Milton Keynes, 27/01/2020. SEAT has revealed the unique camouflage in which it dressed its all-new Leon, ahead of the models’ global premiere tomorrow.
The Leon was shown wrapped in a broken tile vinyl inspired by Modernism and the city of Barcelona, the home of SEAT.
The origin of the camouflage technique comes from a military tactic used on ships during World War I, known as the Dazzle Camouflage. It consisted of painting ships with black and white geometric patterns to blur their shapes and confuse the enemy.
“The story goes that the artists who designed these camouflage patterns drew inspiration from Cubist paintings. It is the same principle used to camouflage cars,” says Edgar Aneas, an expert in vehicle camouflage.
For the new Leon, the inspiration comes from the broken tile technique (trencadís in Catalan), and was used by SEAT's Colour & Trim designers.
“The new SEAT Leon has a lot of personality and is very difficult to camouflage because it's a sculpture on wheels that expresses SEAT's emotional nature. The Leon was born here and because of the special relationship we have with Barcelona, we looked to the city for inspiration,” explains Jordi Font, head of SEAT's Colour & Trim Development.
Each brand uses its own camouflage and some even patent the design. The challenge of developing a new design pushed the Colour & Trim designers.
“This is the first time we didn't use conventional camouflage. It was a challenge, because the main goal is to distort the shapes of the car. We worked on several versions to blur the lines but send a clear message - that we are Barcelona, that we are Mediterranean, and that we are colourful. We want to give meaning to our sculpture,” says Jordi.
Not only does the camouflage have an aesthetic function, but it must also withstand extreme weather and driving conditions. The material used is a special cast vinyl that resists these conditions.
“The cars are camouflaged so that they can be tested in different weather situations, sub-zero temperatures, long exposure to the elements, rain and desert heat. This vinyl is made with a very durable material and has special characteristics that prevent it from peeling off or deteriorating,” says Edgar Aneas.
The all-new Leon will be unveiled without its camouflaged exterior at its global premiere tomorrow.
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 81% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. In 2016, SEAT obtained an operating profit of 143 million euros, the highest in the history of the brand, and achieved worldwide sales of nearly 410,000 vehicles.
SEAT Group employs more than 14,500 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Leon and Arona. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company’s global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.
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