Frankfurt 2007: SEAT Tribu Concept debuts new styling direction

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VW's SEAT brand is getting a makeover, and the Tribu concept unveiled in Frankfurt shows us where the marque's headed, stylistically. Penned by new SEAT design chief and Lamborghini expat Luc Donckerwolke, the Tribu jettisons the more organic, flowing shapes of current SEATs and replaces them with taught lines and a face that is very Audi-looking. We have to believe that it also foreshadows a SEAT-branded crossover that'll have this same general shape, if not all the details, obviously.

Some of the concept's highlights include a fancy, rail-mounted rear hatch that opens in two stages. The first one opens it partially to allow for quick stowage of small items. When opened fully, it slides up over the roof. No engine specs on this design study are given, which leads us to assume it's not a runner. Still, the concept is said to incorporate three selectable drive modes -- Urban, Sport, and Freerun -- which respectively alter engine and suspension settings to favor economy/cleanliness, performance, and off-road ability. There's no traditional shifter, just wheel-mounted paddles for a sequential gearbox, and the rest of the interior is an exercise in typical concept fantasy fare wherer shapes and materials are concerned. In the Tribu's case, what you see outside is most important, and you can expect to see more of it in future concepts and production cars from the Spanish brand.

Follow the jump for a full press release, and check out the attached gallery below. For even more shots of the car's live reveal, head over to Autoblog Spanish.

[Source: SEAT via Autoblog Spanish]

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