The SEAT 1500 to the SEAT Tarraco
From the angular and bold SEAT 1500 in the 1960s, to the sleek and aerodynamic SEAT Tarraco 70 years later, the flagship models of the SEAT range are a milestone in the history of SEAT, bringing the brand to the success of today.
The SEAT 1500 was a flagship model for SEAT after its launch in 1963. Offering every luxury feature you could dream of and afford in a car of that time, the 1500 was better sized and priced than popular American competitor vehicles at the time. The 1500 saw politicians, company managers and wealthy people as owners, as well as large families thanks to the capacity to seat 6 people, the large boot space and impressive comfort – which also made it popular among taxi drivers and all kinds of official services. Featuring a reliable 1,481 cm3 overhead valve engine – giving it the name 1500 – delivering 72hp, compared to the 150ps powering the turbocharged 1.5 TSI Tarraco today.
Boasting a wind deflector, laterally adjustable sun visors, mirror on the passenger sun visor, lockable glovebox, reading lights for the rear passengers and central armrest in the rear seats among others, it’s no wonder the SEAT 1500 drew so much attention at the time. What’s more, features such as the engine oil pressure gauge, the windshield washer that the driver could activate by pressing a button with the foot, or the odometer that resembled a mercury thermometer are elements still sought after in modern vehicles.
The SEAT 132 was crafted as a substantial advance over the SEAT 1500, making it better adopted to that period of time. Boasting a shorter, lighter and more aerodynamic design, the SEAT 132 set new standards for the brand. Offering two engines, the 132 adopted a timing belt - viewed as a cutting-edge solution for making the engine much quieter, despite needing to be replaced every 40,000 or 50,000 kilometres.
Continuing the lavish style from the popular 1500, the 132 gained a reputation for comfort, luxury and class. Featuring flush door knobs and beautifully designed rims without hubcaps. The 2200 diesel version from 1978 was the second most valuable car on the national market (it was also the best-performing Spanish diesel).
When the production of the 132 ceased in 1980, SEAT abandoned the D or medium-high segment. An ideal opportunity to return arose in 2008, when a longitudinal engine would be repeated, but this time making a much wider range of engines and transmissions to suit the market. Offering 102ps, 150ps and 200ps in petrol engines and 120ps, 143ps and 170ps in diesel, the SEAT Exeo included a robust structure, advanced safety features and a chassis with an effective multi-link rear suspension.
With a number of great attributes and an even better price, the SEAT Exeo was another milestone in the SEAT history. By incorporating a knee airbag on the driver's side and a solar sunroof (which when parked in the sun, the electricity generated by the sunroof activated the ventilation system, cooling the interior and, therefore, a lesser action of the air conditioning was needed to achieve a comfortable temperature without draining energy from the battery) made the model a great choice for a number of segments. With the Exeo ST (SportsTourer) launching in 2009, the success of this impressive model would live through the naming conventions of the Ibiza ST and Leon ST models.
From the get-go, the introduction of the Ateca compact SUV proved the need for vehicles with plenty of space, ample boot capacity, as well as comfort and safety. With this knowledge, SEAT produced the Tarraco.
Boasting all the desired features of the modern world, the SEAT Tarraco is a large SUV with all the bells and whistles. Crafted with SEAT’s dynamic and emotional design, 20-inch wheels, a spacious interior with the option of five or seven seats and a heart-pounding performance, the Tarraco is a pinnacle in the SEAT line-up, highlighting the progress made over the last 70 years.
With petrol engines ranging from the 150PS 1.5 TSI to the 190PS 2.0 TSI or 150 or 200PS 2.0 TDI diesel engines, a choice of either manual transmission or seven-speed DSG, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive 4Drive and a choice of trims, including the sportier, recently introduced Tarraco FR, there is certain to be a Tarraco to suit any lifestyle. Fully connected, the interior is lined with digital technology and high-quality materials to compliment the strong interior design. With Full LED lighting to show off what they already said about 1500 in the 60s: "Excellent lights, as usual in this brand." Light to guide the way, too, in the rest of the models in the line-up and to show buyers the know-how of SEAT.
Contact your local Caffyns SEAT today to find out more and to test drive the flagship SEAT Tarraco.