November 12, 2012. SEAT is entering a new era: The new Leon is a simply stunning car - with its unique, emotional design, with its dynamic sporting character, with its compelling package of innovative technologies and with its refined quality and premium elegance.
The third generation of the SEAT Leon is an all-new car developed from the ground up. Its predecessors stood for driving fun and outstanding functionality - a tradition that the new SEAT Leon will most certainly continue. Like its predecessor, the new SEAT Leon is also built at the Martorell factory near Barcelona in Spain. Since the premiere of the first-generation Leon in 1999, SEAT has sold 1.2 million vehicles from this highly successful range.
The new SEAT Leon is a strong and emotional personality - it is the most beautiful way to drive a functional car. The five-door is packed full of high-end technologies - in its infotainment, its assistance systems, its running gear and its drive. The engines combine effortless performance with exemplary efficiency.
Every single power unit, all of them state-of-the-art TDI and TSI engines, are the best in their class in fuel consumption and emissions. The highlight is the Leon 1.6 TDI with start/stop system - its average fuel consumption is just 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres, equating to 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
The inclusion of optional full-LED headlamps is a truly pioneering move by SEAT. Setting the pace by example, the new Leon makes this technology available in the compact segment for the very first time. The full-LED headlamps combine sleek design with outstanding illumination. Light-emitting diodes consume very little energy and are extremely long lasting. The colour temperature of 5,500 Kelvin places their light very close to daylight thus placing less strain on the eyes.
"The new Leon epitomises the SEAT brand, combining outstanding engineering with striking design," says James Muir, President, SEAT S.A. "The new Leon is the cornerstone of our product offensive and for the first time in its history, Leon will expand to include a total of three different body styles."
The new SEAT Leon also offers a compelling level of functionality. Within its compact dimensions it offers more usable interior space than the previous model, while the premium materials and perfect workmanship put the Leon at the forefront of the competitive field. The modern touchscreen infotainment systems mean that it is already well prepared to face the future.
It low kerb weight is one of the SEAT Leon's greatest strengths; compared with the previous model, it has been reduced by up to 90 kilograms. In its base version, the new Leon weighs in at just 1,113 kilograms.
"The all-new LEON expresses SEAT's new design language in every facet. Even standing still, it looks like it is moving fast. It combines striking design, benchmark quality and outstanding engineering. The interior design and craftsmanship of the new Leon is a revolution for SEAT. Every single detail of the interior has been driven by our passion for excellence.,," states Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice President of Research and Development for SEAT S.A. "Thanks to the MQB platform, the car has improved proportions with reduced overhangs, a wider track and longer wheelbase. The net result is more interior and boot space."
He added: "Through the use of high strength steel and lightweight design in its construction, we achieved a weight saving of 90 kg - but we also succeeded in increasing body stiffness by 15%."
The Design - simply stunning
The new SEAT Leon is a highly emotional automobile that cuts a fine figure from the very first glance. Inspired by the IBE, IBL and IBX concept vehicles, the new SEAT Leon brings more excitement to the road. The all-new car looks simply stunning from every angle, with an enormously appealing, sporty aesthetic.
The new Leon marks the careful development of the SEAT design identity; the execution of clear lines and taut surfaces displays vitality and precision. Even the tiniest detail expresses the high standards and the quality applied to the design and development of the new SEAT Leon - standards met by very few vehicle manufacturers. Clear, minimalistic design and precision build quality are among SEAT's core values. These are also clear for all to see in the new SEAT logo. The new Leon is the first SEAT to bear the brand's new logo; on the front end, wheels, rear end and steering wheel.
The new SEAT Leon is extremely well proportioned. The visual weight of the passenger cell has been shifted slightly over the rear wheels, with a very smooth transition from the front wing to the passenger cell. All of the surfaces have a strong sculptural appeal that reinforces the effects of light and shade and adds to the three-dimensional effect.
Viewed from the side, the surfaces of the new SEAT Leon are honed and precisely modelled. The characteristic, interrupted "LŪnea DinŠmica" stretches rearwards over the wheel arches - straining under tension like a well-trained muscle. Characteristic for the Leon are the trapezoidal C-pillar and the short third window reaching up towards the rear.
The rear end of the new SEAT Leon is modelled crisply and features a large, new SEAT logo that serves to open the rear hatch. The slightly wedge-shaped rear lights underscore the breadth of the car and are also available as an option using LED technology (standard in FR trim). The Leon FR further emphasises its sporty character with a distinctive diffuser insert and two large, chromed end pipes.
At 4.24 metres, the new SEAT Leon is around five centimetres shorter than its predecessor, yet the wheelbase has grown by almost six centimetres. This improves its overall proportions and posture on the road, allowing short overhangs as well as enhancing the car's stance on its wheels. Despite its shorter length, its clever packaging means that interior space - both in the cabin and in the trunk are improved.
Typical of the new SEAT design language is the angular line of the lights, which are perfectly integrated into the Leon's sculptural form. For the first time in the compact class, full-LED lights are available. The LED headlamps illuminate the road ahead with a light that exerts virtually no strain on the eyes, while intelligent sensors avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. The new high-end headlamps are maintenance free and lend the Leon's face an unmistakable look, especially due to their distinctive LED daytime running lights.
"Its dynamic and powerful character gives the new SEAT Leon a self-confident stance and a look of firm determination," says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Head of SEAT Design. "Its character lines represent pure assertiveness - with the same going for the unmistakable form of the LED lights front and rear."
The Interior - premium, spacious and flexible
The sporty and athletic design of the SEAT Leon's exterior continues into the interior. The select materials have an exceptionally premium look and feel - everything is clear, light and uncluttered. Because the wheelbase is 58 millimetres longer than that of the previous model, the new SEAT Leon offers even more space for driver, passengers and luggage.
Some versions of the new SEAT Leon are equipped with premium ambient lighting. In the FR version, LEDs mounted in the door panel enhance the contours of the interior design, adding even more style and elegance to the cabin. As well as providing occupants with improved orientation, the ambient lighting also creates an even more pleasant feeling of space.
From the outset of the project, SEAT's designers and engineers paid particularly close attention to the expectations of customers in the Leon's segment. Recognising that the promise of the Leon's exterior design had to be continued inside, the design and, in particular, the choice of materials and the overall fit and finish of the interior were considered high priorities.
The overall ambience that greets the driver and front seat passenger is of a simple, harmonious design that is uncomplicated and minimalist.
The key feature is the broad centre console, arranged with a clear orientation towards the driver. The instrument panel is elegant, with its two-tone design making it seem almost to float. Fine details highlight the very high level of workmanship in the new SEAT Leon - such as the large air vents, the easy-to-understand air conditioning controls and the three-dimensional trim elements. All surfaces have a soft-touch finish for a satisfying tactile experience. In some versions, the premium feel is further enhanced through fine chrome and leather applications.
"The cockpit design adheres to our new interior philosophy with a strong focus on the driver. This is good for ergonomics and creates a sporty feel. The driver should feel as if he is at one with his Leon," says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Head of SEAT Design. "We set ourselves the objective of creating an expressive, elegant and inviting interior. The quality of the materials, the precision finish and the attention to detail are on a par with higher vehicle classes."
All the switches, buttons and controls in the new SEAT Leon are located exactly where the driver would expect them to be. The large instrument dials are easy to read and the driver information system is standard equipment in many versions. Multi-function controls are available for the finely executed steering wheel, which sports the new SEAT logo at its centre.
The display for the on-board computer is located between the two analogue instrument dials, directly in the driver's line of sight and provides information on average fuel consumption, range and speed. Depending on the model version, it also shows data from the navigation system, the driver assistance systems and a mobile phone connected via Bluetooth.
All information and entertainment systems have been designed and developed completely from scratch. The new SEAT Leon introduces the first touchscreen generation to incorporate a proximity sensor (5.8-inch screen).
In designing the new SEAT Leon, functionality and flexibility were both given a high priority. There are no less than a dozen stowage facilities and five closed storage bins in the doors and centre console, as well as in front of and between the front seats. It is always easy to find a place for those small things that are a necessary part of everyday life.
The front stowage compartment in the centre console offers plenty of space for quick and easy stowage of keys, mobile phone and other everyday items. This is also the place to find the optional points for connecting multimedia devices (via aux-in, USB, SD and an iPod cable) to the vehicle network.
The newly developed seats are low-slung and sporty. Height adjustability comes as standard and they are extremely comfortable for people of all statures. They provide the best possible grip during dynamic driving and are very comfortable over long distances. These characteristics were achieved by ergonomic shaping of the foam contours, as well as further improvements to the spring and damping characteristics of the cold-foam cushions. A large selection of premium fabrics, leather and Alcantara provide upholstery to suit every individual preference.
Weight was saved during the development of the standard-fit driver and passenger side airbags, which are now installed without plastic housings. Instead, the folded airbags are now integrated into the seat backs. The weight saving of 25 percent is paired with a significant improvement in protection.
Reference (for fleet customers) and Style grades come with optional lumbar support for the driver. Driver seat height adjustment is standard on all trims, and passenger seat height adjustment is optional in Reference and standard in Style. All these additional long-distance comfort features are standard equipment for the FR.
The second-row seats and luggage compartment
In the rear of the new SEAT Leon, too, shoulder, knee and head room are extremely generous. The comfortable rear bench is equipped with three head restraints. In the interests of the very youngest passengers, standard equipment includes Isofix and Top Tether anchors for child seats. Thanks to systematic lightweight design, the rear bench back rest is approximately 15 percent lighter than in the previous model - without any sacrifice in comfort.
The luggage compartment of the new SEAT Leon has a capacity of 380 litres, which is exactly 39 litres more than in the previous model.
The rear bench back rest is extremely straightforward to fold forward - and comes with a 60:40 split as of the Reference line. Once folded forward, the load floor is almost completely flat and measures 1,558 millimetres in length.
The Bodyshell - lightweight and solid
Its low kerb weight is one of the great strength of the new SEAT Leon; compared with the preceding model, it is down by 90 kilograms. In its base version, the new Leon weighs just 1,113 kilograms.
High-strength and ultra-high-strength steels
A bodyshell that offers optimum safety and the best possible comfort has to be solid. An intelligent structure guarantees that the vehicle remains lightweight and efficient. Lightweight solidity - SEAT set itself this challenge and equipped the new Leon with an utterly state-of-the-art body-in-white. With an eye on optimum value for money, costly materials like magnesium and carbon fibre were avoided - instead, the bodyshell features a high proportion of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels. The hot-formed hi-tech steels alone reduce weight by 18 kilograms, while ensuring increased passenger cell stiffness.
The excellent bodyshell stiffness lays the groundwork for the high production quality, for the precise handling and for the quiet passenger cabin, virtually undisturbed by unpleasant frequencies. Thanks to careful insulation, the interior of the new SEAT Leon is as quiet as that of a car from the next class up. Its aerodynamic refinements include the underbody cladding and the airflow through the engine bay.
In total, the body-in-white of the new Leon is lighter by 25 kilograms. Systematic lightweight design extends across every one of the vehicle's sub-assemblies - many parts in the engines, running gear and interior also contribute to weight reduction.
The Drive - powerful and efficient
SEAT sends the new Leon into battle with powerful and fuel-efficient TDI and TSI power units ranging from 1.2 to 2.0 litres displacement. All engines feature direct injection with turbocharging and have been optimised for low internal friction and rapid warm-up. Sporty power and ground-breaking efficiency are what set the new engine generation in the SEAT Leon apart. Compared with their respective predecessors, fuel consumption is down by up to 22 percent.
For the first time, all engines offered at market launch are available with a start/stop system - the 1.6 TDI with 77 kW (105 PS), the 2.0 TDI with 110 kW (150 PS) and the 1.4 TSI with both 90 kW (122 PS) and 103kW (140PS).
Start/stop and recuperation system
All the engines in the new SEAT Leon use the latest efficiency technologies. The start/stop system deactivates the engine when the car is at a standstill with the gearstick in neutral and the clutch disengaged. On re-engaging gear, a more powerful starter motor restarts the engine - quietly, smoothly and quickly. The start/stop system, which can be deactivated by the driver at any time, also works perfectly with the DSG transmission. Thanks to a very powerful battery with an excellent cycle life, the system remains active even under extremely cold winter conditions. The start/stop system saves up to four percent of fuel per 100 kilometres.
The recuperation system, a further efficiency measure in the new SEAT Leon, uses intelligent voltage regulation in the alternator to recover energy under braking and trailing throttle conditions. This is temporarily stored in the battery, flowing back into the vehicle electric system when the car subsequently accelerates. This takes the load off the alternator by enabling it to run from time-to-time on a lower voltage or to be switched off entirely. It draws less power from the engine, resulting in lower fuel consumption.
When it comes to transferring power to the wheels, the transmissions on offer vary in accordance with the engine and range from a five or six-speed manual to the compact and lightweight dual-clutch gearbox. It changes its six or seven gears in a matter of milliseconds and is incredibly efficient. Certain variants come with a freewheeling function, which reduces real-life fuel consumption even further.
The TDI engines
The 1.6 TDI available at market launch with 77 kW (105 PS) generates 250 Nm of torque from a displacement of 1,598 cm3. In the version with the start/stop and recuperation system, it consumes just 3.8 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres in the NEDC, which equates to 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
The 2.0 TDI equipped with the start/stop consumes an average of just 4.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. With 110 kW (150 PS) and 320 Nm of torque, the TDI engine with a displacement of 1,968 cm3 provides the new SEAT Leon with ample propulsion.
In early 2013, the diesel range will be further enhanced by the 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 PS) and 230 Nm of torque. It will consume 4.1 litres per 100 kilometres and emit 108 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The highlight of the TDI range will be a 2.0-litre unit, producing 184PS and 380Nm, that will join the range later in 2013.
The TSI engines
The TSI engines in the new SEAT Leon start with the 1.4 TSI. The modern, turbocharged power unit features direct injection and produces 90 kW (122 PS) and 200 Nm of torque. The engine is equipped as standard with the start/stop and recuperation system and consumes just 5.2 litres of Super petrol per 100 kilometres, equating to 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
Early 2013 sees the arrival of the 1.2 TSI in two versions with 63 kW (86 PS) and 77 kW (105 PS).
Also in early 2013, a 1.4 TSI with an output of 103 kW (140 PS) and torque of 250Nm will join the engine line-up of the new SEAT Leon. It will return fuel consumption figures of 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres and a CO2 figure of 119 grams per kilometre. The pinnacle of the TSI engine range will be a 1.8 producing 180PS and 250Nm. This engine will join the line-up later in 2013.
Chassis - performance with comfort
The running gear of the new SEAT Leon has a sporty and agile character. The suspension smoothes out all manner of surface defects, while the steering conveys refined, calm directionality with a fine degree of feedback.
The new SEAT Leon uses an all-new vehicle architecture that has been developed from scratch. Its engines are all angled at 12 degrees to the rear. This and the compact engine layout enabled engineers to move the front axle forward by 40 millimetres. The results are a longer wheelbase and a well-balanced distribution of axle load - factors that have a major impact on the comfort and sporty handling of the new SEAT Leon.
At the front are MacPherson struts on a subframe. The compact five-door responds quickly and precisely to steering input, mastering all manner of bends and corners with relaxed stability. The ratio of the new speed-sensitive electromechanical power steering is sporty and direct. It makes a significant contribution to the efficiency of the new Leon because it consumes no energy during straight-line driving. The turning circle measures just 10.2 metres.
On engine versions up to 110 kW (150 PS), the rear of the new SEAT Leon is equipped with a twist-beam axle suspension. The more powerful variants use a multi-link set-up that handles longitudinal and transverse forces independently from one another. Shock absorbers and coil springs are mounted separately to deliver a particularly refined response. An electronic transverse differential lock applies tiny braking impulses to the lighter inside front wheel to make handling at the cornering limits safer and even more fluid. The ESP electronic stability program has been perfectly adapted, while the braking system on the new SEAT Leon is also a match for even the toughest conditions.
The SEAT Drive Profile
The character of the new Leon FR can be individualised to suit both mood and situation: The SEAT Drive Profile enables the driver to vary the characteristics of the power steering, engine response and DSG transmission in three modes - eco, comfort and sport, plus an additional individual setting. The SEAT Drive Profile in the Leon FR will also influence the engine sound (1.8 TSI 180PS and 2.0 TDI 184PS engines only), which is modulated via a sound actuator, as well as the interior ambient lighting - depending on driving style, the door-mounted LEDs switch between white (comfort, eco and individual) and red (sport).
The Technologies - ground-breaking and practical
Packed into the new SEAT Leon are a whole host of innovations. It combines dynamic design with state-of-the-art technologies. The optional full-LED headlamps are a true first in the compact class, while the up-to-the-minute operating system SEAT Easy Connect works with a touchscreen measuring up to 5.8 inches.
The full-LED headlamps
The SEAT Leon makes innovative, full-LED headlights available in the compact class for the very first time. Alongside their distinctive design, LED headlamps have numerous other benefits. For example, they illuminate the road ahead with a colour temperature of 5,500 Kelvin. Because this is very close to daylight, it is extremely gentle on the eyes. And, when it comes to efficiency, the LEDs emit their light with minimal energy consumption - dipped beam, for instance, consumes just 20 watts per unit.
The distinctive contour of the positioning and daytime running lights on the new SEAT Leon is created by two white LEDs per unit, their light channelled to create the distinctive light signature. Nine yellow LEDs on each side create the indicator lights, which are also integrated into the headlamps units. Each dipped beam is made up of six modules. When full beam is switched on, an additional three powerful spot modules are activated on each side, while the dipped beam is raised to match. Intelligent sensors ensure that oncoming traffic is not dazzled. In addition to all this, the new full-LED headlamps are completely maintenance free and designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle.
Within the functionality of the full-LEDs, the angle of the beam is raised when the car has been travelling above 110km/h for more than 30 seconds, giving improved visibility over a longer distance, but without disturbing the view of oncoming traffic.
SEAT Easy Connect - modern and flexible
SEAT is offering a wide selection of state-of-the-art infotainment solutions in the new Leon. The foundation for this is the SEAT Easy Connect operating system, which enables the control of entertainment and communication functions, in addition to numerous vehicle functions, via a cockpit touchscreen. Measuring up to 5.8 inches, the touchscreen and its associated buttons and rotary controls are located centrally in a convenient position between the central air vents. It is easy to read and to reach for both driver and front seat passenger.
For the first time, SEAT is using a touch-sensitive screen with proximity sensor (5.8-inch screen). As soon as the driver's or passenger's finger approaches the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display to operating mode. In operating mode, the elements that can be activated via the touchscreen are brought to the fore, making intuitive use (smartphone-style swipe and zoom gestures) even easier. The display mode, on the other hand, is distinguished by its extremely clear and uncluttered presentation. The graphics of both modes are a perfect match for the sporty aesthetic of the SEAT design.
Media System Touch (5-inch): The entry level is the Media System Touch with a 5-inch touchscreen, radio with SD-card slot and four speakers. External devices for playing individual playlists can be connected via USB or aux-in points. Arranged evenly on the left and right of the touchscreen are six buttons that activate the functions "Radio", "Media", "Car", "Setup", "Sound" and "Mute". The Media System Touch is standard equipment with the Reference equipment line.
Media System Colour (5-inch): In the Style and FR, the Media System Colour with SD Card reader and CD drive (MP3 capable) and six speakers is part of the standard equipment. It connects to external devices via Bluetooth, USB or aux-in. Its colour, 5-inch touchscreen also serves to control vehicle functions.
Media System Plus (5.8-inch): The Media System Plus comes with a 5.8-inch touchscreen with three-dimensional graphics, as well as an optional DAB tuner for digital radio reception and voice control. The system delivers sound to six or eight speakers. Evenly arranged to the left and right of the touchscreen are eight buttons. In addition to those provided with the 5-inch systems and depending on equipment, they provide access to the functions "Phone" and "Voice". The SD card, USB and iPod connector can be found in the glovebox, while the screen provides high definition and a large palette of colours.
Navi System (5.8-inch): The top solution is the same as Media System Plus, but also incorporates a voice activitated navigation system. Route guidance information is also displayed on the colour screen between the speedometer and rev counter, directly in the driver's line of sight.
The SEAT sound system
The optional SEAT sound system with 135 watt output and ten speakers offers a clear and powerful sound at all five seats. A large proportion of this impressive listening experience is attributable to the centre speaker integrated into the dashboard and the large 35-watt subwoofer in the boot.
One example of the many lightweight design initiatives is the all-new air conditioning. With its highly efficient cold circulation system and quiet operation, it sets the benchmark in efficiency and comfort. Ideal air distribution was as much the focus of development work as was fast and even windscreen de-icing in frosty temperatures.
The significant weight saving of 2.7 kilograms was achieved via optimised design and packaging.
The Driver Assistance Systems - groundbreaking
The designers of the new SEAT Leon successfully achieved a notable increase in comfort and safety despite the reduction in kerb weight of up to 90 kilograms, with a portfolio of groundbreaking driver assistance systems.
Drowsiness detection: The system analyses the driver's characteristic steering input and continuously evaluates permanent signals like steering angle or steering speed. The drowsiness detection system registers when the driver's concentration is failing and emits an acoustic warning signal supplemented by a display symbol that recommends taking a break. Should the driver elect not to take a break within the subsequent 15 minutes, the warning is repeated. Independently of this, the activated system advises the driver to take a break after four hours of uninterrupted driving.
Full Beam Assist: A camera system integrated into the base of the rear view mirror controls the Full Beam Assist (upwards of 60 km/h), switching automatically between full and dipped beam. It identifies oncoming traffic and vehicles driving in front, as well as illuminated residential areas, thus ensuring that other road users are not dazzled.
Lane-keeping assistant (Heading Control): The camera-based lane-keeping assistant Heading Control makes slight adjustments to the electromechanical steering before the driver deviates from course and crosses a lane marking.
"With the new Leon, we are confident that we have a car that will meet both the rational and emotional needs of our customers. This irresistible combination of design, technology, athletic performance and premium quality will captivate our existing, loyal Leon customers, as well as drawing a whole new generation of fans to SEAT for the first time," says James Muir, President, SEAT S.A.
The Equipment - stylish and individual
The new SEAT Leon will be available for sale on the European market in 2012 - with highly competitive pricing and extensive equipment. The four equipment lines on offer are Leon, Reference, Style and FR.
Furthermore, the new SEAT Leon also comes with a wide range of safety, comfort and sport options. They include full-LED headlamps, front seat arm rests, electric sun roof, automatically dimming rear view mirror, light and rain sensor, the SEAT sound system and the navigation system to name but a few.
Seven airbags are part of the standard equipment package on all versions of the SEAT Leon. In addition to that are power windows up front, an on-board computer with external temperature display, remote central locking, a height-adjustable driver's seat and Isofix and Top-Tether anchor points in the rear for child seats. The grille is framed in chrome, while the door handles and wing mirrors are painted in body colour. The entry-level Leon stands on 15-inch wheels.
The Leon Reference comes with several extra comfort features. The extensive standard equipment is complemented by an air conditioning system with manual controls, the Media System Touch and the rear bench back rest with a 60:40 split.
The Leon Style offers compelling value for money. It comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, the Media System Colour with six speakers and mobile phone connection via Bluetooth. The multi-function steering wheel is clad in leather and the wing mirrors are heated. The centre console incorporates an arm rest with storage bin, as well as a separate air vent for rear-seat passengers. In terms of interior trims, there are three options: black, black and grey or beige, as well as a choice of three leather trims: black, black and grey or beige, plus an Alcantara trim.
Sporty SEAT variants traditionally bear the FR badge. The Leon FR is recognisable through its 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, cornering lights, sporty bumpers, FR suspension, tinted rear windows, folding wing mirrors and LED rear lights. Inside, it offers aluminium entry sills, a leather-clad sports steering wheel, sports seats with lumbar support, ambient lighting, Climatronic and power windows in the rear. Using the SEAT Drive Profile, the driver can adapt the vehicle settings to suit the driving conditions. The fine sound of the Media System Colour is delivered through eight speakers and the interior trim options consist of black leather or Alcantara.
source : Seat Press