12 September 2007

Frankfurt show: Seat Tribu

Lambo-inspired SUV concept could point to a future Seat soft-roader

Seat Tribu

It seemed apt that the Seat Tribu was unveiled a mere stone's throw away from the Lamborghini stand in Frankfurt, because the SUV concept is the first Seat to be designed by Luc Donkerwolke - the man responsible for the current generation of Lambos.

It's hardly surprising, of course - Seat and Lambo are both part of the Volkswagen Group, and Donkerwolke has merely hopped across divisions to spruce up Seat's styling.

And spruced the Tribu is. We pointed out the Murciélago echoes. in the shapes of the front grilles earlier this week, and it's the face that's the best bit of the concept.

VW sources suggest that the trapezoidal grilles could become part of the Seat family face: a move we'd welcome on this evidence.

Elsewhere, though, the Tribu isn't quite so resolved. Those high, square 'arches are obviously a touch of concept daftness, but they don't look quite right, while the glassy rear hatch is a bit shapeless.

It's a clever hatch, though, opening in two stages on its rail mountings. No word on what might power the Tribu if it ever gets made - our best guess is that it will, though it'll probably gain a couple of extra doors by then - but we do at least know that it boasts three selectable drive modes: Urban, Sport and Freerun.

Still time for Seat to fit a big 'Lambo' switch and a V12, then.

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