Before 1991 rarely Seat had pushed further into the compact segment, subject to the local variants of the Fiat 131 and 132. However, when the time came to replace the Malaga, the opportunity arose for the Spanish brand to raise the bar a bit. .
In those years, the collaboration with Fiat started in 1950, from which Seat had in fact come to life, was definitively terminated and the manufacturer was firing the latest cartridges with models derived from those of the former Italian partners. In the meantime, however, the transition to the Volkswagen group was being defined, which would have been perfected in ’92 but which was already beginning to bear fruit: Precisely with the future Toledoin fact, the German giant has begun to actively participate in new projects, naturally also providing the base.
Compact but ambitious
The Toledo was designed starting from the floor of the Golf second generation, actually already at the end of his career since the third was already in an advanced stage of development and would arrive in ’92, but it was necessary to start from a tested base and with costs under control in order to work better on the outline.
Volkswagen turned to Italdesign by Giugiaro, which gave the car an appearance in step and even a little ahead of its time: the design had in fact many elements that we would have found on the second generation of the Ibiza from ’93, including the rounded shapes, the integrated grille and full width lights.
The rest was done by the slightly more abundant measures, with a length of 4.32 meters and a wheelbase of almost 2.5 meters, which for the time placed the Toledo halfway between the compact and medium, and the large tailgate, which added a touch of practicality to the whole. On closer inspection, it is the same formula that a few years later Volkswagen would have adopted for the Skoda Octavia, also in that case the first new car designed for a newly acquired brand.
Toledo debuted with a rather rich range, consisting of 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 petrol engines, the second at 16V, and the 1.9 D and TD diesel engines with indirect injection aspirated and turbo. The displacements have always remained the same, with small evolutions especially for the 2.0 petrol engine, which since ’94 has also been offered in the 150 HP 16V version for the Toledo GT, and the Diesel engines which, with the light restyling of 1996, have been replaced by the first ones. SDI and TDI pump-injector.
He made his fortune in China
The first generation was produced by Seat in Martorell until June ’99, when it was replaced by the second (built on a Golf IV base), in over 600,000 units, but its history did not end there: the model was in fact “passed” to the then young Chinese brand Chery which with some retouching, the design code A11 and the name of Fulwin got the car of its debut on the market.
Chery l’ha produced until 2006 from then on to 2010 in its A15 evolution, marketed under different names, before in turn giving the license to the Russian TagAZ which re-proposed it as vortex rope until 2012.