Minor Facial Surgery For Seat Leon At Geneva
With Renault giving the Clio a facelift for 2009, it’s now the turn of Seat to give their model range a nip-and-tuck for the new year.
Looking at the pictures you’d be forgiven for struggling to spot the difference between the new and old car. Apparently, Seat’s new ‘Arrow Design’ philosophy has been brought to the Leon, so a reshaped nose with new grille and larger headlights brings it into line with the latest Ibiza. There are some new wheel designs for the range, and on the inside new instruments, centre console and door panels inject a bit of fresh life into the otherwise dull interior. Personally, I think it looks like the designers had a lazy mornng and then cleared off down the pub.
However, the mechanical changes are slightly more interesting for hot hatch fans. The Leon gets Seat’s new XDS traction control system, an electronic device that mimics the action of a limited slip to improve handling. Meanwhile the engine lineup increases to ten units, most of which gain more power despite being tuned to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Sadly the hottest Cupra doesn’t benefit from the engine improvements, but the 208bhp TSI unit from the Audi A5 will be making an appearance in the range, probably in the FR (pictured).
More details of the range, and any increase in pricing, will be announced before the cars arrive in the UK this summer.