at any time – a self-locking drive system holds the door firmly in place, even when parked on a hill or incline. Electric power assistance securely closes the doors – even in extreme cold. Electric child locks come as standard, wîth their controls located conveniently beside the driver seat.
In the interests of safety, SEAT has equipped the Alhambra wîth a sophisticated anti-trap feature. This is a computing function within the control mechanism – it compares the relationship between the electricity drawn by the drive wîth its speed. Should one of the doors hit an object while closing, it stops immediately and re-opens. If an obstacle is detected during opening, it stops moving. An acoustic warning signal is also emitted when the door is closing.
Aerodynamics and acoustics
The groundbreaking efficiency of the new SEAT Alhambra is the result of extensive technical refinement. One major success is the perfectly balanced aerodynamics. The large MPV boasts a cd figure of only 0.299 – a record in this §egmènt and an improvement of five percent over its predecessor, which was already extremely good.
The aerodynamic experts started air flow calculations at a very early stage in the development process, the results of which fed directly into the design of the model. Engineers and designers embarked on a highly complex process of refinement encompassing a wide range of details. On the A-pillars, for example, an optimised gutter profile diverts air flow from the windscreen onto the side windows wîth minimal losses. This also keeps wind noise down and helps to keep the wing mirrors clear when driving in the rain. The mirrors themselves and their connection to the body were also developed in a similar fashion. As an option, SEAT can deliver dark tinted glass for the rear.
Aerodynamic criteria also played a role in the design of the sills. They improve the air flow around the rear wheels, which minimises the wheels' wind resistance. At the end of the vehicle's roof, the large spoiler ensures that the air flow separates cleanly and wîth minimal turbulence from the vehicle. The small spoilers and large panels on the vehicle's underbody are also designed to ensure that air flows smoothly along the underside of the vehicle, while at the same time effectively cooling the driveline components and brakes. The underside of a vehicle generates a significant proportion of its overall drag.
The bodyshell of the new SEAT Alhambra is based on state-of-the-art technology – this high-end character also manifests itself in its weight. The body structure weighs less than 400 kilograms. Although the new Alhambra is considerably larger, stiffer and safer and incorporates two large sliding doors it weighs less than its predecessor. This progress is attributable to new materials and manufacturing techniques.
Alongside the 13 percent proportion of hot-formed sheet steel, a significant amount of the Alhambra's metal structure is made from high-strength steel. This material concept gives the full-size MPV outstanding crash characteristics – whether in a frontal, side or rear end collision or in a rollover situation.
In the event of a front end impact, the structures in the crumple zone in front of the passenger cell absorb a large proportion of the impact energy. The bumper cross member, made from hot-formed steel, also transfers the energy from an offset collision into both longitudinal members. To protect the passengers' feet and legs, the cross member in the footwell area is also made from hot-formed material.
The centre tunnel and the sills channel forces to other areas of the bodyshell. In parallel to the floorpan, the sidewall frame in the engine bay and the door frames form additional force distribution channels in the passenger cell. The hot-formed roof pillar, which extends well into the roof frame, further improves the stability of the safety cell.
In the event of a side impact, forces are channeled primarily via the sill and B-pillar – which are also made from hot-formed steel. The seat cross member located between the sill and the centre tunnel supports the B-pillar, directing forces into the tunnel. The diagonally mounted impact beams in all four doors distribute a proportion of the forces into the surrounding bodyshell. The new Alhambra also offers its passengers the best possible protection in the event of a rear end collision, where the large rear longitudinal beams play the leading role.
The new MPV from SEAT also exceeds all legislative requirements when it comes to pedestrian protection. If a pedestrian is involved in a collision wîth the car resulting in hitting his head against the bonnet, there is ample crumple zone between it and the solid components in the engine bay. The wings are attached over compliant elements and there are also deformation zones around the windscreen crossmember. Foam behind the bumper crossmember cushions impact wîth a pedestrian's legs. In low speed impacts – such as car park collisions – major damage is avoided because the technical components at the front and rear are well protected.
In the event of a more serious crash, the safe bodyshell functions in a precisely defined way, working wîth the restraint systems on board the Alhambra. These include seven airbags – the driver and front seat passenger airbags, two side airbags in the first row, two head airbags between the A and D-pillars that deploy like curtains and a knee airbag for the driver that deploys beneath the §teering column. Due to their design, the head restraints on the front seats minimise the risk of whiplash in the event of a rear end collision.
Sensors signal collisions early and reliably. These incorporate a very early response front sensor close to the bonnet catch, further sensors close to the airbag control unit located in the front tunnel area and acceleration sensors for side collisions integrated into the B and C-pillars.
All seats on board the Alhambra are equipped wîth three-point automatic belts, wîth belt tensioners and belt force limiters up front. A further standard feature in the full-size SEAT MPV is the Seat Belt Reminder system (SBR) that monitors the belt catches on the front seats. If a seatbelt remains unfastened and the Alhambra is already in motion, it issues a visual and acoustic warning to the driver. In both the 5- and 7-seat versions, this system is also available on all seats. The driver then sees in the multifunction display whether the rear seat passengers are belted in.
The seats in the second and optional third row are fitted wîth Isofix and additional Top Tether child seat anchors. Also available for the second row are one or two integrated child seats suitable for children aged three years and over. The passenger airbag can be switched off to enable use of a rearward facing infant seat in the front.
3. Interior and luggage compartment – space and quality
The new Alhambra is a generously proportioned MPV – offering plenty of space for people and luggage. Its seating concept is all new and developed from scratch. SEAT offers a choice of layouts wîth either five or seven seats. When the second and third row seats are not required, they can be stowed in the vehicle floor wîth an easy-to-use folding mechanism.
A great deal of input from future customers was incorporated into the development of the seating and door concept. Children between the ages of six and 14, and their parents, were given access to prototypes, wîth their comments repeatedly providing inspiration for improvements – one example being the design of the operating handles on the backrests.
The second-row seats
Passengers in the second row sit somewhat higher than the driver and front seat passenger – almost as they would in a cinema. The large side windows offer them an unobstructed view. For the second row of seats, SEAT supplies a three-seat module as standard. The second-row seats can be slid front to back by up to 160 millimetres, while the angle of the backrests can be adjusted in fine steps. The seats offer longer leg supports and a higher comfort level than in the preceding model, plus seat height and headroom have been increased. To protect passengers from the sun, the Alhambra Style offers manually operated blinds as an option.
In the preceding model, it was still necessary to remove the rear seats in order to accommodate large loads but in the new Alhambra, they can remain on board thanks to the all new 'EasyFold' system. Folding the seats away is simple, dealt wîth in just one simple movement.
One pull on the handle located on the side of the backrest is all it takes to fold it forward onto the seat cushion – the compact package then sinks forward into the footwell. The headrests can remain in situ. When the seats are upright but not in use, the headrests can be pushed all the way down so that they don't obstruct visibility in the rear-view mirror. In the Style equipment line, the rear-view mirror is self-dimming.
The third-row seats
The Alhambra wîth seven seats comes wîth a third row (2 + 3 + 2) that is mounted a little higher than the second row. Access to this row has likewise been significantly improved. The sliding doors open wide and the outer seats on the second row can be moved well forward.
The long wheelbase of 2.92 metres – 8 centimetres more than on the preceding model – is best-in-class and makes for ample knee room. In the Alhambra, even adults can sit comfortably in the third row on reasonably long trips. The angle of the backrests can be adjusted in two stages. Pneumatic struts assist in folding the third-row seats – the seat cushion and backrest lay flat one behind the other on the load surface.
Regardless of whether one or both seat rows are stowed, the load surface is always flat. With only the third-row seats folded, the load surface, finished in high quality carpet, is no less than 1.3 metres long. To the height of the luggage compartment cover, the cargo volume of the 5-seat Alhambra in this layout is 809 litres. Thanks to an easy-to-use optional divider net that can be fixed at a variety of different points, the Alhambra can also be loaded right up to the ceiling. This takes the volume up to 1,339 litres in the 5-seat car.
If the second-row seats are also stowed, the continuous, unbroken load surface increases in length to 2.10 metres, measured to the front seat backrests. In this format for maximum load space, the 5-seater offers no less than 2,430 litres of volume when loaded to the ceiling. The 7-seat version offers 2,297 litres. As an option, the front passenger seat can be folded forward to accommodate objects up to 2.95 metres long. One very convenient option is the electric rear hatch, available on the Style line. To activate it, there is a switch on the centre console and two buttons on the hatch itself – one is for opening and the other for closing.
Similar to the optional electric sliding doors, the electric rear hatch also comes wîth an anti-trap device. The angle of opening can be programmed in order to avoid possible conflicts wîth low ceilings. When the hatch is fully open, the standing height available beneath it is 1.85 metres – more than enough for most individuals. The load height of the Alhambra is conveniently low at 67 centimetres, wîth access to the load area being completely level.
Standard features in the luggage compartment include a 12-volt socket, securing eyelets, bag hooks, a retractable and removable cover and stowage bins in the side walls; the 5-seat version offers additional stowage space beneath the load surface. As an option, SEAT can deliver its all-new cargo package. It consists of movable telescopic rails anchored to points along the upper edge of the side walls, and a net stretched between them like a hammock.
Alhambra customers who own caravans or horse trailers will appreciate the pivoting tow hook. It is released electrically via a button in the luggage compartment, after which the hook can be pivoted out by hand and locked into place. Versions powered by the TDI engines can tow up to 2.2 tonnes.
4. Cockpit - elegant and functional
The instrument panel in the SEAT Alhambra reinterprets the operating principles of the preceding model, wîth the key elements helpfully remaining in their familiar locations. The cockpit layout is divided horizontally, expressing the character of sporting elegance that marks the essence of the new Alhambra. SEAT engineers and designers dedicated their full attention to even the tiniest detail.
Quality and design
The selection and application of materials on board the new Alhambra convey an impressive level of quality and refinement. The surfaces of the instrument panel are padded using the slush moulding technique and finished in a fine leather texture. Discreet chrome-look frames trim the air vents and most of the switch units.
The decorative trim elements in the instrument panel and front doors gleam in one of a variety of surface finishes, depending on equipment level. All controls and buttons – illuminated in classic SEAT red at night – turn and click wîth exacting accuracy, precisely defined travel and quiet, but rich tones.
The centre console
The instrument panel is made up from an upper and a lower §egmènt, separated by a trim element. The cockpit takes the form of a flowing wave – the centre console is stretched a little further forward, emphasising its sporty, ergonomic character. All operating fields located on it are higher and more ergonomically positioned than on the preceding model.
The upper section of the centre console is home to the audio, video and navigation systems available in the new Alhambra. The navigation system and the top-of-the-range audio system both feature a touchscreen display. Beneath the monitor, the large hazard light switch is located on the trim element, while above the monitor is a storage bin. On the Alhambra Style it comes wîth a cover.
The control unit for the air conditioning is in the centre zone of the instrument panel. Beneath it is a double row of switches, home to controls for functions such as the optional electric sliding doors and rear hatch. A second storage bin completes the centre console.
The parking brake is located on the tunnel in its familiar place between the front seats and actuated via a convenient button. The new electromechanical parking brake saves space in the cabin and enhances both comfort and safety. The 'Auto Hold' function helps when pulling away, especially on inclines. It continues to hold the vehicle for a moment after the foot brake has been released.
Beneath the elegantly sweeping arc of the dashboard hood are the two large instrument dials for the new Alhambra – the speedometer and the rev counter. With their white lettering on a black background and wîth their red pointers, they are clear and easy to read. They are framed in discreet silver trim. The fuel and coolant temperature gauges are integrated into the large dials.
In the centre of the instrument binnacle is the multifunction display, which presents key information and functions. For the Alhambra Style, a 'plus' version is available wîth additional functionality. As an option, the multifunction display can be controlled via the three-spoke multifunction §teering wheel – the associated switches are located on the upper spokes and are easy, effortless and intuitive to use. The §teering column is adjustable for height and reach as standard.
The driver's seat is a key element in the balanced ergonomic concept – even long distance driving is relaxed and refined in the new Alhambra. The full-size MPV from SEAT offers comfortable seats that provide excellent physical support. As in the preceding model, driver and front seat passenger have a pleasantly upright seating position, but this time somewhat sportier and lower down. Headroom is up by 16 millimetres.
The driver's seat is height adjustable as standard, wîth an electric lumbar support available in the Reference line. In the Alhambra Style, SEAT also offers optional heated seats wîth 12-way electric adjustability and leather upholstery. Seat heating is also available for both the Style and Reference versions in the Winter Package.
SEAT conceived the new Alhambra for a life on the go – the active character of this full-size MPV includes a wide range of stowage facilities. They can be found in the doors, in the ceiling console, beneath the front seats, in front of the second-row seats and in the luggage compartment. Moreover, the cabin also incorporates either one or two 12-volt sockets, depending on the number of seats.
The large stowage bin on top of the dashboard has a volume of 3.2 litres. The centre arm rest between the front seats is standard equipment and can be adjusted for tilt and longitudinal position; it also contains a further stowage bin. The front doors incorporate holders for 1.5-litre bottles, while the sliding doors have space for 1-litre bottles. Two cup holders in the front and two in the second seat row complete the storage facilities for drinks on board the Alhambra.
5. Comfort technologies – high-end from the luxury class
SEAT offers a wide range of optional comfort technologies for the new Alhambra – from the three-zone automatic climate control, through the infotainment systems to the innovative Park Assistant. They bring the luxury of the top §egmènt into the full-size MPV, underscoring its character as a refined long-distance tourer.
The Alhambra is fitted wîth air conditioning as standard. The all-new, manually controlled system boasts powerful performance combined wîth excellent efficiency. It also cools the large, lockable glove compartment.
The three-zone automatic climate control that manages cabin temperature in three separate zones – for driver, front seat passenger and rear passengers – has also been redeveloped from scratch. Every single seat, including those in the third row, has its own individual air supply. The new three-zone automatic climate control shows all key information in the display of the optional radio and navigation systems. If a setting is changed manually, it briefly shows a pop-up window containing information on the new status. The operation of the system incorporates data from sensors on the position of the sun and humidity levels. By comparing air and window temperatures it can recognise when the windscreen is likely to fog up, only switching on the compressor when it is actually necessary.
SEAT delivers the new Alhambra wîth a range of optional assistance systems for manoeuvring and parking. The base version is the Park Pilot for front and rear – it works wîth ultrasonic sensors and informs the driver wîth acoustic signals. The next level up includes additional graphics displayed in the monitor. The third version incorporates a rear view camera on the back of the vehicle. The monitor displays its images as soon as the driver engages reverse gear. Superimposed guidelines simplify manoeuvring, while the graphic display can be switched on for additional assistance if required.
The top version in the new SEAT Alhambra is one of the most powerful and intelligent park assistance systems in the world – Park Assist. It works wîth 12 ultrasonic sensors, each wîth a range of 4.5 metres, which register the parking spaces at the side of the road and measure them in two dimensions. The driver activates the system wîth the touch of a button and wîth the indicator. To recognise parallel parking spaces, the Alhambra's speed cannot exceed 40 km/h, for perpendicular parking spaces the maximum speed is 20 km/h.
If a space is large enough, the Park Assist takes over the §teering when reversing into the spot. The driver has only to operate the accelerator and the brake, assisted by visual and acoustic signals. Park Assist manoeuvres the SEAT Alhambra into parking spaces that are either parallel or perpendicular to the road. For parallel parking, the space must be only 1.1 metres longer than the vehicle – the system steers forwards and backwards in several movements as required. It provides the same assistance for exiting the parking space. Park Assist also manages parallel parking on bends, on kerbs and between trees and other obstacles.
The audio, navigation and sound systems
The SEAT Alhambra comes wîth a choice of three audio systems and one navigation system. Standard equipment for the full-size MPV is the SEAT Sound System 1.0, which includes an audio tuner, a single CD drive and four speakers. Available as an option is the SEAT Sound System 2.0 wîth eight speakers, an aux-in jack and dual tuner – one tuner receives the programme, while the other searches for other stations in the background. Both audio systems can also play MP3 files.
The cost-effective entry level navigation system comes wîth the new SEAT Media System 2.1. It incorporates a 5-inch touchscreen wîth 400 x 240 pixels, a CD player, an SD card slot and a dual tuner. The navigation data for Western Europe is pre-installed and the available map images include a 3D view. Destination entry – like menu navigation – is incredibly easy and logical.
An additional top-of-the-range feature is SEAT's optional high-end sound system. Developed specifically for the Alhambra, the system boasts a 4 X 20 watt digital amplifier. It controls eight speakers – four two-way systems, two tweeters and two woofers. The system delivers excellent sound quality that is clear, smooth and transparent. One more option on board the new SEAT Alhambra is the media-in jack wîth ÚSB adapter cable for easy connection of external players. An iPod connector is also available as an alternative – it fully incorporates the operation and display of the mobile device into the vehicle system.
SEAT offers an up-to-date solution for easy telephone use. A Bluetooth interface connects mobile phones to the GSM/ÚMTS antenna in the Alhambra, as long as they are equipped wîth the Hands Free Profile or the SIM Access Profile. Conversations are transmitted via the vehicle's audio system.
6. Drive units – powerful and highly efficient
The SEAT Alhambra comes to market wîth four state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines – two TDI diesels and two TSI petrol units. They generate between 103 kW / 140 hp and 147 kW / 200 hp and produce up to 350 Nm of torque. All four power plants combine direct injection technology wîth turbocharging – their interaction produces an overall package of sporty power and groundbreaking efficiency.
The engines in the new Alhambra are significantly more powerful, yet up to 16 percent more fuel efficient than the comparable engines in the preceding model. The 2.0 TDI wîth 103 kW / 140 hp consumes an average of only 5.5 litres of diesel per 100 km. That equates to CO2 emissions of 143 grams per km – a clear best-in-class among full-size MPVs. Both TDI units are equipped wîth an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction). This sophisticated technology makes them among the cleanest diesels in the world.
The three engines up to 125 kW / 170 hp come as standard wîth a stop/start system and brake energy recovery – both of which are from SEAT's Ecomotive technologies. As an option, SEAT can mate each of the four engines to the 6-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) that changes gear extremely quickly and smoothly. The top-of-the-range engine – the TSI wîth 147 kW / 200 hp – comes wîth the DSG as standard.
The stop/start system and brake energy recovery
Three of the four engines in the new SEAT Alhambra – both TDI units and the TSI wîth 110 kW / 150 hp – use the very latest efficiency technologies. The stop/start system deactivates the engine at a standstill, when the gear stick is in neutral and the driver is depressing the brake pedal. When the clutch is depressed, an upgraded starter motor restarts the engine – quietly, smoothly and quickly.
The stop/start system, which can be deactivated by the driver at any time, also works perfectly in combination wîth the DSG transmission – in which case the driver only has to depress the brake pedal and then release it to restart the engine. Thanks to a very powerful and cycle-proof battery, the system function even remains active in extreme winter temperatures. The stop/start system cuts fuel consumption by up to 4 percent.
Brake energy recovery, the second efficiency system in the Alhambra, recovers energy during braking and coasting using intelligent voltage regulation for the generator. This energy is stored temporarily in the battery and when the MPV then accelerates it flows back into the vehicle network. This relieves the load on the generator, which can frequently be operated on low voltage or switched off entirely. The power required from the engine in order to run it decreases and fuel consumption is reduced. Aside from these two features, a great many further technical components have been optimised for efficiency. The fuel pump, for instance, draws only as much energy as it requires for any given operating mode. This improved energy management delivers further consumption benefits.
Both four-cylinder TDI units in the Alhambra have a displacement of 1,968 cm3. The common-rail four-valve engines are hi-tech power plants – powerful, cultivated and wîth groundbreaking efficiency.
Compared wîth the outgoing engines, these two 2.0 TDI units have been intensively further developed in many areas. Their weight is down by more than 150 kilograms, wîth major savings coming from the newly optimised cylinder head, while the crankcase is made of cast iron. The toothed belt driving the two camshafts and ancillary equipment is narrower, meaning that it now runs more quietly and smoothly. The water pump requires less energy, the oil pump is pressure regulated and the sealing rings on the crankshaft have been optimised for low friction.
The entry-level TDI in the Alhambra generates 103 kW / 140 hp and develops its maximum torque of 320 Nm from 1,750 to 2,500 r/min. It accelerates the full-size MPV wîth a manual gearbox from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 194 km/h. Its average fuel consumption sets an impressive new benchmark – requiring only 5.5 litres per 100 km, a CO2 equivalent of 143 grams/km. With a tank capacity of 70 litres, the Alhambra has a range of nearly 1,300 km.
The 125 kW / 170 hp TDI, which will follow shortly after market launch, is a sporty engine. Between 1,750 and 2,500 r/min, it produces its maximum torque of 350 Newton metres – enough pulling power to accelerate the Alhambra from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.8 seconds. Top speed is 204 km/h. The top TDI, too, consumes very little fuel, averaging 5.9 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions are only 154 grams per km.
The TSI engines wîth 1.4 and 2.0 litres displacement offered by SEAT in the new Alhambra are perfect examples of the philosophy of downsizing – forced induction wîth a turbocharger or supercharger as a replacement for displacement. The compact four-cylinder units achieve power and torque figures that, a few years ago, were the reserve of naturally aspirated six-cylinders, while consuming far less petrol.
The 1.4 TSI, wîth its 110 kW / 150 hp power output, consumes only 7.2 litres of fuel per 100 km and emits just 167 grams of CO2. Between 1,500 and 4,000 r/min, it generates 240 Nm of torque. With this engine mated to a manual transmission the Alhambra reaches 100 km/h in 10.7 seconds and a top speed of 197 km/h.
The secret of substantial power from low displacement is dual forced induction – the 'twincharger' principle. In the lower rev range, induction is handled by a supercharger driven mechanically by the engine and producing more than 1.0 bar of relative charge pressure. It is equipped wîth an internal gear ratio, and is positioned upstream of the exhaust-driven turbocharger. At 1,500 r/min, the turbo also begins to kick in.
The most powerful engine in the new SEAT Alhambra is the 2.0 TSI, which will follow towards the end of the year. SEAT will mate the most powerful petrol engine wîth its 6-speed DSG as standard.
The SEAT Alhambra voted ‘MPV of the Year' in PortugalThe SEAT Alhambra has been collecting awards and prizes since its launch last September. This time, the Spanish brand's model has been singled out in Portugal as the ‘MPV of the Year' by panel members of the ‘Car of the Year – Crystal Steering Wheel Trophy'.
Once again, the Spanish model's impressive credentials received the highest praise, comfortably outscoring established rivals like the Ford Galaxy C-Max, the Opel Meriva and Volkswagen's Sharan. This new distinction is further proof of the new Alhambra's quality, flexibility and outstanding value for money, three factors that make it the benchmark model of its §egmènt.
For the third straight year, SEAT models have triumphed at the prestigious ‘Car of the Year – Crystal Steering Wheel Trophy' awards. In 2009, the Ibiza was selected as the ‘Most Wanted Vehicle', and last year the Ibiza Cupra was chosen as the ‘Sporty Compact of the Year' by the Portuguese panel.
Growing list of European awards
The SEAT Alhambra has impressed readers and specialists alike wîth even more prizes since its launch last autumn.
Towards the end of last year, readers of the German trade magazine Auto Zeitung awarded the Alhambra wîth the ‘Auto Trophy 2010' as best imported MPV wîth over 48 per cent of the readers' votes. Then in early 2011, the Spanish model was singled out by the British motoring magazine What Car? as winner of the MPV title, followed by another prize in Germany, where the Alhambra won the accolade of ‘Best MPV' in the import category according to readers of the renowned motoring magazine auto motor und sport.
These excellent results are mirrored in the Euro NCAP crash tests, where the SEAT Alhambra recently received the highest possible score of a 5 star rating.Source - Seat
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