SEAT has spruced up its first ever SUV by unveiling a new Ateca X-Perience concept ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show this week. The rough and ready crossover is only a concept car for now, but bosses will use the event to gauge public reaction before deciding whether to put it into production. Changes over the standard Ateca are more comprehensive than you may think, with scuff plates front and rear as well as tough body cladding on the bumpers and side sills. There are some chunky offroad tyres and unique alloy wheels, too. SEAT says the Ateca X-Perience is a car that can “surpass any limit”, while lending itself to “the most adventurous off-road situations”.
Despite only being a concept for the time being, the newcomer gets six drive modes – including snow and off-road – as well as a complex Haldex four-wheel-drive system, which splits the engine’s power between the front and rear wheels. Hill Descent Control has also been added for great off-road ability.
In addition to the black body cladding and 18-inch alloy wheels, the X-Perience comes with special non-scratch paint, as well as chrome roof rails. Inside, SEAT has used ‘earthy’ colours, complemented by orange stitching for the steering wheel, seats and gearlever. The suede and leather sports seats feature X-Perience logos, while XP badging features throughout.
An eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto rounds off the interior. Under the bonnet is the most powerful 2.0-litre TDI diesel available in the Ateca; it develops 187bhp and 400Nm of torque. The engine is paired with SEAT’S ADrive all-wheel-drive system and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard.
It also features an XDS traction control system which uses the front brakes to boost agility when cornering. We won’t know the Ateca X-Perience’s fate until after the Paris Motor Show, but a production model is likely, given the market’s current appetite for crossovers and SUVs. If it gets the green light, it’s likely to sit at the top of the Ateca line-up. Models like the Jeep Renegade continue to sell well, confirming the market for SEAT’S beefier Ateca.