SEAT has made the differences between the SC and the five-door pronounced, so rather than just getting rid of the rear doors, it’s given the new car a 35mm shorter wheelbase.
Head of SEAT exterior design, Jorge Diez, explained: “By shortening the wheelbase we’re able to make the SC look more muscular and powerful.”
The rear windscreen is also more steeply raked, to create a sportier profile. Unlike the three-door Audi A3 – which has less boot space than the five-door Sportback model – the Leon SC has an identical luggage area to the standard hatch, at 380 litres. There’s the same amount of rear headroom, too, so buyers will only have to compromise on knee room and access to the rear seats.
The car in our pictures is an FR model, but the Leon SC comes in the same S and SE specs as the five-door. Equipment levels will be the same, too, so SE cars get 16-inch alloys, cruise control and hill-hold control, while the range-topping FR is fitted with 17-inch alloys, tinted windows, LED rear lights and parking sensors. Full LED headlights – like those fitted to the car in our pictures – are a £995 option.
The SC borrows engines from the five-door Leon as well, so petrol fans get the 104bhp 1.2-litre TSI or 138bhp 1.4 TSI engines. Diesel options include the 1.6-litre TDI, which promises the same impressive 74.3mpg fuel economy and 99g/km CO2 emissions as in the five-door, even though the three-door is marginally more aerodynamic.
Order books will open for the Leon SC just after Geneva. While final pricing hasn’t yet been announced, we’re expecting the car to cost around £500 less than the five-door, which starts from £15,670.