13/02/13 - Seat Leon SC 2013 first pictures of the Leon three-door - Car Inspection Vehicle Inspection Van Inspection - MViUK

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13/02/13 – Seat Leon SC 2013 first pictures of the Leon three-door

The ‘SC’ moniker stands for ‘Sports Coupe’, but don’t think of the Leon SC as a rival for the VW Scirocco. Despite a shortened wheelbase and raked rear screen, the Leon SC boasts the same rear headroom and boot space as its five-door sister.

Is the new Leon SC a new car or just a shortened version of the 5 door?

Seat has actually made some big alterations which could make the already fine-handling Leon more agile to drive. The SC’s wheelbase is 35mm shorter than a regular Leon, and the entire car’s length has been shortened by 100mm.

One of the bigger changes, other than the shortened wheel base is the Leon’s rear screen which has been raked back by 19 degrees to give a sportier look. Seat’s head of design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos is keen for the Leon SC to look like a standalone model, saying ‘just deleting two doors would not have been enough for us’.

Underneath, the Leon uses the VW Group’s new lightweight aluminium blueprint, which slashes weight by 90kg versus the old Leon. The new VW Golf Mk7, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia all share the same ‘MQB platform’ bits under the skin.

Like the regular Leon, you can choose from S, SE and racier FR trim and the tuned-up 200bhp Cupra models will arrive soon, spoiling for a fight with the new Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST.

No surprises inside: the Leon SC’s cabin is shared with the five-door car. That means a recognisably VW group cabin, with a few angular touches thrown in to liven up the greyness. The boot capacity remains at 380 litres (15 litres better than an Audi A3’s, and a healthy 64 litres bigger than the five-door only Ford Focus’s).

Engines too are regular Leon fare. You can choose from 1.2-litre, 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre TSI petrol engines, developing between 104 and 178bhp. The more economic driver will prefer the Diesel choice of engine as the 1.6-litre TDi diesel motor, good for a claimed 74.3mpg and 99g/km of CO2 output. A pokier 2.0 TDi is also available, scoring 68.9mpg and 106g/km.

Five- or six-speed manual gearboxes are standard depending on the engine choice, with six- or seven-speed twin-clutch DSG auto ‘boxes an optional extra.

Prices for the new Seat Leon SC will be announced after the car’s Geneva motor show unveiling, though it’s predicted to cost less than the five-door model. Reckon on prices ranging from £15-21k, depending on engine output and equipment level.