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SEAT León Mk3
Also calledCupra León (2020–present)
ProductionOctober 1999 – present
Body and chassis
ClassCompact car/small family car (C)
Body style
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive

The SEAT León (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈse.atleˈon]), also spelled Leon in some other languages (named after the city of León, which also means "Lion" in Spanish), is a small family car built by the Spanish car manufacturer SEAT since October 1999.[2]

The first two León generations used two differing variants of the Volkswagen Group A platform, and shared many components with other Volkswagen Group cars. The third and fourth (current) generation use the Volkswagen Group MQB platform, also used by the Audi A3 Mk3 and Mk4, Volkswagen Golf Mk7 and Mk8 and Škoda Octavia Mk3 and Mk4.

First generation (1M; 1999)

SEAT León Mk1 (1M)
ProductionOctober 1999 – May 2006
DesignerGiorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign
Body and chassis
PlatformVolkswagen Group A4 (PQ34)
RelatedAudi A3 Mk1
Audi TT Mk1
Volkswagen Golf Mk4
Volkswagen Bora
Volkswagen New Beetle
SEAT Toledo Mk2
Škoda Octavia Mk1
1.6 L AEH/AKL I4 8v
1.6 L BFQ I4 16v
1.8 L AGN/APG I4 20v
1.8 L AJQ/APP/ARY/AUQ I4 20v turbo
2.8 L AUE/BDE VR6 24v
1.9 L I4 SDI
1.9 L I4 TDI
1.9 L I4 TDI PD
Transmission4-speed automatic,
5-speed manual,
6-speed manual
Wheelbase2,513 mm (98.9 in)
Length4,183 mm (164.7 in)
Width1,742 mm (68.6 in)
Height1,439 mm (56.7 in)
Kerb weight1,210–1,628 kg (2,668–3,589 lb)
Rear view
SEAT León Mk1 Cupra R

The initial SEAT León (Volkswagen Group Typ 1M), launched in 1999,[3] available only as hatchback, and the related saloon version was known as the SEAT Toledo. It was based on the Volkswagen Group A4 (PQ34) platform and, as such, shared many components in common with other VW Group models such as the Volkswagen Golf Mk4, Bora and Audi A3. It was mainly produced at SEAT's Martorell plant with a small number of 13,401 cars assembled in 2000 at VW group's plant in Belgium.[4] As SEAT's first C-segment model as part of the VW Group, the León Mk1 was marketed as a sportier and cheaper variant of the Golf. To reinforce the sporty image, the vehicle had slightly more aggressive looks. The more expensive versions were equipped with relatively more powerful internal combustion engines, along with firmer suspension to improve handling. In the interior, the dashboard was derived from that of the first-generation Audi A3.[5]


Available engines were the 1.4-litre 16 valve petrol engine which produced a 55 kilowatts (75 PS; 74 bhp), a 1.6-litre 8 valve petrol engine 74 kW (101 PS; 99 bhp) (replaced later with a 16 valve 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp) unit), and included two variants of the Volkswagen Group's 20 valve turbocharged 1.8-litre powerplant, (with some countries also getting the 2.8-litre VR6 engine delivering 150 kW (204 PS; 201 bhp).

The original "León 20VT" (which later became known as the "Cupra" and then the "FR") had a 1.8-litre Turbo with 132 kW (179 PS; 177 bhp), and the "León Cupra R" 154 kW (209 PS; 207 bhp), later becoming 165 kW (224 PS; 221 bhp). It became first available in only three body paints (red, yellow, black), picked as an homage to the colors of both Spain's and Germany's national flags referring back to the roots of the joint project the model originally was.[6]

In some countries, there was also a "Cupra 4"; equipped with a 2.8-litre VR6 delivering 150 kW (204 PS; 201 bhp) and equipped with four-wheel drive (4WD), based on the same Haldex Traction multi-plate clutch as the Volkswagen Golf 4motion.[7]

A range of turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines was available, including a 110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp) version of Volkswagen Group's 1.9 TDI engine, originally sold as a "Cupra 4 TDI", with 4WD, that was sold for one year only, and only in certain countries, then passed to "Evolution" series, then "Top Sport", and later rebranded as the "FR" ('Formula Racing'). In other countries the model was badged "Cupra" and then "FR" before a limited number of cars were fitted with the bodykit from the petrol powered "Cupra R" and named the "FR+". Lesser diesel versions were available with 66 kW (90 PS; 89 bhp), 81 kW (110 PS; 109 bhp) and 96 kW (131 PS; 129 bhp) outputs.

SEAT León Mk1 instrument panel

All engines over 96 kW (131 PS; 129 bhp) have a standard six-speed manual transmission. Rear suspension was by semi-independent torsion beam for most variants, whilst high-end and 4WD models were fitted with a multi-link independent rear suspension. All versions came with disc brakes on all four wheels (the front ventilated, and in some cars the rear too).


In Mexico, the León became a very popular car with upper class young people.[citation needed] The only problem the León has suffered in Mexico is the fact that the sport tuned suspension of the León is not designed to withstand the constant road imperfections such as potholes and speed bumps that abound in Mexican roads.[citation needed]

In Switzerland, there was another official version tuned by Abt Sportsline of the León called "SEAT León Cupra 4 Kompressor". This version had the same 4WD and 2.8-litre VR6 but with 206 kW (280 PS; 276 bhp) and 323 N⋅m (238 lbf⋅ft) of torque.[8][9][10]

Factory production of the Typ 1M ended in May 2006.[2] However, the appreciation for the SEAT León Cupra R Mk1's appeal remained clear, still up to the 'best hot hatchback of all time' poll, conducted in 2010 by Autocar, in which its readers honoured the Cupra R #7, in the top ten list of hatchbacks of all time in their preferences.[11]


SEAT León Mk1 TDI engine compartment
  • 'Carro do Ano' (Car of the Year) award in 2001, in Portugal[12]
  • 'Most Satisfactory Car of the Year 2007' in Poland, by the Polish magazine Auto Swiat

Engine choices

The Typ 1M SEAT León was available with the following internal combustion engines, with most being shared from other marques of the Volkswagen Group:[2]

Displacement, configuration,
valvetrain, fuel system
Max. motive power
@ engine speed
Max. torque
@ engine speed
Engine ID
Petrol engines, all multi-point electronic indirect fuel injection
1.4 16v 1390 cc inline-4
DOHC 16v
75 PS (55 kW; 74 bhp)
at 5,000
126 N⋅m (93 lb⋅ft)
at 3,800
11/1999 –
1.6 1595 cc inline-4
100 PS (74 kW; 99 bhp)
at 5,600
145 N⋅m (107 lb⋅ft)
at 3,800
AEH; AKL 08/1999 –
1.6 1595 cc inline-4
102 PS (75 kW; 101 bhp)
at 5,600
148 N⋅m (109 lbf⋅ft)
at 3,800
BFQ 10/2005 –
1.6 16v 1598 cc inline-4
DOHC 16v
105 PS (77 kW; 104 bhp)
at 5,700
148 N⋅m (109 lbf⋅ft)
at 4,500
06/2000 –
1.8 20v 1781 cc inline-4
DOHC 20v
125 PS (92 kW; 123 bhp)
at 6,000
170 N⋅m (125 lbf⋅ft)
at 4,200
AGN; APG 11/1999 –
1.8 20vT
1781 cc inline-4
DOHC 20v Turbo
180 PS (132 kW; 178 bhp)
at 5,500
235 N⋅m (173 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,950–5,000
08/1999 –
1.8 20vT
Cupra R
1781 cc inline-4
DOHC 20v Turbo
210 PS (154 kW; 207 bhp) 270 N⋅m (199 lbf⋅ft) AMK 05/2002 –
1.8 20vT
Cupra R
1781 cc inline-4
DOHC 20v Turbo
225 PS (165 kW; 222 bhp)
at 5,900
280 N⋅m (207 lbf⋅ft)
at 2,200–5,500
BAM 05/2003 –
2.8 VR6 24v
Cupra 4
2792 cc 15° VR6
DOHC 24v
204 PS (150 kW; 201 bhp)
at 6,200
265 N⋅m (195 lbf⋅ft)
at 3,400
AUE; BDE 10/2000 –
Diesel engines, all direct injected
1.9 SDI 1896 cc inline-4 SOHC 8v,
VP37 distributor-type injection pump
68 PS (50 kW; 67 bhp)
at 4,000
133 N⋅m (98 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,800
AQM 06/2000 –
1.9 TDI 1896 cc inline-4 SOHC 8v,
VP37 distributor-type injection pump
90 PS (66 kW; 89 bhp)
at 3,750
210 N⋅m (155 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,900
AGR; ALH 11/1999 –
1.9 TDI 1896 cc inline-4 SOHC 8v,
Pumpe Düse Unit Injectors (PD)
100 PS (74 kW; 99 bhp)
at 4,000
240 N⋅m (177 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,800–2,400
AXR 10/2005 –
1.9 TDI 1896 cc inline-4 SOHC 8v,
VP37 distributor-type injection pump
110 PS (81 kW; 108 bhp)
at 4,150
235 N⋅m (173 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,900
AHF; ASV 10/1999 –
1.9 TDI 1896 cc inline-4 SOHC 8v,
Pumpe Düse unit injectors (PD)
130 PS (96 kW; 128 bhp)
at 4,000
310 N⋅m (229 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,900
ASZ 05/2003 –
1.9 TDI 1896 cc inline-4 SOHC 8v,
Pumpe Düse unit injectors (PD)
150 PS (110 kW; 148 bhp)
at 4,000
320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,900
ARL 09/2000 –

Second generation (1P; 2005)

SEAT León Mk2 (1P)
ProductionJuly 2005–2012
AssemblySpain: Martorell, Catalonia
DesignerWalter de Silva
Body and chassis
PlatformVolkswagen Group A5 (PQ35)
RelatedAudi A3 Mk2
Audi TT Mk2
Volkswagen Golf Mk5
Volkswagen Golf Mk6
Volkswagen Golf Plus
Volkswagen Jetta Mk5
SEAT Toledo Mk3
SEAT Altea
Škoda Octavia Mk2
Transmission5-speed manual
6-speed manual
6-speed DSG
7-speed DSG
Wheelbase2,578 mm (101.5 in)
Length4,315 mm (169.9 in)
Width1,768 mm (69.6 in)
Height1,459 mm (57.4 in)
Kerb weight1,176–1,375 kg (2,593–3,031 lb)
SEAT León Mk2 (pre-facelift)
SEAT León Cupra
SEAT León Mk2 (facelift)
SEAT León Mk2 (facelift)

The second generation León, Typ 1P, was released in 2005, with factory production commencing May 2005.[2] It was based on the Volkswagen Group A5 (PQ35) platform, most notably used by the Volkswagen Golf Mk5. It was built in Spain, and had a sharper exterior look with vertically parked windscreen wipers, and the external rear door handles more integrated, in a similar style to that seen on recent Alfa Romeo models. Design was handled by Walter de'Silva, and the car used the same design style that started with the SEAT Altea. Volkswagen's Driver Steering Recommendation (DSR) was available on the León.

The base model offered was the new 16 valve 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine with 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp).[13] In some markets (e.g. Greece, Romania and Italy), the Leon was available with a 1.4-litre MPI engine producing 63 kW (85 PS; 84 bhp). The sportier variants began with the 110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp) 2.0-litre Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) and the popular 103 kW (140 PS; 138 bhp) 2.0-litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine. Both were fitted with a standard six-speed manual transmission, with the six-speed or seven-speed Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) available as an option. A 136 kW (185 PS; 182 bhp) variant of the 2.0 TFSI unique to the León was later introduced, but despite a low list price and rapid performance attracted only minimal attention and average reviews, so this was later discontinued to make way for the sportier FR variants.

The first real sporty León within the new range was the León FR with twin-exhaust pipes to left rear, sport seats and gear stick with FR logo to distinguish it from lesser models, was introduced in June 2006, when it finally received the 147 kW (200 PS; 197 bhp) 2.0 TFSI engine from the Volkswagen Golf Mk5 GTI, as well as a 125 kW (170 PS; 168 bhp) variant of the 2.0 TDI unit featured in the Golf and Audi A3. Further standard equipment included climate control air conditioning.

Next in the range was the 2.0 TFSI Cupra model. It features a 177 kW (240 PS; 237 bhp) engine, and a 0-100 km/h (62.1 mph) time of 6.4 seconds. The Cupra came with standard 18" 5 twin-spoke alloys, red brake calipers, and the standard Cupra oval exhaust, as well as new, unique paint finishes and bolstered sport seats complete with the Cupra logo. Also standard were drilled-aluminium sports pedals.

SEAT León Mk2 pre-facelift interior
SEAT León Mk2 pre-facelift instrument panel
SEAT León Mk2 facelift interior (Cupra R)
SEAT León Mk2 facelift interior (Style package)

At the top of the range was the 2.0 TFSI Cupra R. This used the same 195 kW (265 PS; 261 bhp) engine found in the Audi S3, Golf R and Scirocco R. Capable of 0–100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 6.2 seconds and a top speed limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).

From 2008, the K1 variant of the León Cupra was introduced in the UK, featuring extensively reworked front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a more pronounced tailgate spoiler. It also gained a unique chrome-tipped, centrally-mounted, oval exhaust. The K1 was considered to be a limited edition model, only available in the UK market for the year 2008–2009.

In 2009, the SEAT León Cupra was turned into a race car in the SEAT Cupra race mobile game for Apple iPhone/iPod Touch available through the iTunes' App store.[14] In the same year, the Leon range received a facelift.[15]


  • 'Red dot' award in 2006 [16]
  • 'Best Car of the Year 2009' for the import compact car segment in Germany, by the German magazine Auto-motor-und-sport[17]
  • 'Firmenauto des Jahres 2006', by the German magazine Firmenauto[18]
  • 'Car of the Year 2006' in Denmark[19]
  • 'Diesel Car of the Year 2006' in Scotland (for the 170 hp 2.0 TDI León FR) [20]
  • 'Auto 1' of the Year 2006 in Spain, by the magazine Auto Bild
  • 'University Car of the Year 2007' in Spain, by Spanish university students [21]
  • 'Hellenic Car of the Year 2007'[22]
  • 'GTI of the Year 2006–2007' in Greece for the SEAT León Cupra, by the Greek magazine 4-Trohoi[23]

Special editions

Copa Edition

Mexican orange SEAT León Copa Edition

In 2008, SEAT Deutschland announced the production of 55 units of the SEAT León Copa Edition. This limited edition was powered with 2.0 TFSI engine improved to 210 kW (285 PS; 281 bhp) of maximum power, and 360 N⋅m (266 lbf⋅ft). Maximum speed is 254 km/h (158 mph) and 0-100 km/h (62.1 mph) time is 5.9 seconds.[24] The suspension was from Eibach derived from the León Supercopa, and the brakes had been improved to cope with the enhanced performance from the uprated engine. In addition, the car included xenon HID headlights, 18 inch wheels and a spoiler with larger air intakes.[25] The car colour was white with black stripes.[citation needed]

SEAT México announced the production of 100 units of the Copa Edition in orange colour with black stripes in September 2008.[26] The Mexican version had a sunroof, whilst the European León Copa did not.

Streetcopa and World Champion Edition

At the 2008 Geneva Auto Show, the León Streetcopa limited edition was released. It was a similar edition of León Copa Edition with some changes, designed for the Swiss market and limited to 200 units.[27][28] Lately, after SEAT won World Touring Car Championship, SEAT Schweiz released a facelifted version called Leon World Champion Edition, also limited to 200 units.[29]

SEAT León Mk2 Cupra facelift

Cupra 310 Limited Edition

SEAT Nederland announced the production of León Cupra 310 Limited Edition, with 2.0 TFSI engine upgraded to 228 kW (310 PS; 306 bhp) of maximum power and 425 N⋅m (313 lbf⋅ft).[30] The production was limited to 100 units.[31]

SEAT León Cupra Pies Descalzos

It came only in Candy white or Infiri black. The Cupra 310 Limited Edition featured beside the OEM Cupra equipment an engine management remapping by Abt Sportsline, black Orion-alloy wheels, an alarm system, Bluetooth connectivity and special 310 Limited Edition badges on the sides and the rear hatch. There were also stainless decals inside the front door frames displaying the 310 Ltd logo. A badge on the dashboard displayed the serial number, and the car was delivered with a key ring to match. Full factory warranty was retained with the power increase that increased the top speed to 259 km/h (160.9 mph).

Cupra Pies Descalzos

In 2007, SEAT prepared a sole car customized by Shakira. This car was auctioned, and the benefits went to the charity through Pies Descalzos Foundation. Mechanically, it is the same car as the León Cupra.

León Twin Drive concepts

SEAT produced two versions of the Twin Drive prototype. Initially announced in May 2009[32] as a diesel/battery hybrid, the León Twin Drive Ecomotive was a series plug-in hybrid, powered by an electric motor, through lithium-ion batteries chargeable at a regular electrical socket, in combination with a diesel-powered internal combustion engine.[33] The Twin Drive Ecomotive project was a first step towards a 100% electric car and was planned to go into production in 2014.[34]

The Twin Drive Ecomotive as a plug-in hybrid vehicle powered through the combination of both a diesel engine and an electric motor.[35] The vehicle's electric motor had an output of 35 KW and a self-imposed top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), and resumed power from Li-ion batteries placed at the rear of the vehicle, giving it a range of about 50 km (30 miles) for short urban circuits, while for longer trips the environmentally friendly tuned combustion engine was used. Quick battery recharging process from the mains through regular power sockets features.[36]

In 2011, a revised version of the Twin Drive was shown to the press, with a 1.4TSI petrol engine producing 113 bhp (84 kW; 115 PS) in addition to a 40 bhp (30 kW; 41 PS) generator and an electric motor of 113 bhp (84 kW; 115 PS), producing a combined limited output of 161 bhp (120 kW; 163 PS) and emitting a low 39g/km of CO2, with production now estimated in 2015.[37]

Engine specifications

The Typ 1P SEAT León is available with the following internal combustion engines, and like the previous generation, many are shared from other marques of the Volkswagen Group:[2]

All engines are inline four cylinder (I4) four-stroke designs
designation / model
fuel system
Max. motive power
@ engine speed
Max. torque
@ engine speed
Engine ID
Petrol engines, all fuel injected
1.2 TSI 1197 cc 16v SOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp)
at 5,000 rpm
175 N⋅m (129 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,550–5100 rpm
CBZA 2010 — 2012
1.4 1390 cc 16v DOHC
multi-point fuel injection
63 kW (85 PS; 84 bhp)
at 5,000 rpm
130 N⋅m (96 lbf⋅ft)
at 3,600 rpm
BXW/CGG 2007 — 2012
1.4 TSI 1390 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
92 kW (125 PS; 123 bhp)
at 5,600 rpm
200 N⋅m (148 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,500–4,000 rpm
CAXC 2007 — 2012
1.6 1595 cc 8v SOHC
multi-point fuel injection
75 kW (102 PS; 101 bhp)
at 5,600 rpm
148 N⋅m (109 lbf⋅ft)
at 3,800 rpm
2005 — 2012
1.8 TSI 1798 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
118 kW (160 PS; 158 bhp)
at 4,500–6,200 rpm
250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,500–4,500 rpm
2007 — 2012
2.0 FSI 1984 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp)
at 6,000 rpm
200 N⋅m (148 lbf⋅ft)
at 3,500 rpm
2005 –
2.0 TFSI 1984 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
136 kW (185 PS; 182 bhp)
at 5,100–6,000 rpm
270 N⋅m (199 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,800–5,000 rpm
BWA 2005 –
2.0 TFSI (TSI)
1984 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
147 kW (200 PS; 197 bhp)
at 5,100–6,000 rpm
280 N⋅m (207 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,800–5,000 rpm
BWA 2006 –
2.0 TSI
1984 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
154 kW (210 PS; 207 bhp)
at 5,300–6,200 rpm
280 N⋅m (207 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,700–5,200 rpm
CCZB 2009 — 2012
2.0 TFSI
1984 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
177 kW (240 PS; 237 bhp)
at 5,700–6,300 rpm
300 N⋅m (221 lbf⋅ft)
at 2,200–5,500 rpm
BWJ 2006 — 2012
2.0 TFSI
Cupra R
1984 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
195 kW (265 PS; 261 bhp)
at 6,000 rpm
350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft)
at 2,500–5,000 rpm
CDLA 2009 — 2012
2.0 TFSI
Copa Edition
1984 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
210 kW (285 PS; 281 bhp)
at 6,000 rpm
360 N⋅m (266 lbf⋅ft)
at 2,500 rpm
BWJ 2008
2.0 TFSI
Cupra 310 Limited Edition

Cupra R310 WCE
1984 cc 16v DOHC
Fuel Stratified Injection
228 kW (310 PS; 306 bhp)
at 6,000 rpm
425 N⋅m (313 lbf⋅ft)
at 3,000–5,000 rpm
2008 – 2009
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) engines
1.6 LPG 1595 cc 75 kW (102 PS; 101 bhp)
at 5,600 rpm
148 N⋅m (109 lbf⋅ft)
at 3,800 rpm
CHG 2009 — 2012
Diesel engines, all turbocharged direct injection (TDI)
1.6 TDI DPF 1598 cc 16v DOHC
common rail
66 kW (90 PS; 89 bhp)
at 4,200 rpm
230 N⋅m (170 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,500–2,500 rpm
CAYB 2010–2012
77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp)
at 4,400 rpm
250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,500–2,500 rpm
CAYC 2010–2012
1.9 TDI 1896 cc 8v SOHC
Pumpe Düse Unit Injector
66 kW (90 PS; 89 bhp)
at 4,000 rpm
210 N⋅m (155 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,800–2,500 rpm
BXF 2007 — 2008
1.9 TDI 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp)
at 4,000 rpm
250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,900 rpm
2005 — 2009
2.0 TDI 1968 cc 16v DOHC
Pumpe Düse Unit Injector
100 kW (136 PS; 134 bhp)
at 4,000 rpm
320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,750–2,500 rpm
AZV 2005 –
2.0 TDI 103 kW (140 PS; 138 bhp)
at 4,000 rpm
320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,750–2,500 rpm
BKD 2005 — 2008
Pumpe Düse Unit Injector
103 kW (140 PS; 138 bhp)
at 4,000 rpm
320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,750–2,500 rpm
BMM 2006 — 2008
(FR Technology)
16v DOHC
common rail
103 kW (140 PS; 138 bhp)
at 4,200 rpm
320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,750–2,500 rpm
CBDB 2012 — 2012
FR PD170
16v DOHC
Pumpe Düse Unit Injector
125 kW (170 PS; 168 bhp)
at 4,200 rpm
350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,750–2,500 rpm
BMN 2006 –
FR CR170
16v DOHC
common rail
125 kW (170 PS; 168 bhp)
at 4,200 rpm
350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,750–2,500 rpm
CEGA 2007 —
125 kW (170 PS; 168 bhp)
at 4,200 rpm
350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft)
at 1,750–2,500 rpm
CFJA 2012 — 2012

A flexible-fuel vehicle model is also on offer under the label "MultiFuel", featuring the 1.6 MPI E85 102 bhp engine.[38]

Third generation (5F; 2012)

SEAT León Mk3
SEAT León Mk3 (Pre-facelift)
AssemblySpain: Martorell, Catalonia
Algeria: Relizane (SOVAC)[39]
DesignerJulio Lozano under Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos[40]
Body and chassis
PlatformVolkswagen Group MQB platform
RelatedAudi A3 Mk3
Volkswagen Golf Mk7
Škoda Octavia Mk3
  • Petrol:
  • 1.0 L I3 T SI
  • 1.2 L I4 TSI
  • 1.4 L I4 TSI
  • 1.5 L I4 TSI
  • 1.8 L I4 TSI
  • 2.0 L I4 TSI
  • Diesel:
  • 1.6 L I4 TDI
  • 2.0 L I4 TDI
Transmission5-speed manual
6-speed manual
6-speed DSG
7-speed DSG
Wheelbase2,636 mm (103.8 in)
  • 3-door: 4,228 mm (166.5 in)
  • 5-door: 4,263 mm (167.8 in)
  • 5-door estate crossover (ST X-perience): 4,551 mm (179.2 in)
Width1,810 mm (71.3 in)
Height1,446 mm (56.9 in)
5-door estate crossover (ST X-perience): 1,816 mm (71.5 in)[41]
Curb weight1,193–1,261 kg (2,630–2,780 lb)
Rear (Pre-facelift)
SEAT León (Facelift)
SEAT León FR Pre-facelift
SEAT León FR (Facelift)
Interior (Pre-facelift)
Seat León Cross Sport Concept
Seat León X-Perience (Pre-facelift)
SEAT León Cupra 280 (Germany)
SEAT León Cupra R (Facelift)
SEAT León ST facelift

The third generation of the León is based on the Volkswagen Group's latest MQB platform, which is shared with the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf.[42]

Compared to the previous generation, the León Mk3 is shorter by 5 cm (2 in) and lighter by up to 90 kg (198 lb); however, because its wheelbase has been extended by 5.8 cm (2.3 in), it has a roomier cabin with greater shoulder room for the front and rear passengers, more rear legroom and 380 litres (13 cu ft) of boot space. The first official information and pictures of the car were released on 16 July 2012, with its public debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show in September. It is the second car to be based on the MQB platform.

It features new safety equipment, such as driver knee airbag, and a number of new safety systems, including (often as standard) a multi-collision braking system to automatically brake the car after an accident in order to avoid a second collision, a lane-keeping assistant, and driver fatigue detection. The braking system includes a hill-start assistant.

In the interior, there is a driver-oriented centre console hosting a 5.8-inch touch-screen infotainment display with some models featuring a proximity sensor, also used in the Volkswagen Golf, as well as ambient lighting.

A new feature available for the first time in its class are the optional full-LED headlamps combined with a full beam assistant. The full-LED headlamps offer numerous advantages over standard halogen bulbs such as improved illumination, a close to daylight colour temperature, lower energy consumption and an extended service life. The front fog lights can include a cornering feature.

The higher specification also have a new "SEAT Drive Profile" system which allows the driver to choose between four different driving settings: eco, normal, sport, and an individual setting. This system controls the behaviour of the engine, steering, and DSG gearbox. Additionally, the 1.8 TSI 180PS and 2.0 TDI 184PS engine-equipped models will vary their engine sound via a sound actuator, as well as their interior ambient lighting between white (normal, eco and individual) and red (sport).[43]

SEAT announced in early 2012 that the range would include for the first time three-door and estate models in addition to a five-door.[44]

In September 2013, SEAT officially unveiled the León ST (estate model) at the Frankfurt Motor Show.[45] The León ST extends the León's maximum load capacity to 1470 litres and is available in Europe in three different versions and eleven different engine options.[46] On 23 June 2014, SEAT revealed an off-road version of the León ST called the X-PERIENCE.

In August 2018, SEAT discontinued the Léon SC due to lower demands for three-door hatchbacks.[47]


In January 2017, the León received a subtle facelift which included a reshaped front bumper with a grille that has been stretched by 40mm and features restyled LED headlights. New engine options available included a 115 bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol and 115 bhp 1.6-litre diesel. Interior changes included an electric parking brake with Hill Hold Control (HHC) as standard, a larger eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.

New safety systems included Traffic Sign Recognition, Pedestrian Protection System, and blind-spot warning systems. Also available was Traffic Jam Assist - which allows the León to accelerate and brake automatically in traffic jams up to 37 mph. "Kessy" - SEAT's keyless automatic locking and starting system was another upgrade available. A new flagship XCELLENCE trim level was also introduced.[48]

León Cupra

SEAT León Cupra 265, was produced from 2014 to 2016, fitted with a turbocharged 265 PS (195 kW), 2-litre 16-valve, inline-four petrol engine, capable of 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds and with a maximum speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Available with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox.[49][50]

SEAT León Cupra 280, was manufactured between 2014 and 2015, powered by a 280 PS (206 kW) version of the Cupra 265's engine, capable of 0-62 mph in 5.8 seconds and limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). Available with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The 280 was fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels and Brembo brakes as standard.[51][52]

The Sub8 Performance pack was launched in August 2014 for the Cupra 280, it featured side skirts, lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels and 30 mm larger ventilated brake discs with Brembo calipers. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres could be ordered at extra cost. Also included is a VAQ electronically controlled limited-slip differential that aids traction. Power remained unchanged at 280 hp (metric) and a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds.[53][54]

The Ultimate Sub8 pack was launched in February 2015 for the Cupra 280, which included several weight-saving measures including: removing the León's centre armrest, standard climate control system is replaced with a smaller heater, reducing the number of speakers from eight to four, removing the centre console armrest, front storage units, and rear air vents.[55]

SEAT León Cupra 290, was manufactured between 2015 and 2016, as a replacement for Cupra 280 - powered by the same 2-litre engine from the Cupra 280, but with an extra 10 bhp. The Cupra 290 can accelerate 0-62 mph in 5.8 seconds and onto a top speed of 155 mph. Available with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The 290 came in three body styles - three-door hatchback (León SC), five-door hatchback (León) and five-door estate (León ST) – and in a higher-specification Black version; which included sports seats, special 19in multi-spoke alloy wheels, and black detailing.[56][57][58]

SEAT León Cupra 300, was manufactured between 2017–2018 to replace the Cupra 290, it used the same 2 Litre turbocharged engine from León Cupra 290 but boosted to 296 bhp and capable of 0-62 mph in 5.8 seconds. Available with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. ST estate version was fitted with a DSG gearbox and all-wheel drive as standard.[59][60]

In response to new WLTP testing regimes, SEAT announced in 2018 that the León Cupra 300 would be replaced with a new León Cupra 290. Changes to the revised model included the addition of a gasoline particulate filter (GPF), and as the name suggests, gave the 2WD hatchback a 290 PS (213 kW) power output. The ST Estate retained its 300 PS power output, but was also fitted with a GPF system.[61]

The León Cupra R is limited to 799 units based on the standard Cupra 300 but with an uprated 310 PS (228 kW) 2 Litre turbocharged engine; with a 0-62 mph time of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. Cupra Rs were available only with a six-speed manual gearbox in the UK and only 24 Right Hand Drive units have been built. External changes include exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels, reprofiled bumpers with larger front intakes, flared side skirts, and carbon fibre front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser and roof-mounted spoiler and matt bronzer accent over the externals.[62][63]


In 2012, the SEAT León Mk3 was tested for its safety performance under the Euro NCAP assessment scheme and it achieved a 5-star overall rating:[64]

Test Score Points
Overall: N/A
Adult occupant: 94% 30
Child occupant: 92% 40
Pedestrian: 70% 25
Safety assist: 71% 5

In 2013, the Spanish-made SEAT León Mk3 in its most basic Latin American market configuration was tested for its safety performance under the Latin NCAP assessment scheme and it achieved 5 stars for adult occupants and 4 stars for toddlers:[65]

In 2015, the Spanish-made SEAT León ST in its most basic Latin American market configuration was tested for its safety performance under the Latin NCAP assessment scheme and it achieved 5 stars for adult occupants and 5 stars for toddlers:[66]


Special Editions

A white SEAT León CONNECT edition at the Frankfurt Motor Show


The SEAT León CONNECT is a special edition model that was released in 2015. It is equipped with SEAT's Full Link Technology and a Samsung Galaxy A3 smartphone. This technology allows the user's phone to be connected to the car's infotainment system and gives the user access to all the features of the SEAT ConnectApp. The SEAT León CONNECT has a range of exterior body colours that allow the mirrors and wheels to be customised. Interior details, including stitching are in Blue.

Limited Editions

799 units of the SEAT León Cupra R were built in a limited production run. Among these units only 24 of them are Right Hand Drive models solely distributed to the United Kingdom Market only. All RHD models are only available in six-speed manual and the LHD models are also available in the six-speed DSG Gearbox.

SEAT León Cupra ST 300 Carbon Edition went on sale in 2018 with only 50 allocated for sale in the United Kingdom. Based on the León ST Cupra 300, the Carbon Edition is fitted with the same 296 bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a six-speed DSG gearbox and Haldex all-wheel-drive system. Capable of 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds and a top speed that is limited to 155 mph. Only available in Monsoon Grey paintwork, while other new exterior touches include carbon front and rear diffusers, fibre side blades, and Cupra R 19-inch black and bright silver alloy wheels.[69][70]

Seat León Cupra R Abt 4Drive ST was produced in 2019 and its 2lt engine power increased from 296 bhp to 345 bhp and 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds; top speed is limited to 155 mph. The ABT upgrade includes a copper body kit, 19-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, and quad exhausts; the front splitter and rear diffuser, side skirts, and roof-mounted spoiler are all finished in carbon fibre. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive are fitted as standard. To improve cornering speed and handling performance, new uprights have been added that modifies the negative camber to 2 degrees, at the front and back. Only 150 were allocated for sale in the United Kingdom.[71][72]

Engine specifications

León Cupra R ST limited edition

The Typ 5F SEAT León is available with the following internal combustion engines all featuring direct injection and turbocharging, and like the previous generations they are shared with other marques of the Volkswagen Group:[2][73][74]

Petrol engines
Model Displacement Series Power Torque Years
1.2 TSI 1,197 cc I4 63 kW (86 PS; 84 bhp) 160 N⋅m (118 lbf⋅ft) 2012–
1.2 TSI 1,197 cc I4 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp) 175 N⋅m (129 lbf⋅ft) 2012–2014
1.2 TSI 1,197 cc I4 81 kW (110 PS; 109 bhp) 175 N⋅m (129 lbf⋅ft) 2014–
1.4 TSI 1,395 cc I4 92 kW (125 PS; 123 bhp) 200 N⋅m (148 lbf⋅ft) 2012–
1.4 TSI 1,395 cc I4 103 kW (140 PS; 138 bhp) 250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft) 2012–2014
1.4 TSI 1,395 cc I4 CZEA 110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp) 250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft) 2014–2018
1.5 EcoTSI 1,498 cc I4 110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp) 250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft) 2018–
1.8 TSI 1,798 cc I4 CJSA 132 kW (179 PS; 177 bhp) 250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft) 2013–
2.0 EcoTSI 1,984 cc I4 CVKB 140 kW (190 PS; 188 bhp) 320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft) 2017–2019
2.0 TSI Cupra 1,984 cc I4 CJXE 195 kW (265 PS; 261 bhp) 350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) 2014–2015
2.0 TSI Cupra 1,984 cc I4 CJXA 206 kW (280 PS; 276 bhp) 350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) 2014–2015
2.0 TSI Cupra 1,984 cc I4 CJXH 213 kW (290 PS; 286 bhp) 350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) 2015–2017
2.0 TSI Cupra 1,984 cc I4 CJXC 221 kW (300 PS; 296 bhp) 380 N⋅m (280 lbf⋅ft) 2017–
2.0 TSI Cupra R 1,984 cc I4 CJXG 228 kW (310 PS; 306 bhp) 380 N⋅m (280 lbf⋅ft) 2017–2018
Diesel engines
1.6 TDI 1,598 cc I4 CLHB 66 kW (90 PS; 89 bhp) 230 N⋅m (170 lbf⋅ft) 2012–
1.6 TDI 1,598 cc I4 CLHA 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp) 250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft) 2012–
2.0 TDI 1,968 cc I4 CKFC 110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp) 320 N⋅m (236 lbf⋅ft) 2012–
2.0 TDI FR 1,968 cc I4 CUNA 135 kW (184 PS; 181 bhp) 380 N⋅m (280 lbf⋅ft) 2013–

Fourth generation (KL1/KL8; 2020)

SEAT León Mk4 (KL1/KL8)
SEAT León Mk4
Also calledCupra León
AssemblySpain: Martorell, Catalonia
DesignerDani García (exterior)
David Jofre (interior)
under Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos[75]
Body and chassis
PlatformVolkswagen Group MQB Evo
RelatedCupra Formentor
Volkswagen Golf Mk8
Audi A3 Mk4
Škoda Octavia Mk4
Transmission5/6-speed manual
6/7-speed DSG
Wheelbase2,686 mm (105.7 in)
Length4,368 mm (172.0 in)
4,642 mm (182.8 in) (ST)
Width1,800 mm (70.9 in)
Height1,456 mm (57.3 in)
1,448 mm (57.0 in) (ST)
Curb weight1,286–1,426 kg (2,835–3,144 lb)
Rear view
Cupra León
Cupra León ST

A fourth generation of León was presented on 28 January 2020. It shares the MQB platform with the Volkswagen Golf Mk8, Skoda Octavia Mk4 and Audi A3 Mk4. It has an all digital cluster, is full LED-Light equipped and will have a wide range of gasoline, diesel, plug-in hybrid and electric engines.

The fourth-generation León is 16mm narrower and 90mm longer than the previous generation of León. The five-door León boot capacity of 380 litres has remained unchanged, and the Estate's storage is increased by 30 litres to 617 litres compared to the previous generation.[76]

Engine options are two petrol TSI engines – a 1-litre three-cylinder producing 108 bhp and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder with either 128 bhp or 148 bhp. The TDI diesel option is a 2-litre producing either 113 bhp or 148 bhp.[76]

Also available is a (CNG) compressed natural gas 1.5 litre TGI unit that produces 96 kW/130PS of power giving the CNG-powered SEAT León a CNG range of 440 km (273 miles). When CNG tanks are depleted, the engine switches automatically to run on petrol until the next CNG refuelling.[76]

The eTSI mild hybrid has a 48V electric motor and is available with either the 109 bhp 1-litre or 148 bhp 1.5 litre petrol engine. The system allows the León to coast with the engine switched off during some driving scenarios and recover energy under braking which is then stored in a 48V lithium-ion battery.[76]

The Plug-in Hybrid (eHybrid) 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine electric motor with a 13kWh lithium-ion battery to produce 150 kW/204PS of power, switching to petrol only when its battery needs recharging to produce an electric-only 60 km (38 miles) range. Charging is quoted at just 3.5 hours via a 3.6 kW AC socket; it takes 6 hours to charge it from a 230V socket. To date, this is the most powerful SEAT ever produced that does not wear a Cupra badge. It is the only Leon in the range to have rear multilink suspension and, when ordered in FR trim, it forgoes the 15mm lower suspension. As of 2022, the PHEV model production has been suspended due to a worldwide shortage of components, leaving the model to be much sought after on the second hand market.[76]

The engines can be chosen with a six-speed manual, a six-speed DSG (direct-shift gearbox) automatic transmission or 7-speed DSG automatic transmission on smaller engines that have a torque output of up to 250Nm/184 lb ft.[76] The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission's dry clutch technology results in weight savings, reduced fuel consumption and emissions.[77]

Standard equipment include: "KESSY" automatic locking and starting system, electronic parking brake, an eight-inch infotainment system, two USB ports, LED headlights with automatic high beam, electric and heated side mirrors, cloth upholstery, leather steering wheel and gear stick, and SEAT Connect.[76]

The León is available in seven trim levels, starting with: SE with 16" alloy wheels, 8.25" touchscreen media system and rear parking sensors; SE Dynamic adds 17" alloys wheels, digital Cockpit, 10" touchscreen media system and Park assist (including front and rear parking sensor); FR adds FR Styling, sports suspension, automatic headlights, and Rain sensing wipers; FR First Edition adds 18" alloy wheels, predictive & adaptive Cruise Control, rear view camera and wireless phone charger; FR Sport adds heated front seats, Lane Assist and rear tinted windows; XCELLENCE adds microsuede upholstery and KESSY Advanced (keyless entry and start); and XCELLENCE Lux adds 18" Aerodynamic Performance alloy wheels, leather upholstery and interior wraparound lighting.[78]


Standard equipment include: Blind Spot Detection, Exit Assist (alerts driver to any approaching vehicles visually and acoustically; stopping the car if necessary), Collision Assist (if an imminent collision is detected, sensors prepare the vehicle and its occupants by pre-tensioning seat belts and closing windows), Emergency Assist (if the driver seems inactive behind the wheel, it will activate the hazard lights, keep the car in its lane and then will apply the brakes until the car is brought to a gentle stop) and Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control.[76][79]

Seven airbags, including a new standard front-central airbag that prevents possible head injuries between the driver and front passenger in the event of a side collision, are now standard.[80]

In 2020, the SEAT León Mk4 was tested for its safety performance under the Euro NCAP assessment scheme and it achieved a 5-star overall rating:[81]

Test Score Points
Overall: N/A
Adult occupant: 92% 30
Child occupant: 88% 40
Pedestrian: 71% 25
Safety assist: 80% 5


The León features digital cockpit on all but the basic model; Full Link technology with MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay - compatible with most smartphones on the market.[82] The standard Infotainment system boasts an 8.25" screen, whilst higher spec models have the larger 10" screen Navi system that offers 3D connected navigation and voice control as well as gesture recognition. The optional Connectivity Box allows wireless phone charging. Two USB type C ports are fitted as standard in the front cabin, with higher trim models having an additional two ports in the rear cabin. eSIM which features eCall service as standard will contact the emergency services directly in case of a serious accident.[83]

Optional equipment

Optional features (some of which are standard on higher models) include Rear View Camera, BeatsAudio 9-speaker sound system, Park Assist, leather sport seats, and LED exterior lighting with automatic headlight adjustment.[84]

Optional equipment could be ordered individually or combined into packages were also available at extra cost.

The 'Winter Pack' includes Heated front seats, wash water and steering wheel.[84]

The 'Convenience Pack' includes Rain and auto-dimming light sensor with Coming and Leaving Home, windshield wiper intermittent control and breakaway interior rearview mirror.[84]

The 'Safe Pack' includes Forward collision warning with braking reaction to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. It includes multi-functional camera, speed limiter, lane keeping system and driver alert system.[84]

Cupra León

Cupra León hatchback

The León is also produced under SEAT's sister brand, Cupra and is available in 242 bhp or 296 bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines. For a lower centre of gravity, the Cupra León sits 25mm lower at the front and 20mm lower at the rear compared to the regular Seat León.[85]

Top of the range is the estate-only 306 bhp Cupra ST 4Drive, with four-wheel-drive system and a DSG 'box. Performance figures for this Cupra ST 4Drive are rated at 4.8sec to 62mph, while top speed is limited to 155mph.[85]

The Cupra León (PHEV) e-Hybrid's powertrain comprises a 242bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, an 113 horsepower electric motor, and a 13kWh lithium battery pack. The system produces 400Nm of torque, reaching 0–62mph in 6.7 seconds. Seat claim it has a pure electric range of 32 miles, 217.3mpg and a 30g/km of CO2 emissions figure.[85]

Both 242bhp versions are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, while the higher-output models are fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels and 370mm front discs with Brembo calipers.[85]

The Cupra León 300TSI went on sale in early 2021 and features a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which produces 296bhp and 400Nm of torque; 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Available in two versions: The entry-level VZ2 variant features 19-inch alloy wheels, black brake calipers, a quad exhaust system, and copper-coloured exterior detailing. VZ3 model gets a different set of 19-inch alloys, a wireless phone charger, heated leather seats, and a heated steering wheel.[86]


A facelift for the SEAT Leon that adopts the new Tavascan design language is under development.[87][88]


The fourth generation León has won several awards including: Golden Steering Wheel Award for the SEAT León 1.5 eTSI model in the "Best price/product ratio up to 35,000 euros" category.[89] In December 2020, The new SEAT León was voted "AUTOBEST 2021", the European accolade for the "Best Buy Car of Europe 2021".[90] In January 2021, the Seat Leon 1.5 TSI 130 Evo FR was named Family Car of the Year by What Car? magazine.[91] What Car? awarded the León five stars out of five in its review of the car.[92]

SEAT León in motorsport

SEAT León Mk1 race car

The first generation SEAT León Cupra R was the basis of a one-make trophy, the SEAT Leon Supercopa. It operated in Spain, UK, Germany and Turkey from 2003. The car was developed by SEAT Sport and power was raised to 184 kilowatts (250 PS; 247 bhp). An "International Masters" final, featuring the best four drivers from each national series, was introduced in October 2005, as a support race for the Spanish GT Championship's final round at Montmeló. A TDI-powered version has raced in the ECTS, an Italian-based endurance series for touring cars.

In 2006, the Supercopa León was replaced by the new shape León. The car is potentially faster than the WTCC version, as it features a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, with over 221 kW (300 PS; 296 bhp), increased torque, the DSG gearbox, better aerodynamics (it includes the WTCC car's front and rear spoilers, plus a venturi tunnel under the car, instead of a flat bottom), and 18 inch wheels, instead of the mandatory 17 inch wheels from the WTCC.

For 2007, the SEAT Cupra Championship in the UK (part of the TOCA Package) will run both 'New León' Cupra Race cars with 221 kW (300 PS; 296 bhp), as well as the Mk1 León Cupra R race car with 184 kW (250 PS; 247 bhp).

The SEAT Leon Eurocup began in 2008 as a support series for the World Touring Car Championship.

The car came top in Class D in the 2014 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

SEAT León Super 2000 car

SEAT León Mk2 WTCC race car

During 2005, SEAT introduced the second generation León into the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) to replace the Toledo Cupra which it had raced in the early rounds of the title. The car featured several modifications, including a racing engine that developed over 191 kW (260 PS; 256 bhp), a Hewland sequential-shift gearbox (unrelated to the DSG), and an aerodynamic package for increased downforce (with its hatchback shape, the León was disadvantaged against conventional three-box saloons). Minimum weight is 1,140 kg (2,513.3 lb) with driver. SEAT Sport, in partnership with Oreca, ran six cars in the WTCC. Two other cars were run by SEAT Sport UK (Northern South) based in Northampton, UK in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). A further two cars were run by SEAT Sport Italia in the Italia Superturismo Championship.

In mid-2007 SEAT introduced the León TDI to combat BMW's dominance by utilizing 2.0-liter Volkswagen EA189 TDI inline-4 turbodiesel engine. The car did show promise with Yvan Muller behind the wheel and the team was set to score championship win in Macau, but reliability issues caused Muller an retirement in Race 1 and the engine problems weren't solved in time thus not starting in Race 2 and handing the title to Andy Priaulx with BMW 320si.

In 2008, Muller won the FIA World Touring Car Championship for Drivers at the wheel of a León TDI, and SEAT won the Manufacturers' title. León TDI was also fielded by SEAT UK in the British Touring Car Championship with Jason Plato being the lead driver. Plato finished second behind Fabrizio Giovanardi with Vauxhall in the drivers' championship. At the end of the season SEAT UK withdrew from the series and subsequently this was the only season where León TDI competed in the BTCC.

In 2009, Gabriele Tarquini became the Drivers' Champion with the León TDI, and SEAT won the Manufacturers' title for a second consecutive year. At the end of the season SEAT Sport officially ended their manufacturer support. León TDI cars were entered by Sunred Engineering for the following season and despite not having official manufacturer support from SEAT, in the manufacturers' championship the entity was named SEAT Customers Technology. Tarquini finished second in the drivers' standings behind Yvan Muller with Chevrolet.

For 2011, new rules were introduced in WTCC, incorporating a new engine formula - 1.6 turbocharged engines, similar to those used in the World Rally Championship. In line with the changes Sunred created the SUNRED SR León 1.6T, using the then León TDI as base. The cars, however, were not ready for the start of the season, and Sunred drivers used the older León TDI, which was still eligible to enter thanks to the Jay Ten Trophy, introduced by the series promoter Eurosport for 2010-spec cars.

In 2012, SEAT Sport unofficially returned to the series introducing the SEAT León WTCC, effectively replacing the SR León from Sunred, to privateer entries. Some drivers like Tom Boardman and Tiago Monteiro started the season using the old León TDI. The TDI version was still eligible in the European Touring Car Cup where Fernando Monje won the 2012 championship. For the following season León TDI was banned from ETC Cup and with everyone now upgraded to the León WTCC 2012 marked the last time diesel car was entered in WTCC and ETCC. The Léon WTCC continued to be eligible until the introduction of TC1 in 2014 (although León WTCC was able to be entered in the TC2 class in the same year as TC1's introduction).

León Cup Racer and León TCR

In 2013 SEAT Sport introduced a concept car, based on the third generation of León. Initially it was thought that this would be the car in which SEAT Sport would return to the series with full manufacturer team under the new TC1 regulations. However SEAT Sport announced that the car would be part of the revived León Eurocup for 2014.

The León Cup Racer then formed the base for the newly formed TCR International Series. The TCR regulations use this car as a template for the aerodynamic portions of the cars. In 2016 SEAT Sport introduced a TCR-spec version of the León with the original Cup Racer still being eligible in the International Series as well as national and regional championship utilising the TCR regulations.

León (NGTC)

Nicolas Hamilton driving the León at Brands Hatch.

Team HARD Racing built and ran four new Cupra León cars for the 2021 season.[93] The drivers were announced to be Glynn Geddie, Jack Goff, Nicolas Hamilton and Árón Taylor-Smith. As of Brands Hatch race 3, the car has scored points in every race as well as a podium, courtesy of Goff.

León e-Racer (ETCR)

Mattias Ekström (Cupra ETCR #001) leads Jordi Gené (#028) at Pau during the first round of the 2022 FIA ETCR season

The Cupra e-Racer is an electric car touring car. It competed in the e-TCR electric touring car racing series, against competitors from Hyundai and Alfa Romeo, securing the manufacturer's championship following the inaugural season in 2021 and the second season in 2022.


Year Championship Result
2006 British Touring Car Championship 1 (Manufacturers)
2006 Italian Superturismo Championship 1 (Drivers)
2007 British Touring Car Championship 1 (Teams)
2007 Danish Touringcar Championship 1
2008 World Touring Car Championship 1
2009 World Touring Car Championship 1
2012 Russian Touring Car Championship 3
2021 FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup 2 (Drivers & Teams)
2022 FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup 2 (Drivers & Teams)

Sales and production figures

Since its launch in 1999, more than 2 million SEAT León cars have been produced and sold in its three generations up to the present, made in SEAT's Martorell plant and other Volkswagen Group's factories.

In the year 2011, the total annual retail sales number of SEAT León cars was 77,075 vehicles,[94] while the annual production of vehicles came up to 80,736 units.

The total production per year of SEAT León cars, manufactured in SEAT and other Volkswagen Group's plants, is shown below :

Model 1999
Total annual production
6,080 93,123 91,939 93,606 96,536 90,850 98,130 126,511 120,630 96,761 66,368 79,462 80,736 71,295 114,568 157,087 169,455 163,228 163,306 159,486 153,837 124,323 70,143 36,247


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External links

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