SEAT confirms pricing for the all-new Leon in Paris
SEAT today announces complete UK pricing and specification for the all-new five-door Leon, on the evening the car makes its official world debut in Paris. The stunning new hatchback will be priced from just £15,670 RRP OTR when it goes on sale 1 October 2012, for first deliveries March 2013.
Talking during the new Leon’s official world debut this evening, at the Volkswagen Group Media Event prior to the opening of the Paris show, SEAT S.A. President James Muir said: “The new Leon requires no compromise for the customer. For the first time ever, the Leon range will expand to include a three-door and sports tourer versions. They will expand the Leon’s appeal as well as its reach within the segment.”
The new Leon arrives during the busiest period of new product activity in the company’s history. SEAT’s recent product offensive has seen the introduction of its new city car, the Mii, as well as an extensively refreshed Ibiza and the launch of the fourth generation Toledo hatchback.
And while the updated range will provide a platform for sales growth, James Muir underlined that the future success of SEAT will also be built on product expansion: “Coupled with our strategy of market expansion, which saw SEAT launch in China earlier this year, SEAT’s future success will be built on new products, in more segments, in more markets,” he said.
The all-new SEAT Leon: specification
The new Leon represents astonishing value for money across the range, with a standard equipment list that includes air conditioning, twin halogen headlamps with electric adjustment, an mp3 compatible six-speaker CD player, integrated hands-free phone operation with Bluetooth audio streaming, and a colour touchscreen interface.
In addition, every new Leon comes with seven airbags, anti-lock braking, traction control, electronic stability control with emergency brake assist, active front head restraints, ISOFIX with Top Tether anchorage, and remote central locking.
Three trim levels will be available from launch: S, SE and FR.
In addition to the standard S specification, SE trim adds luxuries such as ambient interior spot lighting, a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, chrome dashboard detailing, front fog lights w/cornering, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, SEAT’s XDS electronic differential lock system, and hill hold control.
SEAT’s iconic FR badge will adorn range topping versions from launch, adding a host of visually striking and performance-enhancing kit. Only the most powerful engines in the Leon line-up will sit under the bonnet of FR cars, whose standard equipment roster includes 17-inch alloy wheels, redesigned front and rear bumpers, twin chrome exhaust pipes, dark tinted windows, front sports seats, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, LED tail lights, sports suspension and SEAT Drive Profile.
SEAT Drive Profile lets the driver alter the characteristic of the power steering, giving it more or less resistance, as well as the throttle sensitivity, and in DSG-equipped cars it alters the gear shift pattern. The result is the ability to change the overall feel of the driving experience between a more relaxed and a sportier one. In Sport mode, the dials become red from their standard white glow, and in models whose engine has 180 PS or more, the engine note becomes more aggressive.
Leon buyers can choose from a comprehensive options list, including 18-inch alloy wheels, full leather upholstery, satellite navigation, SEAT Sound System (including a boot-mounted sub-woofer), rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and light sensing headlamps.
Plus, the SEAT Leon becomes the first car in the family hatchback class to offer the exceptional illumination of full LED headlamps – a feature until now available only as an option on upper segment German premium cars. LED lamps provide a similarly powerful light to bi-xenons, but using significantly less energy.
The striking five-door family hatchback is the first production SEAT designed from the ground up using the company’s latest design language, previewed on the IBE, IBX and IBL concept cars. Styled under the guidance of SEAT Head of Design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, the all-new Leon heralds a new chapter for the Spanish company.
As well as its obvious visual appeal, the new five-door Leon boasts a driver-focussed cabin constructed using the very highest quality soft-touch materials, while every version comes with a full colour five-inch touchscreen to control the in-car information and entertainment.
And despite being 52mm shorter than its predecessor, a longer wheelbase ensures that it has more cabin space, with improved knee, head and shoulder room for front and rear occupants. Its boot capacity is significantly increased, too: 380 litres, up from 340 litres in the second generation Leon.
Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos said: “The new Leon 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 wing and the cabin.
“The surfaces have been severely sculpted all around in order to increase its tri-dimensional appeal, thanks to the effects of light and shadow. Its character lines show pure assertiveness, like for instance the outer shape of the headlamps and tail lamps. All-in-all, I strongly believe that the new Leon is full of character.”
The new Leon is the first car to wear the new SEAT logo, which is the seventh used by the brand since its formation in 1950. From mid-2013 the new badge will begin to proliferate across the entire range.
Engines and performance
Despite its strong engines, interior quality and abundance of technology, every new Leon comes with parsimony as standard, thanks to its range of extremely efficient yet potent petrol and diesel engines.
At the greenest end of the spectrum, the Leon 1.6 TDI 105 PS with Ecomotive Technology returns 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km*, while even the most powerful version at launch, the 2.0 TDI 184 PS FR, boasts a startling average consumption figure of 65.7 mpg, with 112 g/km CO2* – and that’s despite having more torque than a Porsche Cayman R, helping it to complete the 0-62 mph benchmark in a rapid 7.5 seconds.
Available with five- and six-speed manual gearboxes, as well as the highly efficient and quick-shifting seven-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic, no Leon from launch will exceed 140g/km* CO2 emissions. In fact, every engine bar the high-performance 1.8 TSI 180 PS puts out less than 120g/km*.
Built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, the Leon promises to set a new dynamic benchmark. At around 90 kilograms lighter than its predecessor model-for-model, and available with SEAT’s new selectable drive system, SEAT Drive Profile, the Leon is as engaging to drive as it is to look at.
Across two previous generations, the SEAT Leon has been a huge success story for the brand, particularly in the UK, with 127,000 sold to date; in 2011, the Leon accounted for one third of total SEAT sales in the country.
Launched in 2000, the first generation Leon blended exceptional quality with aggressive looks and sporty dynamics. It also spawned the original Cupra hot hatch, which became an instant cult classic, as did the later, more powerful first generation Cupra R.
The second generation car, introduced in August 2005, stuck with the original Leon’s five-door only blueprint, but was endowed with coupé-like looks thanks to ‘hidden’ rear door handles. It was with this Leon that SEAT achieved remarkable success in the World Touring Car Championship, winning the driver and manufacturer titles in 2008 and 2009, using TDI diesel technology.
Despite this racing heritage, which inspired the launch of the second generation 265 PS Cupra R hot hatch – the most powerful road-going SEAT to date – the Mk II Leon Ecomotive became the first SEAT to dip below 100g/km CO2 emissions.