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Seat Leon in the driving report: Fast on the road in the new compact lion

Seat Leon in the driving report
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D he message is extremely inconvenient: In October, the Seat Martorell plant the belts stand still for a few days. Despite rising sales figures in Germany, Great Britain and Mexico, the VW subsidiary's new registrations fell by almost 13 percent in the first half of the year. The company is therefore correcting its targets for 2012 and adjusting production accordingly. The sales start of the Spaniards' second most important number of items after the Ibiza is imminent: The new Seat Leon is already scratching its feet and wants to convince us that Seat has made a big hit with it in the compact class.

Seat Leon has lost up to 90 kilograms

From the outside, the Iberian compact lion knows how to please - stylistically in the tradition of its predecessor and optically a little closer to the dynamic group brother Audi A3 than to the serious VW Golf . Under the sheet metal, however, he is closer to both relatives than before: 'The Seat Leon is based on the MQB architecture from VW and benefits from its consistent lightweight construction,' says Seat Development Director Matthias Rabe - the new one is up to 90 kilograms lighter than that Previous model.

At the same time, Rabe emphasizes the quality and workmanship of the new interior: “We can be proud of that.” With a length of 4.26 meters, the Seat Leon is around five centimeters shorter than before, but now has a little less six centimeters longer wheelbase - with positive effects on the space available for occupants as well as the axle load distribution and thus the driving behavior.

Seat Leon FR as a harmoniously coordinated recreational athlete

On the mountain roads of the Spanish Sierra Nevada we get a first impression of the features that will characterize the new Seat Leon - here in the form of the sporty top model FR - in the future. Both the 1.8 TSI with 180 PS and the 2.0 TDI with 184 PS provide considerable propulsion - the diesel with the help of its great torque (380 Newton meters), the gasoline engine with its revving (rated output between 5,000 and 6,000 tours).

In addition to the two different engines, we also had two different chassis designs available. While one corresponded to the serial status of the Seat Leon FR model, the other was a bit sportier with a changed spring rate and tighter dampers. Though so onA successful compromise seems to have been found with the standard set-up: During our test laps in Spain, the Seat Leon FR proved to be an extremely harmoniously tuned recreational athlete who manages without excessive hardship.

First exit makes you want more

In addition, the customer can use the driving experience switch ('Seat Drive Profile') to personalize the car to adjust. In addition to steering assistance, the selected setting also influences the accelerator pedal characteristic and the engine sound - in the Seat Leon FR, a resonance pipe with active valve control ensures a particularly sporty sound from 3,500 tours.

Conclusion: The market launch of the new Seat Leon comes at just the right time for Seat. The first trip in the Spanish athlete definitely makes you want more.


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