SEAT Leon ST to go off-road

SEAT Leon ST 4drive
22 Jan, 2014 9:43am Shane O’Donoghue

A rugged 4x4 version of the SEAT Leon ST estate will be revealed soon, according to an insider

A new variant of the SEAT Leon ST estate will be revealed in the coming weeks. Built on the foundations of the existing VW Golf-based Sports Tourer (ST), the new version will feature a higher ride height, additional body cladding for a unique appearance and four-wheel drive (4x4).

SEAT Leon ST review

The company's new all-wheel drive system, which was launched at the Vienna motor show earlier this month, has been christened '4Drive' (pictured).

It's similar to that used in the likes of the Audi S3, where most of the engine's output is sent to the front wheels until advanced sensors detect slip and a need to send more power to the rear axle. The Volkswagen Group's 'electronic differential lock' system features on both the front and rear of the car.

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Diesel engines will dominate the price list, with 104bhp 1.6-litre and 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI units expected at launch. Emissions ratings are likely to be close those of the regular Leon ST 4Drive (not offered for sale in the UK), at 119- and 124g/km respectively. The 1.6-litre model should cover the 0-62mph sprint in 12 seconds, though the more powerful car manages the benchmark in just 8.7 seconds.

SEAT claims that the additional four-wheel drive hardware required has no impact on the Leon ST's practicality, so boot volume varies from 587 litres with all five seats occupied to 1,470 litres with the rear bench folded down.

It's anticipated that the new variant of the SEAT Leon ST will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March, alongside a hot Cupra-badged version of the standard estate. There are currently no plans to produce a four-wheel drive Cupra model.

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