Seat unveils performance-focused Leon Cross Sport Concept at Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on September 17, 2015

Spanish carmaker Seat has unveiled a new member of the Leon family of cars at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. Dubbed as the Seat Leon Cross Sport, the show car in Frankfurt provides a good glimpse of what should be expected from Seat’s latest offering.

In Frankfurt, the Leon Cross Sport show car displayed on the show came in ultra-orange, which is the same color used on the Seat 20V20 show car at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015. Both show cars redefined the impressive blend of performance and versatility a-la-Seat while indulging themselves in innovative design language, powerful specs and outstanding quality.

As show cars, they provide a glimpse of what can be expected from Seat a few years from now. Jürgen Stackmann, Chairman of the Executive Committee at Seat, described the Leon family of cars as not only successful, but also multi-faceted.

He remarked that the Leon Cross Sport is a test bed for a new concept from Seat, which is combining the performance of the Cupra and the potential of an all-road vehicle. Stackmann said that the Leon Sport compact crossover is “a perfect match” for the Seat brand and for young people with multi-faceted lifestyles.

Exterior Design

Seat summarizes the Seat Leon Cross Sport as blend of these: performance of a compact sports car, the silhouette of a coupé, the versatility of all-wheel-drive and higher ground clearance. Seat derived the Leon Cross Sport from the Leon SC Cupra and gave it the same suggestive two-door body shell.

True enough, the SC Cupra’s remarkable dynamics, quality and precision are well conveyed by emotional design language -- impeccable proportions, tight surfaces and clear lines. The Cross Sport inherited this highly rated language but with the addition of stronger styling touches.

In fact, the Cross Sport show car in Frankfurt exudes the power and firmness of a well-trained athlete. It features a ground clearance that is 41 mm higher than the vehicle it was based on – a variation that significantly gave the Cross Sport an imposing stance.

Additionally, the Cross Sport sits on two-tone 19-inch wheels that stand out with a Y-spoke design with accents set against a black background. Making these wheels more prominent are its bold wheel arches and sills finished in gloss black.

Certain Cupra elements on the front and rear like the signature grille mesh are now more emphasized. Other Cupra elements that exude the potency of the Cross Sport include large air intakes, quadruple exhaust system and large rear roof spoiler.

Sure to catch everyone’s attention are the Cross Sport’s full-LED headlamps that offer terrific illumination on the road ahead during the night.

Interior Design

Inside, the cabin of the Leon Cross Sport features an orange accent, which can be found on the seams of the leather seats, the cockpit and the steering wheel. Orange is also the surface color of the seats’ center and door panels.

Furthermore, orange Alcantara complements the leather used in the interior. On the other hand, the Cross Sport is provided with a driver-focused cockpit that radiates a light and weightless feel. Of course, Seat never forgets to install the latest connectivity systems on its offerings, including on the Leon Cross Sport.

In fact, Seat’s Full Link connection system allows different smartphone brands and platforms to be connected to the vehicle and operated through the Leon Cross Sport’s touchscreen.

Additionally, the exclusive SEAT ConnectApp allows drivers to perform certain functions like making a call, finding a fuel station, or activating route guidance – all by using their preferred gestures.

Furthermore, the app could read out new messages for the driver. If the driver wants to send a reply, the app will do so through its voice recognition feature.


While the Seat Leon Cross Sport takes after the Leon SC Cupra in terms of design, it inherits road performance from the critically and widely acclaimed Leon Cupra 290.

Having said that, the engine that powers the Leon Cupra 290 is the same engine that serves as the core of the Leon Cross Sport – a two-liter TSI powerplant that develops 300 PS of max output and 380 Nm of max torque available from 1800 rpm.

This engine is one of the main factors for the Cupra’s performance achievements, such as record laps at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. This 2.0 TSI engine delivers enough power to allow the Cross Sport to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds.

It is mated to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission for quick and precise shifts between gears. Featured on the Cross Sport is Seat’s newly developed, multi-plate clutch system with hydraulic actuation and electronic control – a fifth-generation Haldex coupling.

This system has been proven to respond at blazing speed to any driving influence, thus delivering enhanced safety and dynamic handling. It is also backed by the latest electronic safety and assistance systems like progressive steering and an electronic stability system, adaptive cruise control with Front Assist, lane keeping assistance and traffic sign recognition.

With a ground clearance that is 41 mm higher than on the Leon Cupra, as well as electronically controlled all-wheel-drive with electronic differential lock, the Cross Sport promises to deliver distinct driving enjoyment even when cruising over poor road conditions.

Press Release


SEAT is presenting a new definition of sporty performance at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA): The SEAT Leon Cross Sport Show Car offers the performance of a compact sports car and the coupé-like silhouette of a two-door. And it combines this with the versatility of all-wheel-drive and increased ground clearance, as well as a design that unites both worlds with powerful dynamics and robustness. The SEAT Leon Cross Sport is a performance athlete in high-tech trekking shoes.

“The SEAT Leon family is not only incredibly successful, but also exceptionally multi-faceted. With the Leon Cross Sport, we are testing out a new idea – the performance of the Leon CUPRA with the many possibilities offered by an all-road vehicle, says Jürgen Stackmann, Chairman of the Executive Committee, SEAT, S.A. “The Leon Cross Sport is therefore a perfect match for the brand and for a young, multi-faceted lifestyle. And, as a compact two-door, this crossover fits well into the urban jungle.”

The SEAT Leon Cross Sport takes its performance from the recently uprated Leon CUPRA 290, widely recognised as one of the best hot hatches, as well as multiple winner of automotive media comparison tests. The two-litre engine generates 300 PS, as well as being capable of propelling it from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds. The electronically controlled all-wheel-drive with electronic differential lock and ground clearance 41 millimetres higher than on the Leon CUPRA guarantee driving fun, even when the route involves poor road surfaces.

“Performance has many facets for us. The Leon Cross Sport marks an enormous expansion of the possibilities offered by a CUPRA. Thanks to all-wheel-drive and an all-road set-up, those driving the Cross Sport face virtually no restrictions – and absolutely no limitations to everyday driving fun,” says Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice President of Research and Development at SEAT, S.A. “The Leon Cross Sport is equipped with the full Leon technology package, from an exceptionally refined drive, through to an extensive array of assistance systems and a whole new level of connectivity with SEAT Full Link.”

Unique and dynamic design language

The Leon Cross Sport is based on the Leon SC CUPRA, with its evocative two-door bodyshell. The perfect proportions, clear lines and taut surfaces allude to its exceptional dynamics, not to mention its incredibly high standards of precision and quality. This emotional design language, highly rated by customers, has been further developed for the Cross Sport and enhanced with robust elements.

Compact and powerful like a highly trained cross-country runner

The new show car looks incredibly compact and powerful, like a highly-trained cross-country runner. An additional 41 millimetres greater ground clearance gives the Cross Sport an impressive stance. The 19-inch wheels with their exclusive Y-spoke design have a two-tone finish, with polished accents set against a black background. These are paired with prominent, extended wheel arches and powerful sills, both in gloss black. At the front and rear, CUPRA elements, such as the signature grille mesh, are accentuated even further. The large air intakes make the sheer potency of this athlete apparent at the very first glance, as do the quadruple exhaust system and large rear roof spoiler. It goes without saying that the full-LED headlamps on the Cross Sport deliver a determined look, as well as great visibility.

Crossover ideas with SEAT style

The Leon Cross Sport show car is painted in ultra orange – the same colour featured on the SEAT 20V20 show car at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015. And that is not all the two concept cars have in common – both redefine the combination of dynamic performance and versatility in the unique SEAT style, with an unmistakable design language, clear dynamic credentials and perfect quality. These show cars make a very clear statement of the direction that SEAT will be taking over the next few years with new products in the crossover and SUV segments.

High-quality interior with exceptional attention to detail

The interior of the Leon Cross Sport, too, features the colour inspired by the Barcelona sun – orange is used here as an accent in the intricate seams of the leather seats, the cockpit and the steering wheel, and as a powerful surface colour on the seats’ centre panels and door panels. The leather is combined with orange Alcantara, with a focus on high quality and attention to detail that are part of the SEAT brand’s DNA. The cockpit has a light, weightless feel and is clearly focused on the driver – as in every Leon.

Latest-generation connectivity

Like all current SEAT products, from the Ibiza to the Alhambra, the Leon Cross Sport is equipped with the latest-generation connectivity. Smartphones from various different manufacturers and platforms (Apple iOS, Android, MirrorLink) can be easily and conveniently connected to the vehicle system using SEAT’s Full Link connection and then operated via the car’s touchscreen. And, with the exclusive SEAT ConnectApp, all it takes is a few simple, self-selected gestures to carry out functions such as calling a friend, activating route guidance or finding a petrol station. The SEAT ConnectApp reads out incoming messages, while answers can be dictated via voice recognition. The driver’s concentration remains fully focused on the road ahead, which is extremely good for safety – and not just with 300 PS under the bonnet.

Responsive sports engine with excellent pulling power

The state-of-the-art two-litre TSI engine in the Leon Cross Sport has already caused quite a stir in the Leon CUPRA, with achievements such as record laps of the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In the Leon Cross Sport, this highly responsive sports engine has been boosted to give 300 PS, with a mighty 380 Nm of maximum torque available from just 1800 rpm. The six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission delivers fast and precise gearshifts.

Permanent all-wheel-drive for every situation

The Leon Cross Sport’s permanent all-wheel-drive is one of the most modern and efficient systems of its kind in the world. SEAT uses a newly developed, multi-plate clutch with hydraulic actuation and electronic control – a fifth-generation Haldex coupling. It reacts extremely quickly to all imaginable drive influences, delivering considerably improved safety and handling.

Assistance systems for the urban jungle

This dynamic handling is supported by the very latest electronic safety and assistance systems. The progressive steering and a specially adapted electronic stability system improve handling and driving fun. Adaptive cruise control with Front Assist, traffic sign recognition and lane keeping assistance are likewise extremely useful in the urban jungle.


SEAT is the only company with the full-range capacity to design, develop, manufacture and market cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting more than 80% of its vehicles, and is present in 75 countries. In 2014, SEAT’s invoicing totalled almost 7.5 billion euros, the highest figure in its history, with worldwide sales of 390,500 units.

SEAT Group employs more than 14,000 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza and Leon. Additionally, the company produces the Alhambra in Portugal, the Mii in Slovakia and the Toledo in the Czech Republic.

The multinational has a Technical Centre, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015. This ‘knowledge hub’, bringing together close to 1,000 engineers, aims to be the driving force behind innovation for the number one industrial investor in R&D in Spain. In line with its declared commitment to environmental protection, SEAT undertakes and bases its activity on sustainability, namely reduction of CO2 emissions and energy efficiency.

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