SEAT’s first SUV has already proved a huge hit, both with UK media and in the marketplace, its sales performance since launch last September helping the brand soar to record heights. The new FR will extend its appeal further with an injection of the sporty style and performance that are at the heart of the Barcelona-based brand.

There is a choice of four powerful and efficient engines – two petrol and two diesel, all of them turbocharged.

The Ateca’s cool styling gains a number of features that declare its FR designation, including a high-gloss black front grille, aluminium roof rails, window frames and lower door trim, chrome double tailpipes, body colour wheel arch surrounds, side skirts and a roof spoiler. It rides on 18-inch “Performance” alloys, or optional 19-inch “Exclusive” rims with a machined finish.

The FR is not just about sporty looks; it also delivers rewarding handling with progressive steering that weights up pleasingly at speed. Drivers can adjust performance using the SEAT Drive Profile system, putting the emphasis on eco or sportier response, or tailoring steering, throttle and DSG gear shift settings to their individual preference.

4Drive versions additionally provide off-road and snow modes.

LED lighting is used throughout, including headlights (full and dipped beam), daytime running lights, turn indicators and tail lights, plus the distinctive Ateca silhouette welcome lighting projected on the ground from the door mirrors. In FR guise, the cabin adopts the selectable multi-colour ambient illumination for altering the interior to suit your mood.

The FR is fitted with body-hugging sports front seats with Alcantara upholstery and a grippy leather-trimmed steering wheel. SEAT’s “Technology to Enjoy” ethos is reflected in the inclusion of the Media System Plus, accessed through a quick and simple-to-use eight-inch colour touchscreen. The infotainment features include a navigation system, USB/Aux-in/SD card connectivity and SEAT’s Full Link smartphone integration, with Mirror Link, Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto. Further tick-list items include dual-zone climate control, rear-view camera and auto-folding door mirrors.

The Ateca is already firmly at the top of the compact SUV class for safety, having earned the top five-star rating from independent testing organisation Euro NCAP. The new FR model’s safety provisions include SEAT’s Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and pedestrian detection, Tiredness Recognition and Hill Hold Control, in addition to a comprehensive array of seven occupant airbags, ISOFIX child seat fixings, ABS, ASR traction control, ESC and the XDS electronic differential lock

The FR specification need only be the start of the story, with a wealth of options available for customers to equip their Ateca to the max. The choice includes advanced driving, convenience and winter packs, a panoramic sunroof, Connectivity Hub with wireless phone charger, Park Assist and an even more sophisticated navigation package with dynamic route guidance.

The new SEAT Ateca FR will be available to order from 3 July 2017, with first deliveries to UK customers expected from October.

On-the-road prices from £24,960

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