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Seat used the Geneva show to debut a sharp-looking crossover concept called the 20V20. The ‘V’ is for vision, and 2020 is the date it’s aimed at.

If that seems a long way off, be aware Seat is getting into crossovers in a big way. Next year, there’s one based on the Leon. Seat boss Jurgen Stackmann told Top Gear it will be at the Geneva show a year from now. A sort of Kuga rival if you will.

The year after that, Seat is planning a smaller SUV. But the point of the 20V20 is to say that they don’t want to stop there and a third crossover is a distinct possibility.

Stackmann says that actually a car like the 20V20 - which is a size larger than that upcoming Leon-based crossover - is entirely feasible to put into production much sooner. “We could do this now. It’s based on the MQB platform.” The engineers say it can use TFSI or TDI engines, up to about 300bhp, and hybrids too. That’s all in the VW Group toolkit of course.

The design works well. It’s sharp and taut, and strong without being bulky. You can see a clear relationship with the Leon, Seat’s signature dish at the moment, but it’s not a clone.

Inside the TFT-based facia also develops Leon themes, but with smoother graphics and pared back but high-quality materials. Easy in a show car of course, harder in cost-constrained production. Still, this isn’t about production.

Just because they can build it doesn’t mean they immediately will, says Stackmann. “This shows the brand can move and make progress,” he says. “It’s a five-year outlook, not a proposal for next year. We have to get the brand ready, and the dealers ready, for a car like this in five years’ time.”

In other words, right now no-one will take a big Seat seriously. But the Leon ST estate is selling big numbers, including the expensive versions, so Stackmann thinks his company is heading in the right direction.

No-one took the last big Seat seriously. Remember the Exeo? It was a re-nosed old Audi A4. Stackmann says Seat won’t make that mistake again. “We have to do a car like this [the 20V20] to get into this size category, not a conventional saloon or estate.”

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