The wraps are today pulled off the Altea FR - the hottest and fastest version of SEAT’s versatile and dynamic MSV (Multi-Sports Vehicle). The new model is unveiled at the 38th Essen Motor Show in Germany, hot on the heels of the prototype version’s debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. It is the first of the new generation of SEAT models to join the evocative ‘FR’ (Formula Racing) stable, which has proved to be such a success for the Ibiza and first generation Leon.

Dynamic looks

The Altea FR’s striking appearance incorporates all of the principal features of the show car. These begin with a restyled front bumper including a full-width lower air intake with sporty honeycomb grille. The new car's flanks display the all-red letters ‘TDI’, indicating that this Altea is powered by the most potent diesel engine in SEAT’s range, while the titanium colour door mirror housings are a hallmark of FR models.

At the car's rear, it is the distinctive bumper with its black ‘diffuser’ styling which really demands attention. Chromed twin tailpipes add further impact, while the letters ‘FR’ on the tailgate announce this model’s identity clearly to other road users. Finally, imposing new five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels complete the car’s purposeful appearance.

The interior builds on the Altea’s driver-oriented environment, accentuating the sporty ambience that is expected of SEAT’s FR range. For example, the dashboard boasts a new grey/black look that contrasts with other Alteas, while the attractive three-spoke steering wheel (with metal FR badge on the centre spoke) is exclusive to this model. The FR logo dominates the top of the gearknob, with the gearshift pattern displayed underneath.

White backgrounds to the instrumentation are enhanced by the FR badge appearing once again, this time on the rev counter, which naturally is the centre of attention within the instrument cluster. The seats, with generous side bolstering, are upholstered with a combination of sporty looking fabrics and also bear the FR logo at the top of the backrests.

In short, drivers of the Altea FR will be left in no doubt that they are sat behind the wheel of something very special.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 26/11/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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