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Frankfurt Motor Show 2001 - Highlights

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Tango frontClick for larger images

Tango side

Tango rear

Tango detail

Tango interior

Tango sketch

Tango sketch

SEAT Tango concept

“It is our mission to create emotions, not illusions.” - Walter de'Silva, SEAT Design Director

If driving pleasure, fun and intensity are emotions implicit in a sports car, then its ultimate expression must be the open-topped Spider. That’s the inspiration behind the latest creation from the SEAT Technical Centre.

The SEAT Tango concept is a proposal that combines strength, simplicity, energy and sportiness in a design aimed at capturing these emotions. it interprets the essence of ’50s and ’60s sports cars without resorting to “retro” elements.

Conceived as a spider, the SEAT Tango is expressive and innovative. The passenger compartment and chassis merge into one. Primary materials and textures, sheet metal and structure: everything comes together to create a compact body with fluid, muscular lines. Beneath the skin of the SEAT Tango, there’s a tubular structure. Within this structure nestles a 180 hp 1.8 turbocharged engine with a six-speed. The SEAT Tango has a top speed of 235 km/h and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in only 7 seconds.

The surface of the aluminium chassis, painted in a metallic Tango Grey effect, breaches the passenger compartment and becomes part of the interior. At the same time, the material used to dress other surfaces – such as the dashboard, seats, backrests and headrests – flows out of the cockpit, to cover the several storage compartments located behind the seats. The rust coloured ‘snakeskin’ used on these elements is specially waterproofed leather which has also been used for the set of cases designed exclusively for the luggage compartment.

Essential parts of the structure – the safety arch, dashboard crossbeam, the undersides of the seats and the steering wheel column – have been deliberately left visible with a rough metallic finish, like bare aluminium bones forming the car’s skeleton.

The controls, on the other hand, are of polished aluminium as are the instrument panel dials, pedal box and footrests. So, too, are the 18 inch wheels, through whose spokes can be seen Brembo brakes.

Whether dipped or on main beam, the Xenon lamps automatically follow the direction in which the car is being driven. They also adapt to driving conditions, adjusting their brightness for open road or motorway driving and for the weather conditions.

The front fog lamps take the form of a series of light emitting diodes located in the central moulding of the air intake vents. This optimises the volume of cooling air to the engine, at the same time as integrating them into the front end design. The brightness of the rear lights can also be adjusted to suit to the driving conditions. A system of filters lit by fibre optics make it possible to do away with defined areas for the different lighting functions. The entire light strip can be a rear light, a brake light or an indicator.

Copyright © 2001 Car Design News, Inc.
Last updated: Mon, Sep 17, 2001