SEAT’s Cross Sport concept is the quickest Leon ever

Could this Frankfurt show car preview a Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 rival?

SEAT has revealed a new crossover concept at the Frankfurt motor show, called the Cross Sport. Based on the recently unveiled Cupra 290, it features a more potent version of that car’s turbocharged 2-litre TSI engine, producing 296bhp and 280lb ft of torque – up from the 290’s 286bhp and 259lb ft. The Cross Sport also sends its power to all four wheels, helping it to shave a significant eight-tenths from the 290’s 0 to 62mph time.

That brings it down to 4.9sec, which is five tenths off the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 and just one tenth behind the Audi RS Q3. Drive is channelled through a six-speed DSG gearbox, and traction is boosted by an electronic locking differential.

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The body sits 41mm higher than the 290, and SEAT says that the Cross Sport’s suspension has been tuned to suit all road conditions. This confirms the car isn’t an out-and-out off-roader, but rather an urban-focused crossover, with further evidence found in the fitment of 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-profile rubber.

The Cross Sport inherits several Cupra features, including Brembo brake calipers and vented discs, a mesh grille and roof spoiler, though the Cupra’s twin exit rear-exhausts have been ditched in favour of a quad-pipe setup.

The Cross Sport also gains roof rails, wheel arch add-ons and restyled bumpers to give it a more rugged appearance, while inside, the car features leather and Alcantara trimmed seats coloured to match the car’s ultra orange exterior – which was first seen on the SEAT 20V20 SUV concept of the 2015 Geneva motor show. 

Technical highlights include SEAT’s latest smartphone connect system, with voice recognition and voice activation features, and a built in touchscreen.

Though there’s no mention as to whether the Leon Cross Sport concept will ever make production, its arrival, along with the 20V20 concept of Geneva, suggests SEAT will likely produce a more rugged four-wheel-drive model in the near future. 

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