Seat Leon SC three-door revealed
This is the first time that Seat has offered a three-door version of the Leon, and while the Leon SC is the same length as the five-door, the wheelbase has been shortened by 35mm to give a sportier look.
The SC's styling is a development of the IBE, IBL and IBX concept cars'. It features sculpted body panels, an aggressive stance and a more steeply raked rear hatch than the five-door model.
Despite this, Seat claims that rear headroom and boot space remain unchanged in the SC. The load space is 380 litres – exactly the same as the VW Golf's and 15 litres more than the three-door Audi A3's, but more than 200 litres less than the load capacity of the (five-door) Skoda Octavia.
The UK will get three trims at launch: S, SE and FR. All cars will get Bluetooth and air-conditioning. Entry-level cars miss out on alloys, but these are standard on SE and FR versions.
Petrol options include a 1.2 TSI that produces either 85bhp or 104bhp, along with a 138bhp 1.4 TSI and 178bhp 1.8 TSI. There are three diesel options: a 1.6 TDI with either 89bhp or 104bhp, and a 148bhp 2.0 TDI.
Four gearboxes will be available – two manuals and two dual-clutch DSG semi-autos. The manuals will be five- or six-speeders depending on the engine, while the DSG will be offered in six- or seven-speed form. They will also feature a free-wheeling function (similar to the coasting system available on the VW CC) that helps to reduce fuel consumption.
The 89bhp 1.6 TDI is the cleanest unit; equipped with engine stop-start and energy-recuperation systems, it has claimed average economy of 74.3mpg and emits 99g/km of CO2. The 2.0 TDI has average economy of 68.9mpg and emissions of 106g/km.
The Leon SC goes on sale in April, with deliveries from July. Prices haven't been announced, but we'd expect the Leon SC to cost from around £15,000.
Seat is also expected to add an estate version to join the SC and the five-door hatchback. It is likely to be called the Leon ST and will be launched later this year.
By Matthew Burrow
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