SEAT Leon 3-dr spied

15 Oct, 2012 5:14pm Tom Phillips

Our spies have caught the three-door SEAT Leon SC disguised as a Vauxhall Astra GTC

When is a SEAT Leon three-door not a SEAT Leon three-door? When it’s disguised as a Vauxhall Astra GTC.

In a bid to fool our hard-working spy photographers, SEAT’s engineers have disguised the firm’s new three-door Leon SC as an Astra GTC. However, peel away the plastic on the lights front and rear, and there’s no hiding SEAT’s new hatchback.

The more-pronounced crease down the centre of the bonnet, front lights and rear bumpers all give the game away. But it’s the bits of this test car you can see that are most relevant.

The shoulder line of the Leon five-door hatchback kicks up dramatically at the rear to create a small window in the C-pillar. However, this is removed for the SC, which gets a thick C-pillar sloped at a more acute angle than the five-door. Add in a roofline that slopes down more towards the three-door’s rear, and we're left with a car looks a lot more dynamic than the five-door hatch.

The removal of the rear doors has brought simpler bodypanels to the Leon’s side, with one unbroken crease running from headlight to taillight, rather than the five-door model's two separate creases.

While the five-door Leon was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, we’ll have to wait until the Geneva Motor Show next March to see the finished three-door model.

It’ll go on sale in mid-2013, priced slightly less than the equivalent five-door. This means that we can expect a starting price of around £15,000, down from five-door Leon S hatchback's price tag of £15,670.

A Leon ST estate is also due to arrive next year, but won't make its public debut until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.