Seat is all grown Up! with a Mii of its own [w/video]

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After a seemingly endless stream of Up! concept cars rolled out by Volkswagen over the past few years, the production version is finally upon us. But don't think for even a second that this is the end. No, it's just the beginning, with numerous Up-based models to follow, and not all of them will carry a VW badge.

Skoda was the first VW division to get its own version called the Citigo, and now Seat is following suit with a rebadged version of its own dubbed Mii. Launching in Spain next month before rolling out across Europe in the spring, the Mii will be available initially as a three-door before the five-door variant follows next year.

Overseas buyers will be able to choose between three trim levels, two equipment packages (Chic with chrome trim and Sport with firmer suspension and tinted windows) , two engine specs (1.0-liter threes with 59 or 74 horsepower), two transmissions (manual or robotized) and an optional Economotive pack with stop-start engine management and regenerative braking.

The last time Seat sold a car in this segment, it was the Arosa, a model discontinued in 2005. But while Seat models typically look more dynamic than their Volkswagen and Skoda counterparts (think Ibiza vs. Polo and Fabia), this time – from a styling perspective, anyway – we think we'd stick with the VW. But don't take our word for it: check out the high-resolution images in the gallery, and the video footage and press release after the jump and share your thoughts in Comments.

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- World debut of SEAT's all-new city car
- Mii Ecomotive with just 97 g/km of CO2*
- Innovative City Safety Assist with laser sensor

SEAT is unveiling the Mii city car – the perfect vehicle for today's urban lifestyle. Quite simply, the Mii makes life easier – with compelling practicality, exceptional driving fun, high efficiency and innovative technology.

The Mii combines SEAT's sporty Mediterranean design with the very best craftsmanship and enormous scope for personalisation. Moreover, the outstanding value-for-money and low maintenance costs make the joy of driving a Mii easily attainable.

Spain, SEAT's home market, will begin sales of the Mii before the end of the year, with the rest of Europe following in Spring 2012.

At a length of 3.55 metres, the Mii is the perfect size for modern-day urban use. The Mii comes to market at the end of 2011 as a three-door; the five-door version follows in 2012.

The new SEAT will be offered with all-new 1.0-litre petrol engines of 60 PS and 75 PS outputs. Combined with the vehicle's low weight of 854 kg these guarantee nimble agility and exemplary efficiency. The Mii Ecomotive has a CO2 figure of just 97 g/km*.

The Mii is also a leader when it comes to innovative technology. The City Safety Assist for instance, adds an extra dimension of safety in the city, while the SEAT Portable System brings together entertainment, navigation, phone and vehicle functions in an entirely new way.

'The new Mii is the perfect partner for everyday urban life. It is young and fresh, thought through to the very last detail and built to the finest quality. The Mii brings clear SEAT identity to the sub-compact segment and is set to win a significant share of the market,' said James Muir, President of SEAT S.A. 'This is why the Mii is an important addition to the SEAT portfolio and a clear next step in our company strategy. With the Mii, we are starting the most comprehensive model offensive in SEAT history.'

Perfect for the city, and longer journeys

Even though the Mii fits neatly into almost every parking space, its optimum use of space means it still offers plenty of space for four people. With a volume of 251 litres, the Mii offers the largest luggage compartment in its class. With the rear seat back folded, this increases to as much as 951 litres.

Yet the Mii doesn't stop at the city boundaries. Its spaciousness, excellent comfort levels and sporty dynamics – a direct result of its low weight – also make the Mii a compelling companion over longer distances.

'At just 3.55 metres long, the Mii combines innovative technologies with an incredibly well-balanced overall feel,' said Dr Matthias Rabe, SEAT Vice President for Research and Development.

'With its low weight and modern drivetrains, the Mii is both sporty and efficient at the same time.'

Design – Mediterranean modernity with clear character

Characteristic and unmistakable – the Mii is clearly recognisable as a member of the SEAT family. Its front end carries forward the typical arrow visual, while its profile is distinguished by powerful wheel arches and slender roof pillars.

The rear end shows a new form of light design with triangular lamp units. The perfect proportions are a key element and comprise a width of 1.64 metres, a long wheelbase of 2.42 metres and exceptionally short overhangs front and rear. The steep rear end facilitates the Mii's excellent spaciousness – optimal functionality is particularly important in the super-compact segment.

'The Mii breathes the very spirit of its remarkable hometown, Barcelona,' says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, the new Head of SEAT Design.

'It is modern, it has a strong personality, but it isn't loud. The Mii has the feel of a modern yet timeless product design. Every detail is precisely defined, but with not a line too many. With the Mii, we are making sporty chic and design quality attainable for all.'

Modern clarity and compelling functionality are defining aspects of the interior, too. The perfect ergonomics of the instruments and the control elements fit beautifully with the premium surfaces that can be individualised using coloured trim from the various equipment lines. Its seats are also new – with integrated head restraints they offer
sports car flair, while being very comfortable and well-suited to long-distance driving.

Safety – the Mii monitors the road and brakes for itself

A unique innovation in this class of vehicle is the SEAT Mii's City Safety Assist. In the event of danger the Mii warns its driver, or even brakes automatically. A laser sensor recognises other vehicles in front, whether they are driving or stationary. The system warns the driver when there is the imminent threat of an accident at speeds of less than 18 mph (30 km/h). If he does not react, the Mii brakes automatically. In many situations this is sufficient to avoid an accident altogether but will, at the very least, mitigate its consequences. ESP is also available, and is always combined with City Safety Assist when specified.

Systematic lightweight design means that the base weight of the Mii is only 854 kg. Its bodyshell is a piece of high technology formed largely from high-strength and, in places, form-hardened steels. Thanks to exceptional stiffness, it delivers a high-quality feel and excellent passive safety. The side airbags are standard equipment and are particularly large for optimum protection of head and upper body.

Drive – sporty agility with low fuel consumption

Beneath the short bonnet of the Mii is a completely new generation of engines. The three-cylinder petrol powerplant with a one-litre displacement is very light, compact and smooth-running. With two outputs of 60 PS or 75 PS, it ensures agility and compelling dynamics both in the city and on the open road.

Top speeds stand at 99 mph (160 km/h) and 106 mph (171 km/h) respectively, while fuel consumption on the combined cycle is measured at 4.5* and 4.7* litres per 100 kilometres. With a generous 35-litre tank volume, it offers considerable range between fill-ups and long-lasting driving fun.

There are two Ecomotive versions of the Mii. Thanks to a start/stop system, brake energy recuperation and further consumption-lowering initiatives, they make do with just 4.2* litres of fuel per 100 km, which equates to a CO2 figure of just 97 g/km.

In Continental Europe the little SEAT will also be offered with CNG engineering. This lowers CO2 emissions to just 86 g/km, making the Mii one of the cleanest cars in the world.

Furthermore, as an alternative to a manual transmission, the Mii is also available with an automated manual box that boasts two electric motors to help manage the smooth gear change.

Infotainment – unique technology to boost efficient driving

SEAT is a young brand and the unique new SEAT Portable System is, of course, part of that. This innovative technology includes a five-inch screen – it is removable for mobile use and yet perfectly integrated into the vehicle electronics. Its many functions include a state-of-the-art navigation system, hands-free phone system with voice control and an on-board computer. The device can be combined with the integrated radio and speaker system.

'The Mii offers enormous intelligence in a compact format,' said Dr Matthias Rabe, SEAT Vice President for Research and Development. 'The SEAT Portable System shows how it is possible to offer fascinating technology and innovative functions with tangible added value at an attractive price.'

The unique features of the SEAT Portable System include an 'Eco-trainer' function. Gearshift display, engine speed recommendations, average values and consumption profile all help the Mii owner to drive particularly economically. Plus, the SEAT Portable System is fully integrated into the vehicle electronics. It can be kept up-to-date via internet downloads, while tailor-made apps will offer additional functions in the future.

Equipment – sporty chic

Offered in its home market with three equipment lines, two Style Packs and a wide array of optional equipment and accessories, the Mii can be adapted perfectly to suit individual lifestyles and preferences.

Even the base model has all the key elements for safety and urban driving fun such as ABS, an adjustable steering column, side airbags and Isofix points with Top Tether. Reference and Style are the names of the two other equipment lines in Spain, with Style offering features such as power windows and central locking.

Prefer more chic or more sporting character in your Mii? The two equipment packages Chic and Sport offer the choice, with special colour and trim elements for interior personalisation. Alloy wheels and a leather steering wheel are always part of the package – the chrome package in the Chic version adds a special touch, while the Sport version offers tinted windows and a sporty suspension set-up for an even more dynamic feel.

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