Image credits: © Seat.

2012 Seat Alhambra 4WD

NEW SEAT ALHAMBRA NOW WITH ALL-WHEEL DRIVE

2012 Seat Alhambra 4WD
The practical, versatile MPV
• Permanent four-wheel drive for optimum traction and stability
• New highly economical entry-level TDI with 85 kW (115 hp)
• Great handling dynamics combined with excellent comfort
• Intelligent bodyshell concept with sliding doors and five or seven seats
• TDI and TSI engines boast dynamic character and efficiency
• Innovative, hi-tech, features and highest quality standards

SEAT continues its product offensive with a significantly expanded vehicle line-up. The Alhambra is now also available as a 4WD model with permanent all-wheel drive. With its high reserves of traction in every situation, the SEAT Alhambra 4WD adds a whole new dimension to its versatility for families, leisure, business and hobbies. Thanks to the powerful and efficient 2.0 TDI power unit with 103 kW (140 hp) and its great handling dynamics, the successful and highly acclaimed multi-purpose vehicle offers a unique combination of extremely high utility and reliable handling under all conditions.

The new 2.0 TDI with 85 kW (115 hp) expands the Alhambra line-up with a particularly economical entry-level version. With its maximum torque of 280 Newton metres it ensures refined performance, with a level of fuel efficiency that is outstanding among MPVs – its average fuel consumption is just 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres with CO2 emissions of 143 grams per kilometre.

From the outset the new SEAT Alhambra has claimed a top slot in the MPV segment, thanks to its practical bodyshell concept, maximum flexibility, innovative technology and outstanding fuel efficiency. The excellent standard of quality and premium ‘feel' are also major plus points, as is its extremely competitive price. Thus, the Alhambra fulfils not only the expectations of families, but also the demands of high-mileage business drivers.

New from the ground up, today's Alhambra combines a high degree of usability with sporting character in true SEAT fashion. Its sophisticated running gear and extensive hi-tech equipment come together with a choice of engines that combine powerful performance with exceptional efficiency. The 2.0 TDI, with 103 kW / 140 hp and a six-speed manual transmission, and the new base version with 85 kW / 115 hp both consume only 5.5 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, equating to a CO2 figure of 143 grams per km. As a result, the rear of these Alhambra models bears the SEAT badge for extremely low-emission models – 'e Ecomotive'. The other Alhambra variants also boast impressive fuel economy and emissions figures, plus they are equipped with the automatic stop/start system and brake energy recovery as part of the SEAT efficiency package and thus 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 with 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 offers a whole host of impressive strengths that have already been highly acclaimed across the board. Alongside multiple test comparison wins by car magazines and reader awards, the Alhambra also received top marks for occupant safety in NCAP crash testing. Also convinced by the qualities of the new SEAT Alhambra is bähr & fess forecasts, one of Europe's leading providers of residual value estimates: 'Longer, wider, more beautiful. This would be the concise way to describe the difference between the new and the old Alhambra. Plus, the new electric sliding doors make it a good deal more practical. A good move by VW's Spanish subsidiary, because the new Alhambra not only stands for technology to enjoy, but is also a good auto-investment to boot. The new Alhambra goes straight to the top of the residual value list in its imported vehicle segment.'

Format
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, with ample space in the third row for adults. The long sliding doors, which are also available with 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.

Concept
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 with 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, with integrated child seats available as an option. The driver seating position combines the best visibility with perfect ergonomics.

Design
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 with 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 – with even the Reference level coming with 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 with 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.

Drive units
Beneath its attractive exterior, the Alhambra is an all-new vehicle packed with the latest technology. It starts with the engine line-up – the Alhambra now offers a choice between two TSI and three TDI power units – all with direct injection and turbocharging. The TSIs generate 110 kW / 150 hp and 147kW/200 hp, while the TDIs deliver 85 kW /115 hp, 103 kW / 140 hp and 125 kW / 170 hp to the front wheels. The 103 kW version is also available as 4WD. All engines supply the Alhambra with powerful and refined drive.

The stop/start system and the energy recovery function, components from the SEAT Ecomotive programme, come as standard with all of the engines (except 200hp) 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 versions with 85 kW / 115 hp and 103 kW / 140 hp are among the best in their segment. Moreover, the TDI units are equipped with an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction), making them among the cleanest diesel engines in the world. The optional six-speed DSG dual clutch transmission 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 Alhambra 4WD
The permanent all-wheel drive on the new Alhambra 4WD offers a major benefit in traction on all types of surfaces and in every situation. Safety and mobility in wintery road conditions benefit just as much as its characteristics as a towing vehicle. At the same time, the next-generation electronically controlled all-wheel drive is set up for optimum handling. Thanks to the sophisticated design and perfectly tuned running gear, the SEAT Alhambra stands by the spirit of the brand by offering a high level of sporty driving fun – something not traditionally associated with MPVs. Nevertheless, the Alhambra's excellent long-distance comfort remains fully intact.

The all-wheel drive is available in combination with the 103 kW (143 hp) 2.0 TDI and six-speed manual gearbox. It combines powerful performance with excellent efficiency. Top speed stands at 191 km/h, while acceleration to 100 km/h is 11.4 seconds. The Alhambra 4WD also sparkles with exceptionally good fuel economy – it consumes an average of just 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres, making it the star in the competitive field.

In its home market, the SEAT Alhambra 4WD is offered as a five-seater in the Reference and Style lines. The extensive standard equipment and many hi-tech options are the same as those offered for the front-wheel drive models. As an alternative, the Alhambra 4WD will also be available in a version with seven generous individual seats.

NEW SEAT ALHAMBRA
The versatile MPV for active people now with 4WD

2012 Seat Alhambra 4WD1. Design - dynamic and powerful

2012 Seat Alhambra 4WD
The 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, making it a leader in this vehicle segment. 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, with 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, with sporty and powerful lines. Calm, refined surfaces shape its modern and youthful appearance. The tight and precisely parallel shut lines convey its technical precision and outstanding production quality while fine, almost imperceptible returns beneath the edges add emphasis to the exterior lines. The proportions harmonize perfectly – bringing enormous tension to the design with a minimum of lines.

Front end
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 with subtle chrome trim and bears a large SEAT logo. Its finely contoured black bars emphasize the vertical. Together with 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 with clearly defined edges. In the standard version, fog lamps are located in the outer air intakes. Together with the halogen headlamps, they come with an additional static cornering light function – illuminating junctions at speeds of up to 40 km/h.

The Style equipment line comes with 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 Frontlighting System (AFS) and the Full Beam Assistant. The AFS, which is reserved for the bi-xenon headlamps, incorporates dynamic cornering light and static cornering light. The Full Beam Assistant is also available with 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.

2012 Seat Alhambra 4WDThe 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 with either five or seven seats. When the second and third row seats are not required, they can be stowed in the vehicle floor with 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, with 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 standard in Style and as an option in Reference.

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 with 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 with seven seats comes with 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 – eight 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.

Luggage compartment
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. It can also be operated by remote control via a button on the key fob.

Similar to the optional electric sliding doors, the electric rear hatch also comes with an anti-trap device. The angle of opening can be programmed in order to avoid possible conflicts with 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, with 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. The new 4WD Alhambra, meanwhile, tows up to 2.4 tonnes.

4. Cockpit - elegant and functional

2012 Seat Alhambra 4WD
The instrument panel in the SEAT Alhambra reinterprets the operating principles of the preceding model, with 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 with exacting accuracy, precisely defined travel and quiet, but rich tones.

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 segment into the full-size MPV, underscoring its character as a refined long-distance tourer.

Air conditioning
The Alhambra is fitted with air conditioning as standard. The all-new, manually controlled system boasts powerful performance combined with 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 seat, including those in the third row, has an 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 even 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.

Park assistance
SEAT delivers the new Alhambra with a range of optional assistance systems for manoeuvring and parking. The base version is the Park Pilot for front and rear – it works with ultrasonic sensors and informs the driver with 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 with 12 ultrasonic sensors, each with 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 with the touch of a button and with 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 steering 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 both on the left and on the right. For parallel parking, the space must be only 0,8 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 with 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. Standard in Style and available as an option for Reference, is the SEAT Sound System 2.0 with 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 with the new SEAT Media System 2.2. It incorporates a 5-inch touchscreen with 400 x 240 pixels, a CD player, an SD card slot and a dual tuner. The navigation data for Eastern and Western Europe is pre-installed and the available map images include a 3D view. Destination entry – like menu navigation – is easy and logical.

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 with the Hands Free Profile. Conversations are transmitted via the vehicle's audio system.

6. Drive units – powerful and highly efficient

For the Alhambra, SEAT offers five state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines – three TDI diesels and two TSI petrol units. They generate between 85 kW / 115 hp and 170 kW / 200 hp and produce up to 350 Nm of torque. All four powerplants combine direct injection technology with 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 with 85 kW / 115 hp and the 2.0 TDI with 103 kW / 140 hp consume an average of only 5.5 litres of diesel per 100 km. That equates to CO2 emissions of 143 grams per km – among the best in the full-size MPV segment. The TDI units are equipped with an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction). This sophisticated technology makes them among the cleanest diesels in the world.

All engines, except TSI 200 hp, come as standard with a stop/start system and brake energy recovery – both of which are from SEAT's Ecomotive technologies for the reduction of consumption and emissions.

The stop/start system and brake energy recovery
All the engines in the new SEAT Alhambra – the three TDI units and the TSI with 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 with 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 fuel 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.

TDI engines
The three four-cylinder TDI units in the Alhambra each have a displacement of 1,968 cm3. The common-rail four-valve engines are hi-tech power plants – powerful, cultivated and with groundbreaking efficiency.

New entry-level TDI with 85 kW / 115 hp
The new base TDI in the Alhambra generates 85 kW / 115 hp, with the impressive maximum torque of 280 Newton metres available from 1750 r/min. This gives even the entry-level engine variant, which is combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox, an impressive level of dynamics. The Alhambra's top speed stands at 183 km/h, it takes 8.4 seconds from 0 to 80 km/h and completes the dash to 100 km/h within 12. 6 seconds. Average fuel consumption also sets a notable benchmark at just 5.5 litres per 100 km, equating to CO2 emissions of 143 grams per km. With its 70-litre tank filled, the Alhambra has a range of close to 1,300 km.

The second performance level for the 2.0 TDI 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 with a manual gearbox from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 194 km/h. Yet its efficiency is not even a fraction behind that of the base model – this powerful engine, too, boasts an average consumption of just 5.5 litres.

TSI engines
The TSI engines, with 1.4 litre displacement, are the perfect example of the philosophy of downsizing – forced induction with 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 - yet they consume far less petrol.

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. At 1,500 r/min, the turbo also begins to kick in.

Manual transmission
In all engine variants except the 2.0 TDI 170 kW / 200 hp, the new Alhambra comes as standard with manual 6-speed transmissions. They are compact and lightweight with easy and precise shift movements and are highly efficient. The ratios are perfectly graded for optimum comfort and excellent dynamics, with long ratios on the higher gears for reduced engine speed.

DSG transmission
Available as an option on the TDI 140 and 170 hp, and TSI 150 hp, a 6-speed DSG gearbox transmits power to the front wheels. It comes as standard on the 2.0 TDI 147 kW / 200 hp. The dual clutch gearbox, which shifts gear without any perceptible interruption in traction, delivers dynamics, comfort and efficiency in one package.

The 6-speed DSG changes gear in hundredths of a second smoothly and extremely conveniently as defined by the driver, in either fully automatic or manual mode, controlled by optional steering wheel-mounted paddles. In the automatic setting, there are two operating modes to choose from – D (normal) and S (sport).

7. Running gear - sporty and comfortable

The many strengths of the new SEAT Alhambra also include the sporty running gear. The full-size MPV displays impressively agile handling, refined stability and excellent body roll characteristics. Its steering is responsive and compliant, takes all manner of curves at high speed and pulls out of them with excellent traction. The standard-fit ESP stability system ensures uncompromising safety.

Suspension and steering
The front axle of the Alhambra features a classic McPherson strut arrangement with lower wishbones and spring struts. The control arm, swivel bearing and subframe are made from aluminium – which reduces weight and some of the unsprung mass. The track measures 1.57 metres, which is 4 centimetres more than the preceding model.

The steering is a rack and pinion design and its power assistance varies with road speed. The steering delivers precise and firm feedback, displays excellent directional stability and is largely insensitive to road surface irregularities. Because the electromechanical drive draws no energy during straight line driving, it reduces the Alhambra's fuel consumption by up to 0.3 litres per 100 km depending on engine variant. The electromechanical steering works closely with the optional Park Assist.

The electromechanical steering makes a crucial contribution to safety. Working together with the ESP stability system, it helps the driver to countersteer and brake on road surfaces that are slippery on one side by either reducing or increasing its power assistance to the appropriate degree.
At the rear of the Alhambra is a four-link axle construction connected to an aluminium subframe. Here, the track measures 1.62 metres, a full 9 centimetres more than before. The sophisticated rear axle geometry clearly separates the handling of longitudinal and lateral forces.

The longitudinal links deal with the drive and braking forces, with their relatively soft mountings ensuring good body roll comfort. On the other hand, the three lateral links per wheel – the spring arm, the upper control arm and the track rod – are fixed directly to the subframe and thus channel lateral forces directly into the bodyshell. All links are made from high-strength steel. The coil springs and dampers are mounted separately, allowing development engineers are great deal of freedom in their set up.

Wheels and brakes
The new Alhambra Reference runs on 6.5 J x 16 wheels clad in 205/60 rubber. The rims are produced using the flow-form process, which makes them particularly lightweight. The Style line comes with alloy wheels in the same format fitted with 215/60 tyres. As an option, SEAT will also deliver 7J x 17 wheels for the Style with 225/50 low profile tyres.

All tyres have run-flat characteristics – a protective coating on the inner side of the tread seals holes caused by nails, screws or similar foreign objects, meaning the vehicle can be driven on with caution. A tyre monitoring display that warns of pressure loss is also fitted as standard.

The brakes on the new Alhambra feature large ventilated discs. The front discs measure 314 millimetres in diameter, while the rear callipers grip 282 millimetre diameter discs. The front brakes are subject to particularly high loads and have been engineered from scratch, with the focus on short braking distances and high thermal load capacity. The electromechanical parking brake is on the rear axle.
The new SEAT Alhambra comes as standard with a state-of-the-art ESP stability system that includes a trailer stability feature – if the trailer starts to break out or fishtail, the wheels of the Alhambra are braked in a counteracting rhythm. The system incorporates a Hill Start Assistant that helps the driver to pull away both up and downhill. The hazard lights are automatically activated under emergency braking.

8. The Alhambra 4WD
With its permanent all-wheel drive, the new SEAT Alhambra 4WD offers a major benefit in traction on all types of surfaces and in every situation. Safety and mobility under wintery road conditions benefit just as much as its characteristics as a towing vehicle. At the same time, the next-generation electronically controlled all-wheel drive is set up for optimum handling. Thanks to the sophisticated design and perfectly tuned running gear, the SEAT Alhambra stands by the spirit of the brand by offering a high level of sporty driving fun – something thus far unexpected from an MPV. Nevertheless, the Alhambra's excellent long-distance comfort remains fully intact.

Improved handling and traction
Its dynamic handling, refined directional stability and excellent body roll characteristics, delivered by its sophisticated chassis and suspension, make every new Alhambra a pleasure to drive. The Alhambra 4WD builds on the capabilities of the front-wheel drive models with a significant increase in traction under all road conditions. Plus, the all-wheel drive system has been perfectly integrated into the Alhambra without significant changes to the chassis. The power to the rear axle flows via an angle drive on the front differential and the drive shaft to the Haldex coupling. In order to further improve the already good axle load distribution, it is mounted at the end of the drive shaft together with the rear differential in a single casing. This all-new component is extremely compact and highly robust.

Next-generation hi-tech unit
Running in an oil bath inside this electronically controlled coupling is a multi-disc package that can be pressed together via regulated hydraulic pressure in a continuously variable fashion. The driving force sent to the rear axle is dependent upon the pressure applied. The necessary operating pressure is supplied by an electric annular piston pump, with a pressure accumulator maintaining a constant oil pressure of 30 bar. As a result, the Haldex coupling can operate extremely quickly via an electronically controlled valve, delivering a clear benefit in difficult driving situations. The second and equally important advantage – earlier all-wheel drive systems could react only to the differences in rotational speed between the front and rear wheels. In contrast, the all-wheel coupling on the Alhambra 4WD receives its orders entirely from electronic intelligence, thus enabling it to take anticipatory action in combination with ESP and ABS.

Fast and continuously variable power distribution
When pulling away or accelerating, for instance, a great deal of torque is required at the rear axle - the discs are pressed heavily together and a lot of power is diverted rearwards. In an extreme case and to avoid spinning front wheels, the system sends all the driving force to the rear. Únder constant driving conditions, on the other hand, very little power is required at the rear axle. The coupling opens substantially, which has a positive effect on fuel consumption. Únder braking, the coupling opens completely, with no power flowing to the rear. This all-wheel drive system can exercise the full extent of its capabilities as soon as handling systems like ABS, ESP and EDS kick in on slippery road surfaces. Depending on the particular situation, the coupling can be opened for an ABS intervention, or closed for ESP input – in either case, this happens quickly and smoothly.

Powerful performance and outstanding efficiency
The SEAT Alhambra 4WD is equipped with the 2.0 TDI with 103 kW / 140 hp and six-speed manual gearbox. It combines powerful performance with excellent efficiency. Top speed stands at 191 km/h, while acceleration to 100 km/h takes 11.4 seconds. Yet the TDI consumes an average of just 6.0 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, equating to a CO2 figure of 158 grams per km. This is thanks in large part to the Ecomotive package with brake energy recovery and stop/start system. It is also equipped with an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction), a technology that makes the Alhambra 4WD one of the world's cleanest diesels.

Available as a five and seven-seater
The SEAT Alhambra 4WD is offered as a five-seater in the Reference and Style lines. The extensive standard equipment and many hi-tech options are the same as those offered for the front-wheel drive models. As an alternative, the Alhambra 4WD will also be available in a version with seven generous individual seats.

9. Equipment – plenty of fun for the money

Standard equipment on the Alhambra Reference

Starting with the Reference equipment line – available in all engine variants – the Alhambra comes with a substantial package of standard safety equipment. It includes seven airbags, three-point safety belts on all seats, belt tensioners and belt force limiters in front plus a visual and acoustic seatbelt warning. Isofix mounting points for child seats in the rear are also standard. The ESP stability system incorporates a function for stabilising a fishtailing trailer and a tyre pressure warning display. The Alhambra also comes with self-sealing tyres. Electric child locks for the sliding doors, which can be operated from the driver's seat, round off the safety package.

One highlight of the Alhambra exterior is the radiator grille with its chromed trim. The door handles, bumpers and wing mirrors – with LED indicator lights – are finished in body colour, while the windscreen features noise damping characteristics. The interior of the full-size MPV also boasts a host of convenient features as standard. They include the manually controlled air conditioning system, the electrically heated and adjustable wing mirrors, the outside temperature display, four electric windows, the multifunction display and the electromechanical parking brake. 12-volt sockets and the SEAT Sound System 1.0 with CD radio and four speakers complete the electric and electronic equipment.

The comfortable and highly variable seats are a further strength of the Alhambra. The driver's seat is height adjustable in the Reference line, while the steering column is adjustable for height and reach. The centre arm rest can be tilted and adjusted longitudinally. The second-row seats offer a great deal of longitudinal movement, fine adjustment of the backrest angle and the 'EasyFold' function for folding forward. SEAT equips the Alhambra as standard with a wide range of stowage facilities, including a large lockable and air conditioned glove compartment.

Optional equipment for the Alhambra Reference
A range of optional equipment is available for the Alhambra Reference. The Lifestyle Package includes 16-inch alloy wheels, the 'Auto Hold' function for the parking brake, a chrome package for the interior, the multifunction steering wheel, fog lamps with cornering lights and the SEAT Sound System 2.0. The Storage Package comes with additional stowage facilities and a folding backrest for the front passenger seat.

Standard equipment for the Alhambra Style
The Style version of the Alhambra – also available with all engine variants – comes with a full range of additional features. This includes 16-inch alloy wheels, electric folding wing mirrors, the SEAT Sound System 2.0, an electric lumbar support for the driver's seat, an automatically dimming rear view mirror, lids for the storage compartments on the dashboard and in the doors, a multifunction steering wheel, an illuminated vanity mirror in the sun visor, a fine trim package, roof rail and cruise control.

Optional equipment for both lines
Both equipment lines, Reference and Style, come with a range of options for the exterior. The full-size MPV can be finished with metallic or pearlescent paint, or in the special colour Boal Brown. There is also tinted glass available for the rear windows. Further extras include a tow hook, level control, alarm system, a Bluetooth connection for mobile phones, integrated child seats and side airbags for the second seat row.

The three-zone automatic climate control offers luxurious comfort. It comes as standard with the third-row seating option. The Winter Package encompasses heated front seats, heated windscreen washer jets and a headlamp wash system. The Cargo Package includes rails and a net for the luggage compartment.

Special equipment for the Alhambra Style
Available exclusively for the Style equipment line are 17-inch alloy wheels, an Exterior Chrome Package, electric sliding doors and electric rear hatch, bi-xenon headlamps – with washer system and the AFS Adaptive Frontlighting System – as well as the SEAT Sound System 3.0. The 12-way electrically adjustable front seats are heated and have a memory function on the driver's side; they come with leather upholstery front and rear.

The Technology Package encompasses a Bluetooth function, the SEAT Media System 2.1 and a reversing camera. In the Technology Package 3, the line-up also includes the bi-xenon headlamps.

A further exclusive solution for the SEAT Alhambra Style is the Style Advanced Package. It offers 17-inch alloy wheels, the electric panoramic sunroof, tinted windows in the rear, sports comfort seats, the three-zone automatic climate control, the multifunction display plus, as well as special materials and visual finishing touches for the interior.

Source - Seat

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