This unique European special is nearing its 20th birthday, and is yet to hit the prime of its life. What a combination of attributes that makes this automobile one of the most iconic in Australia; devious good looks, spine tingling performance, ridiculous handling, and unbelievable rarity. Only a handful of these beauties were imported from the heart of Europe – the festive state of Espana. Not famous for their cars, more so their parties, mouth watering food and fine ladies, it comes as a great surprise when the Seat Toledo is said to be the greatest car of its era.
The 2.0 litre in-line four cylinder naturally aspirated (no induction necessary) soul pushes out a huge 88kw to the front wheels via a beautifully crafted 4 speed automatic. As one would expect for a 20 year old vehicle, the power output has seriously declined since the production of the V8 twin turbo like engine, but in the wet we can still do mad skids that leave the street in a cloud of smoke (possibly from the exhaust or engine, still needs TBC). Although the gearbox has seen better days, its short ratio makes it perfect to launching the driver to and beyond 100km/h in sub 11 seconds (rivalling super-cars of today), and will sit at about 4000rpm when cruising on the highway – which allows for superb acceleration at short notice.
When looking in the inside, there is not much to see; 2 front seats, a back seat to fit 3, a steering wheel, radio and air conditioning controls. The racing seats are wrapped in some sick looking European camouflage that depicts the spew of a severely intoxicated persons last slice of meat-lovers pizza. To say lightly, more than one person in this car severely affects performance negatively and so the less people the better. If you have friends, four of them to be exact, be prepared to collect parts of the under-body and bits of tires after you as the average sag of the suspension is approximately 5-8cm per person (a cheap way to look hellaslammed though).
In terms of technology, this 20 year old beast is even well equipped for today’s standard – power windows (only one still works), power mirrors (the tape that holds the mirror in affects the ability to move the mirror), power radio, headlights, handbrake, adjustable gauge brightness, air conditioning, disc brakes, power steering, power everything (just so much power in this car) – all for just under $2000 second hand! Ridiculous, I know. Rumor has it that the production facility for this car in Spain was sabotaged by not only Japanese spies but also by Australian, American and European spies because the rest of the world just couldn’t compete with the value for performance the Seat Toledo has to offer.
Apart from never breaking down, or giving up, the Mk1 Seat Toledo handles like a go kart and goes like a rocket…that is all.