Seat's new SUV will be called Tarraco after public vote

Spanish car maker Seat has announced that it will name its new SUV "Tarraco", following an online vote.

Public naming votes have made headlines for the wrong reasons in recent years, such as the overwhelming public support for "Boaty McBoatface" as the name for a scientific research ship. Seat wisely chose to limit nominations to names that fit its existing naming schemes.

Seat has typically chosen Spanish place names for its vehicles. The first was the Ronda in 1982, but others include Marbella, Ibiza, Cordoba and Toledo. Its two newest cars, the Ateca and Arona SUVs, also fit that tradition, so it only accepted suggestions that met the same criterion.

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After an initial nomination phase netted a remarkable 10,130 different Spanish place names, Seat whittled the list down to just four, checking the names for linguistic merit and legality. It ran selected names past focus groups in key markets to come up with a final shortlist of Alboran, Aranda, Avila and Tarraco.

The final public vote saw Tarraco win with just over 35% of the 146,000 votes cast. The name itself is the old Roman name for the city of Tarragona. Located on the Mediterranean coast of north-east Spain, Tarragona is just over 100 miles from Seat's base in Martorell, near Barcelona.

The vehicle itself is Seat's new seven-seat SUV. It's due for launch at the end of 2018, and will sit alongside sister brand Skoda's Kodiaq. The Tarraco is likely to offer similar 1.4 and 2.0 litre petrol engines and 2.0 turbodiesels. Manual and automatic options are likely, along with a Haldex-derived 4Drive four-wheel drive system on some models.

By Andrew Evans

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