The arrival of a tranche of exciting new models, the addition of innovative new options and a particularly modest price list tweak – that’s SEAT’s recipe for summer success.

With the imminent showroom debut of the all-new SEAT Ibiza five-door just around the corner – it officially lands on dealer doorsteps in precisely 28 days’ time – you might be forgiven for thinking the Spanish car maker would be focusing exclusively on its super new supermini.

Not so.  While the newcomer is sure to grab the lion’s share of the limelight with its enticing mix of quality, style and engineering excellence, there’s every reason to believe that important additions to the Leon line-up, plus enhanced options on Altea, Altea XL and Alhambra, are set to boost sales across the board.

The perennially-popular Leon line-up receives a real shot in the arm with the arrival of two carefully tailored new models, both calculated to add fresh impetus to the family five-door’s model mix.

First comes the SEAT Leon Emoción, a keenly-priced creation based on the entry-level Leon Reference but boasting subtle styling and equipment upgrades designed to lift it comfortably above the crowd.

Powered by either SEAT’s 1.6-litre, 102 PS petrol or frugal 1.9-litre 105 PS TDI diesel, the new Emoción model adds sporty 16” ‘Badia’ alloy wheels and front fog lights, plus the convenience and safety boost which springs from steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

The newcomer costs from just £13,250 RRP (for the 1.6 petrol) rising to £14,350 RRP for the 1.9 TDI.

Alternatively, Leon buyers after an even more exhilarating motoring experience can now consider the appeal of the new Leon Sport.  Powered by either SEAT’s new, state-of-the-art 125 PS 1.4-litre TSI turbocharged petrol engine or frugal yet fiery 140 PS 2.0-litre TDI, the Stylance-based Sport offers air conditioning, 17” ‘Aquila’ alloys, grippy sports seats and dynamic sports suspension among its unique selling points.

Capable of hustling from 0 to 62 mph in a crisp 9.3 seconds (2.0 TDI) or 9.8 seconds (1.4 TSI), and offering up to 50.4 mpg on the combined cycle (2.0 TDI) the new Leon Sport firmly ticks the box marked ‘environmentally responsible’ courtesy of official CO2 emissions set at just 147 g/km (2.0 TDI) or a particularly modest 155 g/km for the new 1.4 TSI petrol engine.

The price?  £14,795 RRP for the 1.4 TSI Sport, £16,995 RRP for the 2.0 TDI Sport, and £17,995 RRP for the 2.0 TDI Sport with ultra quick-shifting DSG auto/sequential manual gearbox in place of the standard six-speed manual.

Away from Leon, SEAT is extending the availability of its popular rear seat entertainment system – pioneered on the capable Altea Freetrack 4 – to the rest of the Altea family.

The roof-mounted 7” rear seat screen, which is offered with a flexible RCA connection perfect for hooking up everything from an iPod to a portable DVD player or games console, is now available as a £300 RRP factory option across the Altea and Altea XL line ups.

Finally, SEAT’s family-sized Alhambra MPV is now available with a real touch of luxury in the shape of opulent leather/Alcantara upholstery on all of its seven individual seats.  Offered on top spec’ Stylance variants of the Spaniards’ full size people carrier, the upholstery upgrade comes with a price tag of £2,185 RRP.

Meanwhile, revisions across the SEAT price list see several models actually reduced, while increases are limited to an average of just a fraction over one per cent – comfortably below May’s official Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 3.3%.  The new RRPs, effective from Tuesday 1st July 2008.

Discussing the range revisions, additions and price changes, Director of SEAT UK, Peter Wyhinny, said: ‘While much attention is naturally, and rightly, focused on our forthcoming new Ibiza 5dr, we haven’t taken our eye off the other strong models in our range.

‘I’m particularly looking forward to the response to our new Leon Sport 1.4 TSI which, with the benefit of that frugal yet sporty turbocharged petrol engine, really does offer style-conscious drivers the best of all worlds.’

Published : 18/06/08 Author : Melanie Carter


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