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.”