We’re starting to get a better idea of what the upcoming SEAT Leon replacement will look like. A prototype model has been spotted testing again, and some of the details are more evident. The new Leon will be on sale before the end of 2019, with the option of a plug-in hybrid system due a year later.
The styling may not be revolutionary, but it’s clear that SEAT is playing on its sporty credentials. A lower front end will incorporate a similar grille to the newly revealed Tarraco seven-seat SUV, and the headlights are pointier and more angled. While the side profile won’t change too much, the rear will look suitably different. A larger boot spoiler sits on top of a shallower rear windscreen, and there’s a noticeable step underneath the screen. Slim LED taillights will make sure it still looks like a Leon from the back.
You’ll notice much bigger changes on the inside. The VW Group is working on a stunningly advanced infotainment system, and the Leon will be the first car to benefit thanks to SEAT’s younger customer base. Luca de Meo, the boss of SEAT, says it’ll be “the best infotainment system coming to market”. A lot of the buttons on the dashboard will go, with most of the car’s functions being integrated onto the touchscreen. The company promises better voice control and coherence, and affirms that the system even beat Tesla’s screen in consumer tests.
The infotainment system will gather updates over the air – like that Tesla – to make sure you’ve always got the latest software. A digital driver’s display will be an option, replacing traditional dials. You’ll also enjoy the very latest safety technology – features such as automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring may well be standard.
With the introduction of the new WLTP and RDE vehicle emissions standards, the Leon already has SEAT’s newest and cleanest engines. These will carry over almost entirely to the new car, so you’ll be able to choose from 1.0-litre, 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines and a brace of diesel motors. A plug-in hybrid version will be available to improve fuel economy and introduce up to 31 miles of zero-emission driving.
A Leon crossover is reportedly on the way as well. It’ll sit below the Ateca SUV but will offer higher ground clearance and rugged styling.