SEAT’s third Leon heads in different direction
Unlike its predecessors, the new Leon will be offered as the five-door shown here along with a three-door and an estate.
The five-door Leon will be unveiled at the Paris show in September and its siblings will follow within a year. It is expected in showrooms sometime in 2013.
The car is the first production model to employ SEAT’s latest design language following on from the IBE, IBX and IBL concept cars, and the second VW Group model to be built on the MQB platform, following the Audi A3.
As well as the new look, the Leon’s creators are highlighting what they dub “exceptional fuel efficiency” across the range, with the launch models including a TDI Ecomotive version offering emissions below 100g/km.
The new car measures up at 426cm – around 5cm shorter than its predecessor, but with a wheelbase extended by almost 6cm and therefore significantly increasing cabin space, especially, SEAT says, in the rear seats.
The luggage compartment offers space of 380 litres, up by 40 litres over the old car.
We are promised an upmarket interior with an “unconventional” dashboard boasting a two-tone design giving the impression that it floats.
Eventually there will be eight engines, four petrol and four diesel ranging from 1.2 to 2.0 litres, all directly-injected and turbocharged and cutting fuel consumption compared to their predecessors by up to 22 per cent.
Among other highlights, SEAT is claiming a first-in-class for the full-LED headlamps that will be part of the new Leon.
According to SEAT President James Muir the new Leon is a decisive step in the brand’s growth strategy. “The new Leon condenses all the strengths of the SEAT brand more than ever before,” he says.
“It is a car with sporting character and wide-ranging strengths. It brings quality and technologies from the full-size class into the compact segment,” Muir adds.
Words by: Andrew Charman