The all-new 2020 SEAT Leon has been teased ahead of its full unveiling at the end of the month. The new mid-sized hatchback will join Volkswagen’s new eighth generation Golf and Skoda Octavia which are all based on the same underlying modular chassis.
For now, the latest teaser image reveals the new Leon’s tail which is dominated by an LED rear light bar that connects the rear lights. Up until now though, our best insight into the new Leon has been SEAT’s final development testing, which has so far revealed the familiar two-box hatchback shape.
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Looking at the prototype in these images, it’s clear that the next Leon will have a shapely body, trading the taut, neat proportions of the current car for a more sculptural and aggressive shape. The nose clearly takes cues from the new Tarraco SUV, the first model to adopt SEAT’s next generation design language, including a reshaped grille and slim, pointed headlights. Although the model still has significant camouflage, the latest spy photos reveal more detail of the front bumper than previously.
The windowline does mimic the current model, with a sharp upturn forming a solid c-pillar, but below is now a much larger, more defined shoulder line over the rear wheels, leading to a sharper rear screen rake and tapered tail.
The next Leon will unfortunately lose its three-door SC option, the range now being made up from five-door and estate models only. We also suspect that the interior will undergo a major overhaul, being one element often criticised in the current generation. Expect a wider application of the VW Group’s latest tech, including larger high-res displays and improved interior plastics as the brand continues to push further towards the premium end of the market.
SEAT has confirmed that the next Leon will be available in plug-in hybrid form, opening the door to a possible integration of hybrid tech in the next generation Cupra variants. Likely to integrate a version of the Golf GTE’s powertrain, it will likely feature around 240bhp. A non-hybrid Cupra Leon is also on its way with a more potent combination of a Golf R-derived turbocharged petrol powertrain and dual-clutch transmission.
It’ll follow the performance the Ateca and and won’t be badged as a SEAT but, like all future fast versions from the Spanish maker, it’ll be a Cupra. This restructure forms a part of SEAT’s aggressive expansion plans in the hope of generating more revenue for the company.
Adding weight to our ruminations about the future of Cupra, former SEAT boss Luca de Meo stated at a media event in 2019 that Cupra is ‘a brand that generates more income, attracts new customers, remains committed to motorsport, seamlessly integrates technologies such as electrification, hybridisation, connectivity and driver assistants, and enhances the image, credibility and reputation of the entire SEAT organisation.’