The car design process has clearly defined stages, from the moment when the car is just an idea on paper to the production of the first unit. The Technical Centre’s Design Centre starts to define a product based on previously envisaged ideas. Design is one of the strong points of the “new SEAT” cars, with the company’s designers drawing up a sketch which, in line with the company’s strategic areas, sets a standard and responds to customer requirements.
During the first phase they define the new product prototype and start to design the shapes, draw up the general dimensions, and produce a viability study of all the parts that will make the car different from other cars already on the market. At this stage virtual reality and simulation technologies play a vital role by carrying out many different tests, such as studying the aerodynamics, rigidity and effectiveness of the chassis, cooling system and air conditioning, and crash tests on different variants, without a physical unit having been constructed. This reduces costs and shortens development periods. During this phase the planned design is also checked to ensure that it has a workable industrial application and its mass production will be technically and economically feasible.
Once the basic project has been defined, the development phase begins for areas such as bodywork, finishes, engines, chassis, electricity and electronics, active and passive safety features, environmental protection (both during the production process and the car’s life span), comfort and ergonomics, multimedia applications etc., even though the possibility remains of changing any of the features. The most advanced technology is used to develop each of these areas. In addition to the simulation and virtual reality systems, the Technical Centre engineers have more than 800 workstations equipped with CAX technology.
Once the computers finish their work, the first actual prototypes are tested in depth. The Technical Centre boasts cutting-edge technological equipment, such as acoustic, climatic and sunlight reproduction cameras, fatigue test benches for components and entire vehicles, engine analysis and test benches, pollution testing areas, test benches for bodywork rigidity and bending, test benches for component and vehicle safety, laser welding and material laboratories. In addition to this equipment, SEAT has an exclusive agreement with IDIADA (the automotive technology company) for crash tests, a high-speed circuit and an accelerated fatigue track, which are built in accordance with Volkswagen Group technology.
Surface area: 200,000 m²
Built-up area: 43,000 m²
Workforce: 919 employees
Workstations with CAX technology: 848