Martorell, 16.07.2012 – The new SEAT Leon is a powerful and emotional personality, and the most beautiful way to drive a functional car. The Leon has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is packed full of high-end technologies – in its driving assistance systems, in infotainment, in its chassis and drive. The engines combine powerful dynamics with outstanding efficiency.The availability of full-LED headlamps on the new Leon is a pioneering move by SEAT; being the first to offer this innovation in the mid-size segment. This technology combines stunning design with exceptional illumination.
 
“The new Leon condenses all the strengths of the SEAT brand more than ever before. 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.
 
The Leon is a decisive step in SEAT’s brand and growth strategy. It will be launched towards the end of this year as a five-door and will subsequently grow with further variants into a fully-fledged family” says James Muir, President of SEAT S.A.The new Leon is also compelling for its excellent utility. It combines a more compact exterior with a more spacious interior. The premium materials and the level of craftsmanship place the Leon squarely at the forefront of the competitive field.

Every power unit is among best-in-class for efficiency and emissions. The highlight here is the Leon 1.6 TDI with start/stop system. It has an average fuel consumption of just 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres and an estimated CO2 figure of just 99 grams.

“The new Leon is an all-new car and opens a new chapter for SEAT. It combines SEAT’s dynamic new design language with the latest technology. Fine details and precise design, especially in the interior, reflect the high standard of craftsmanship of the new Leon,” explains Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice-President of Research and Development for SEAT S.A.

Dr. Rabe added: “Built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB shared architecture which benefits from systematic lightweight design, the new Leon offers an impressive performance, with low C02 emissions and fuel consumption. In summary, the new Leon provides emotional driving fun, excellent efficiency, a stunning design and a high degree of utility.”

Design – simply stunning
“Thanks to its dynamic and assured character, the new SEAT Leon inspires self-confident stance. It has a decisive look,” says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Head of SEAT Design. “It keeps a high degree of formal beauty and sportiness.”

He adds: “It has extremely well proportioned volumes, with a slight shift of the visual weight of the cabin over the rear wheels, while keeping a very fluid transition between the front fender and the cabin. The surfaces have been severely sculpted all around in order to increase its tridimensional appeal, thanks to the effects of light and shadow. Its character lines show pure assertiveness, like for instance the outer shape of the head lamps and tail lamps. All in all, I strongly believe that the new Leon is full of character.”

At 4.26 metres long, the new Leon is around five centimetres shorter than its predecessor, yet the wheelbase is up by almost six centimetres. This clever packaging enables short overhangs and enhances the strong visual presence of the wheels, while giving practical benefits such as improved interior space, particularly for rear seat passengers, as well as in the luggage compartment.

The angular line of the headlamps is a typical feature of the new SEAT design language, while also being perfectly integrated into the Leon’s sculptural form. Full-LED lights are available for the first time in the compact class. The new headlamps give an unmistakable look to the front end of the Leon. Additionally, the new Leon now has a distinctive signature appearance thanks to the fitment of LED daytimerunning lights.

From the side, the new SEAT Leon looks like a precisely executed sculpture on wheels. The characteristic, unbroken “Línea Dinámica” runs rearwards over the wheel arches. It is reminiscent of the tension of a well-trained muscle. The trapezoidal C-pillars are characteristic to the Leon, as are the short, upwards-pointing third windows.

The rear end of the new SEAT Leon has been intensively modelled; the large logo serves as an opener for the rear hatch. The slightly wedge-shaped rear light clusters underscore the breadth and are also available in LED technology.

The interior – comfortable and premium
The elegant exterior design of the new Leon continues into the interior, which has a clear, light and uncluttered look. The dashboard is unconventional and elegant, with a two-tone design that makes it appear to float in mid-air. Fine details underscore the Leon’s high standard of craftsmanship – details such as the large air vents, the controls for the air conditioning and the three-dimensional form of the trim elements. The luggage compartment has a volume of 380 litres, around 40 litres more than the preceding model.

Describing the interior, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Head of SEAT Design, said: “We set ourselves the objective of developing an interior which would give an expressive, elegant and welcoming ambience. The quality of the material, the fit and finish and the attention to details is at least as good as you can find in the segment above.”

“The design of the dashboard respects our new interior philosophy, with a strong driver orientation. This enhances the ergonomics while giving the design an attractive, sporty feeling. The whole has been designed so the new Leon and its driver feel as one.”

The bodyshell – lightweight and solid
The new SEAT Leon uses a new vehicle architecture that enabled development engineers to position the front axle 40 millimetres farther forward. The results are a longer wheelbase and a balanced distribution of axle load – factors that significantly benefit comfort and sporty handling.
Thanks to advanced construction techniques and the use of lightweight materials in the body’s manufacture, the overall weight has been reduced by 90 kilograms compared with the previous version.

Drive – powerful and efficient
SEAT is sending the new Leon into battle with a series of powerful and fuel-efficient TDI and TSI engines ranging from 1.2 to 2.0 litres displacement. All engines feature direct injection and turbocharging; they have been engineered for low internal friction and fast warm-up. Compared with their respective predecessors, their fuel consumption is down by up to 22 percent.

The 1.6 TDI generates 77 kW (105 hp) and 250 Nm of torque. In the Ecomotive version with start/stop system and recuperation, it consumes just 3.8 litres of diesel per 100 km on the NEDC, equating to 99 grams of CO2 per km. The extensively reengineered 2.0 TDI consumes an average of just 4.0 litres of fuel per 100 km in the Ecomotive version. With 110 kW (150 hp) and 320 Nm of torque, it is a powerful driving force for the Leon.

SEAT will rapidly expand the engine line-up. Early 2013 will see the arrival of the 1.2 TSI in two versions with 63 kW (86 hp) and 77 kW (105 hp), a 1.4 TSI with 90 kW (122 hp) and, at the top of the petrol range, a 1.8 TSI with 132 kW (180 hp) and a combination of direct and manifold injection. The diesel line-up will be augmented by the 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 hp) and the new top TDI – the 2.0 TDI with 135 kW (184 hp). It delivers a maximum torque of 380 Newton metres.

Depending on the engine, transmission options range from five- and six-speed manual gearboxes or the renowned six- and seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearboxes.

The chassis – dynamics with comfort
The chassis of the new SEAT Leon scores high for its sporty and agile character. Its front suspension features a MacPherson front axle with subframe, while the rear of the new SEAT Leon features torsion beam suspension for engines up to 110 kW (150 hp). The more powerful variants use a multi-link construction that handles longitudinal and transverse loads discretely.

The new SEAT Drive Profile for the Leon FR allows the driver to vary the characteristics of the power steering, throttle control and engine sound (FR versions only) via a sound actuator – in three modes, eco, comfort and sport. There is also an individual setting to tailor the settings according to the driver’s preference.The interior ambient lighting can also be adapted, by switching the LEDs between white and red.

Infotainment – modern and flexible
In the new Leon, SEAT offers a full range of up-to-date infotainment solutions. The basis is formed by the Easy Connect operating system, which controls the entertainment and communication functions, as well as a wide array of vehicle functions, via a touch-sensitive screen in the cockpit.

The entry level is the Media System Touch – the CD radio with a card slot and four speakers in the Reference line with a 5” screen. Style and the FR come with the Media System Colour with more in-screen colours and higher quality, and featuring a CD drive and six speakers as standard (eight speakers in the FR); it connects external devices via Bluetooth, USB or aux-in. Its 5-inch, colour touchscreen also controls vehicle functions.

The Media System Plus systems has a 5.8-inch touchscreen with three-dimensional graphics in high definition, an optional DAB tuner,and voice recognition. The system comes with eight speakers. The top solution incorporates the navigation system, which also shows navigation information in the colour display between the speedometer and rev counter. The SEAT audio system has a clear, crisp sound reproduction thanks to its 10-speaker and sub-woofer set-up.

Driver assistance systems – groundbreaking
The new Leon also sets benchmarks when it comes to the available driver assistance systems. The drowsiness detection feature recognizes when the driver is losing concentration and suggests taking a break. Additionally, an advanced camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror manages both the Full Beam Assistant, which switches automatically between full and dipped beam, and the lane-keeping assistant Heading Control which makes slight corrections to the electro-mechanical power steering to prevent the driver from crossing over lane markings.

“With the all-new Leon, we have designed and developed a car which perfectly captures the meaning of Enjoyneering. This compelling mix of design, technology, athletic performance and premium quality is certain to seduce existing customers, as well as bringing a new generation of car-buyers to the brand,” says James Muir, President of SEAT S.A.

New SEAT logo
Another all-new element of the Leon is the logo on its grille, rear and steering wheel. The Leon will be the first car to wear the company’s newly refreshed signifier.

Sporting a cleaner, purer design, the new SEAT logo represents the precision and elegance of the brand’s design language, while also reflecting the company’s engineering and quality leadership. The introduction of the new SEAT logo across all of the company’s visual material and locations will begin from Paris Motor Show in September.

4 Responses to “The new SEAT Leon: where design meets technology”

  1. Hugh Turner says:

    What is the purpose of tantalsing us with details of the new Leon when we cannot get SEATs in Australia?

    I am a fan of the brand, having started in 1996 with an Ibiza GTI, followed by an Ibiza Cupra – which I have just sold. In May and June my wife and I had a rented Leon Eco-diesel in UK. We drove over 3000 miles on roads varying from Cornish lanes and Welsh farm tracks to long, fast drives on Motorways. It was a terrific car. Very good looking, well equipped and my wife (who has had a Golf for the past eight years) considered the Leon the most comfortable car she has ever driven.

  2. Hugh Turner says:

    Fully understood: I’m happy to see anything about SEAT. Best of all would be to see it back in Aus.

    I had a short conversation with the previous Head (Dierks) of VW Group Australia about this some years ago, but her line was that they were concentrating on VW itself, then on Skoda which apparently they thought more acceptable to the Australian buyers. However, times and attitudes have changed and SEAT should be given another go.

  3. Hugh, you never know SEAT may come back as VW are trying to grow SEAT to be profitable, by entering new markets eg China and South America.

    I would like to see SEAT return but how would VGA do it with Skoda already similar priced????

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