New SEAT Minimo concept targets the Renault Twizy

The SEAT Minimo concept previews the Spanish brand’s vision of urban mobility with 62 miles of range and a wealth of connected features

The new SEAT Minimo, an all-electric quadricycle concept, has been unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The concept is tasked with handling the concerns of inner city congestion and increasingly stringent emissions regulations. Following its debut in Barcelona, the Minimo will make an appearance at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. 

SEAT’s foray into the sub-compact city transport market follows the firm’s all-electric eXS KickScooter from November 2018. Developed in tandem with Segway, the eXS aimed to both improve city mobility and launch SEAT’s expansion into the urban transport. 

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The Minimo concept adopts the same “compact urban mobility” brief, being a one-plus-one city car with similar dimensions to the Renault Twizy. It’s only 2,500mm long and 1,240mm wide, which SEAT says makes it suited to city life. Features include 17-inch alloy wheels, asymmetrically-sized doors built to operate in tight spaces and a single central headlight.

Inside, the SEAT Minimo offers a combined digital gauge cluster and infotainment system, a multifunction steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, keyless entry and go, Android Auto and support for voice commands via Google Assistant. The cabin’s glasshouse construction also allows 360-degree visibility.

SEAT’s latest all-electric concept offers a claimed range of 62 miles between charges. To sidestep the issue of charge times, the Spanish firm has also decided to implement a battery-swap system on the Minimo. The battery pack is held in a frame under the concept’s chassis and, once depleted, can be quickly exchanged for a charged unit.

The concept will also feature 5G connectivity, jointly-developed with the Spanish telecommunications company, Telefonica. SEAT says the system will allow communication between the car, the surrounding infrastructure and other vehicles as a first step towards fully-autonomous collaborative driving.

SEAT is currently preparing the Minimo for Level 4 autonomous driving which, in addition to automatically delivering passengers to their destinations, would allow the vehicle to locate and pick up the user when requested. Supposedly, this system will make car-sharing more convenient by automatically delivering the car to the user.

Whether or not the Minimo concept will make it to the UK market is yet to be confirmed, but if SEAT does start its production we expect it will retail for around £7,000, making it competitive with the Renault Twizy.

What do you think of the SEAT’s plans for urban micro-mobility? Let us know in the comments below…

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