With the introduction of the ST (Sport Touring) comes driver-assistance technology new to the Leon range, including adaptive cruise control, adaptive chassis control and progressive steering. But the main reason you'd opt for the estate is probably for its cargo capacity, which starts at 20.7 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and stretches to 51.9 cubic feet when they're folded down. Seat did a good job keeping the Leon's identity after revising it into wagon form, but despite the ST's clean lines, it comes very close to looking like a small minivan to our eyes. Perhaps that opinion will change after we view the new wagon in person.
Volkswagen-owned Seat uses the Golf's chassis for the Leon series, as well as VW engines. Seat claims the ST was designed with fuel efficiency in mind, and its light weight (for a wagon, at least) of 2,718 pounds for the base model and range of small, direct-injected, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines support that claim. Engines range from 1.2 to 2.0 liters in size and have between 104 and 182 horsepower. All told, Seat claims the Leon ST with the worst fuel efficiency will still net drivers a stellar 53.3 miles per gallon on average, using the European cycle.
Since Seat doesn't sell cars in the US, you'll have to wait for the next VW Jetta SportWagen if you want something like this Leon ST package. For more details, check out Seat's press release below.
- Based on the new third-generation Leon, it is the first ever Leon estate car
- Combines stunning looks with outstanding practicality
- 587-litre boot stretches to a huge 1,470 litres
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) and Progressive Steering added to Leon technology
SEAT today unveils the all-new Leon ST. It becomes the third member of the new Leon family, which now comprises five-door hatchback, three-door SC and five-door ST estate.
The new Leon ST (Sport Tourer) retains the youthfulness, dynamic design and sporty characteristics of the five-door and SC models, but adds exceptional practicality. It boasts a 587-litre boot, and with the rear seats folded flat its load capacity extends to 1,470 litres.
Its luggage space offers an impressive level of versatility and superb functionality, down to the tiniest detail, and like the rest of the Leon range, the Leon ST features excellent workmanship and premium materials. In every way, the Leon ST follows the emotional SEAT design language of the five-door and SC versions, and its handling is just as precise and dynamic.
And with the debut of the Leon ST, SEAT is expanding the extensive line-up of hi-tech options already available with the model, introducing Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) damper adjustment, and Progressive Steering.
The optional Dynamic Pack, including DCC and Progressive Steering, enables a high degree of control under sporty driving conditions.
"Nobody has to choose anymore between sporty and practical. The new Leon ST offers both," says Jürgen Stackmann, President and CEO of SEAT S.A. "With its sporty look, its surprisingly high utility and its state-of-the-art technology, the Leon ST defines a new standard in the compact estate car class – at a very fair price. Like the already highly successful Leon and Leon SC, the new ST is the perfect representative of SEAT's brand values."
Dynamic and efficient engines
Alongside achieving a distinctly sporty look, exceptional efficiency was very high up the list of priorities in the development of the SEAT Leon ST. The fuel-efficient TDI and TSI engines, with displacements ranging from 1.2 to 2.0 litres and output from 105 PS to 184 PS, all feature direct injection and turbocharging.
The engine range available for the Leon SC is the same as that for the five-door and SC versions. All have Start/Stop and Energy Recovery systems, from the 1.2 TSI petrol and 1.6 TDI diesel, right up to the most powerful 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TDI units.
The 1.2 TSI 105 PS engine returns an impressive 57.6 mpg, while the state-of-the-art 1.4 TSI 140 PS runs it very close, with a 53.3 mpg average figure. At the top of the petrol line-up is the 1.8 TSI engine, available in FR trim only, delivering 180 PS and 250 Nm of torque.
The entry level diesel model is the 1.6 TDI with 105 PS and a strong 250 Nm of torque. The 2.0 TDI with 150 PS and 320 Nm of torque provides powerful propulsion, yet with the Start/Stop and Energy Recovery, it manages to emit just 106 g/km CO2 and return 68.9 mpg.
A sporty highlight is the 2.0 TDI with 184 PS and 380 Nm of torque – another FR exclusive – which achieves an awesome 65.7 miles on average per gallon of fuel used.
Systematic lightweight design
The impressive fuel economy figures are not only the result of efficient engines, but of systematic lightweight design. In the base version, the Leon ST weighs in at just 1,233 kg, making it a mere 45 kg heavier than the five-door Leon and the lightest estate in its class. Nevertheless, the ST offers a host of functional equipment details that significantly benefit everyday usability. The rear seat backrests are extremely easy to fold down from the luggage compartment, while the double floor makes the boot very easy to load and unload. The passenger-seat backrest can be folded over to accommodate especially long items.
"We have achieved a perfect suspension setup which combines comfort and agility," says Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT Executive Vice President for Research and Development. "Starting with the Leon ST, DCC together with further advanced driver assistance systems are available now for the whole family."
Unique design language
The much applauded design language of the Leon range has been further accentuated for the ST. Here, too, sculpted lines along the sides deliver a thrilling interplay of light and shade. The estate also features the same sharp lines and precise edges that communicate energy and vitality. The rear end, extended by 27 cm, provides an indication of the generous load space, while the angled rear windscreen, gently rounded roofline and muscular shoulders all emphasise the dynamic driving pleasure. The Leon ST is 4.54 metres long.
The technical elegance of the Leon ST is further accentuated by the optional full-LED headlights in combination with LED rear lights.
"At SEAT Design, we believe that dynamic character does not have to suffer at the hands of functionality. The new Sport Tourer adds a whole new dimension to the Leon family – the dynamic silhouette looks taut and elegant, yet the Leon ST offers full utility for both work and leisure, for family and sport," says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Head of SEAT Design. "The Leon ST is simply unique in its FR variant. With its expressively sporty design front and rear, it brings new meaning to the term sports estate."
Adaptive Chassis Control and Adaptive Cruise Control
The well-balanced chassis makes the Leon ST brilliantly dynamic to drive. The finely tuned steering rack provides excellent feedback, while the suspension smoothly masters all manner of road surface irregularities.
For FR versions, SEAT is offering a new Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) system with three different driving modes that can be selected via the SEAT Drive Profile. DCC is an additional function to the SEAT Drive Profile system already standard with FR-specification Leon models, adjusting the damper settings depending on the mode that Drive Profile is switched to.
In "Sport" mode, the Leon ST is even more agile, while the estate is noticeably more comfortable in the "Comfort" setting of the DCC system, selectable within the Drive Profile's "Eco" or "Individual" modes. The optional Dynamic Pack includes DCC and Progressive Steering, which reduces steering effort when parking, while at the same time improving handling with more direct steering characteristics on winding roads.
New to the driver assistance systems for the SEAT Leon is the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The radar-based system maintains the specified speed and a pre-set distance, automatically accelerating and decelerating in flowing traffic. The speed can be set within a range from 19 mph to 99 mph. ACC works with manual transmissions and DSG alike.
State-of-the-art assistance and infotainment systems
When it comes to driver assistance and infotainment solutions, the new SEAT Leon ST is fully up-to-the-minute. Safety technology includes Multi-Collision Brake, Tiredness Recognition and Lane Assist, while the SEAT Easy Connect infotainment operating system is an intuitive way of controlling entertainment and communication. Easy Connect includes a standard colour touch-screen and full Bluetooth phone and music connectivity.
SEAT is the only company in its sector with the full-range capacity to design, develop, manufacture and market cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 83% of its vehicles, and is present in 77 countries. In 2012 SEAT had a total turnover of more than 6 billion euros, with overall deliveries amounting to 321,000 units.
SEAT Group employs 14,000 professionals at its three production centres in Barcelona − Zona Franca, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza and Leon, amongst other models. Additionally, the company produces the Alhambra in Palmela (Portugal), the Mii in Bratislava (Slovakia) and the Toledo in Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic) at Volkswagen Group plants.
The Spanish multinational also has a Technical Center, a 'knowledge hub', bringing together more than 900 engineers whose goal is to be the driving force behind innovation for the number one industrial investor in R&D in Spain. In line with its declared commitment to environmental protection, SEAT undertakes and bases its core activity on sustainability, namely reduction of CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, as well as recycling and re-use of resources.
SEAT UK enjoyed a tremendous year in 2012, selling 38,798 cars and achieving a 1.9% market share – both company records.