Seat will soon sell in the UK a four-wheel drive version of the Leon that will be built with right-hand drive, according to R&D chief Matthias Rabe who talked to Autocar at the Shanghai motor show. At the start, the ST estate version (which has yet to be unveiled) of the Leon will only be available as a four-wheel drive.
This ST estate version is actually scheduled to have its unveiling this September at the Frankfurt motor show. The ST, which will come with a four-wheel drive system that’s also used by the new VW Golf 4Motion, will be available in the UK before the end of 2013. Rabe also said that the Leon’s Cupra version, which is expected to have an output of up to 261bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, will be introduced before this year ends.
There are already plans to build three- and five-door versions of the car while the company is considering a project to build an ST version that will compete with the Ford Focus ST estate. Later in the summer, Seat will launch an Ecomotive version of the Leon.
This model has a fuel economy rating and CO2 emissions figure that’s very close to that of the upcoming VW Golf Bluemotion, which boasts 88.3mpg and 85g/km. As soon as the Seat Leon range is completed, the automaker will focus on the development of an SUV that has long been rumored. Rabe has yet to confirm the project but he said that the company is examining “more concrete production ideas.”
Even with one look, it is clear that the SEAT Leon has that refined figure which brings with it a high emotion. According to the brand, this newest model offers an even more exciting drive despite being based on a number of concept vehicles like the IBE, the IBL, and even the IBX. With its sporty visuals and an enormous appeal, the Leon looks amazing no matter where one looks.
Take the sides for example. Looking at this section, the surfaces have been honed and clearly modeled in a precise manner. One feature is the interrupted “Línea Dinámica,” which is characteristic of the brand. Under the Leon, it goes above the wheel arches and all the way to the rear section. It appears to be straining as it experiences tension, much like a well-trained muscle.
Another distinguishing feature that is present in the Leon is the C-pillar shaped like a trapezoid. Then there is the short third window which stretches to the back. Without a doubt for SEAT, the Leon represents the careful development when it comes to the design identity of the brand. Indeed, the combination of the tight surfaces and the way the clear lines have been executed show precision and vitality.
It is clear as well that in designing, and later developing, the Leon SEAT implemented a high level of quality and standards on even the smallest of details. These standards are something only a few automakers are able to meet. That the Lean reveals a precise build with the use of minimalistic and clear design is not surprising given that these are part of the core values of the brand.
Customers will also realize that the Leon comes with a new SEAT logo, placed on the front and rear sections, as well as the wheels. On the inside, this same logo can be seen on the steering wheel. In fact, this model will be the first from the brand to carry the new logo. On the exterior, the Leon display excellent proportions. In terms of the visual weight, the vehicle’s passenger cell has been placed just above the wheels in the rear.
There is also that sleek transition starting from the front wing to this passenger cell. Each of the surfaces demonstrates a powerful sculptural charm to it. It has the effect of highlighting the relationship between light and dark while also giving it that three-dimensional feel.