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Future models - Seat - Mii

VW-owned brand Seat all about Mii

Sleeker: The Seat Mii is differentiated from its Skoda and Volkswagen siblings by its sportier grille and headlight design.

Spanish brand Seat adds its piece to the VW Up city-car puzzle with Mii three-door

4 Oct 2011

By MIKE COSTELLO

VOLKSWAGEN Group’s Spanish subsidiary Seat has unveiled its version of the Up city car, hot on the heels of the almost-identical Skoda Citigo revealed last week.

Called the Mii, the diminutive hatchback will debut in three-door guise in its home market by the end of the year before becoming available in the brand’s other European markets in the second quarter of 2012.

While the Seat brand no longer features in the Australian market place, Volkswagen has confirmed it will sell the Up here before the end of 2012 priced from less than $15,000 and Skoda Australia has indicated that the Citigo is “under consideration” for the local market.

Pricing in Europe is likely to position the Mii between its Citigo and Up brethren, and UK magazine Auto Express quoted a spokesman saying the car would “definitely cost less than £8,000” in Britain.

Just like Czech sister company Skoda, Seat has confirmed a five-door version of the car – previewed by Volkswagen at the last month’s Frankfurt show as the Cross Up concept – will follow at some point later in 2012.

While cosmetically similar to both, the Mii more closely resembles the Citigo than the VW Up as it uses the same straight-edged rear window line as the Czech-branded car compared with the Volkswagen’s kinked design.

140 center imageThe Seat also gets its own individual ‘nose’ treatment which the brand describes as being arrow-like, with its sleeker headlights and a triangular grille design befitting its role as the ‘sporty’ member of the Volkswagen Group.

The Mii is mechanically identical to both the Up and Citigo, meaning it will be offered with a choice of one-litre, three-cylinder petrol engines producing either 44kW or 55kW of power.

Combined fuel consumption will be 4.5 litres per 100km and 4.7L/100km respectively, while the greener ‘Ecomotive’ versions will use idle-stop and regenerative braking to bring the figure down to an even lower 4.2L/100km (alongside CO2 emissions of 97 grams per kilometre).

The engine line-up will be matched to either a fully manual or automated manual transmission, the latter employing two lightweight electric motors to “smooth the gear change”.

The Mii is the same as the Up and Citigo dimensionally at 3560mm long, 1640mm wide and 1480mm tall, with a feather-light base weight of 854kg and rear storage volume of 251 litres with the back seats in place and 951 when folded.

The smallest Seat also shares its detachable navigation and infotainment system and laser-guised automatic braking safety system with its Skoda and Volkswagen counterparts.

Reflecting Seat’s youth focus in Europe, the Mii will also be available with unique ‘Chic’ and ‘Sport’ equipment packages that add personalised interior colour and trim options, while the Sport also gets a different suspension setup.

The fact that both the Citigo and Mii bear such close resemblance to one another seems unusual for the VW Group: In their other model lines Seat and Skoda use more divergent styling to reflect their contrasting roles within the global empire.

Despite the stylistic similarities, company president James Muir described the Mii as bringing “clear Seat identity to the sub-compact segment” that will win a “significant share” of the market.

“This is why the Mii is an important addition to the Seat portfolio and a clear next step in our company strategy,” he said. “With the Mii, we are starting the most comprehensive model offensive in Seat history.”

The shape of this model offensive has been previewed by a spate of concepts from the Spanish brand, including the Alfa Romeo-esque IBL sedan from this year’s Frankfurt show, the IBX sporting crossover SUV from the Geneva show in March and the IBE fully-electric sports hatch from last year’s Paris show.

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