SEAT Leon family grows

SEAT Leon in action
Credits: Nathan Morgan
8 Nov, 2012 11:10am Tom Phillips

SEAT boss reveals details of its new family of Leon models and confirms a Q3-based SUV for 2014

The five-door SEAT Leon is set to become the first of a family of Leon models. Talking at the launch of the new five-door SEAT Leon, Vice President of R&D, Matthias Rabe, confirmed that the sportier three-door Leon will be launched at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

He added that the Leon SC “will feature a much more dramatically sloping roofline and a shorter wheelbase – an advantage of building the car on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform.”

A Leon ST estate will then arrive at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, before the high-performance range-topping Cupra models follow in early 2014.

The three and five-door Leon will be offered as Cupra models, with Rabe’s current five-door Leon company car already featuring development Cupra parts. He also added that an estate Cupra model is a possibility and that they are watching the success of the Ford Focus ST Estate with interest.

Looking a little further ahead, Rabe also hinted that its long-awaited Volkswagen Tiguan-based crossover will arrive in 2014.

SEAT has been flirting with the idea of adding a crossover to its line-up, having shown the Tribu concept in 2007 and the Nissan Qashqai-sized IBX concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The Audi Q3 is also built at SEAT’s Martorell plant, making production of the crossover even more likely.

When asked about the size of the new SUV, Rabe said “The [Volkswagen] Taigun [shown at the Sao Paulo Motor Show last month] is a great concept, especially for South America with its rules on 1.0-litre engines.

“But our SUV would be a car that you can use everyday, on your own, as a couple, as a small family. A Q3-sized SUV is also where the [market] growth is, even in Europe. Maybe after that, we could look at a smaller SUV, but our first will be Tiguan-sized.