Sitting 1.6 inches higher than the brand's Leon Cupra, the Cross Sport is essentially a high-riding hot hatch. The prodigious power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 280 pound-feet of torque, and that muscle is routed through a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Seat believes that the concept could sprint to 62 miles per hour in quite spritely 4.9 seconds. Handling is aided by an electronic-locking differential.
The design of the Cross Sport takes a handsome, less-is-more approach. The black lower air dam visually hides the large intake, and creases down the sides add something to catch the eye. The only styling elements really suggesting so much available power are the small roof spoiler and quad exhaust pipes at the rear. Inside, the orange exterior carries over onto the seats.
Seat says that this is the direction that it's taking for future designs. While we might not be able to buy the brand's vehicles in the US, it's easy to see this modern, unadorned shape being a hit as a future small CUV in Europe.
New crossover concept based on the Leon CUPRA
Top performance with 300 PS and all-wheel-drive
Powerful design conveys dynamism and robustness
Optimum connectivity thanks to SEAT Full Link infotainment
SEAT is presenting a new definition of sporty performance at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA): The SEAT Leon Cross Sport Show Car offers the performance of a compact sports car and the coupé-like silhouette of a two-door. And it combines this with the versatility of all-wheel-drive and increased ground clearance, as well as a design that unites both worlds with powerful dynamics and robustness. The SEAT Leon Cross Sport is a performance athlete in high-tech trekking shoes.
"The SEAT Leon family is not only incredibly successful, but also exceptionally multi-faceted. With the Leon Cross Sport, we are testing out a new idea – the performance of the Leon CUPRA with the many possibilities offered by an all-road vehicle, says Jürgen Stackmann, Chairman of the Executive Committee, SEAT, S.A. "The Leon Cross Sport is therefore a perfect match for the brand and for a young, multi-faceted lifestyle. And, as a compact two-door, this crossover fits well into the urban jungle."
The SEAT Leon Cross Sport takes its performance from the recently uprated Leon CUPRA 290, widely recognised as one of the best hot hatches, as well as multiple winner of automotive media comparison tests. The two-litre engine generates 300 PS, as well as being capable of propelling it from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds. The electronically controlled all-wheel-drive with electronic differential lock and ground clearance 41 millimetres higher than on the Leon CUPRA guarantee driving fun, even when the route involves poor road surfaces.
"Performance has many facets for us. The Leon Cross Sport marks an enormous expansion of the possibilities offered by a CUPRA. Thanks to all-wheel-drive and an all-road set-up, those driving the Cross Sport face virtually no restrictions – and absolutely no limitations to everyday driving fun," says Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice President of Research and Development at SEAT, S.A. "The Leon Cross Sport is equipped with the full Leon technology package, from an exceptionally refined drive, through to an extensive array of assistance systems and a whole new level of connectivity with SEAT Full Link."
Unique and dynamic design language
The Leon Cross Sport is based on the Leon SC CUPRA, with its evocative two-door bodyshell. The perfect proportions, clear lines and taut surfaces allude to its exceptional dynamics, not to mention its incredibly high standards of precision and quality. This emotional design language, highly rated by customers, has been further developed for the Cross Sport and enhanced with robust elements.
Compact and powerful like a highly trained cross-country runner
The new show car looks incredibly compact and powerful, like a highly-trained cross-country runner. An additional 41 millimetres greater ground clearance gives the Cross Sport an impressive stance. The 19-inch wheels with their exclusive Y-spoke design have a two-tone finish, with polished accents set against a black background. These are paired with prominent, extended wheel arches and powerful sills, both in gloss black. At the front and rear, CUPRA elements, such as the signature grille mesh, are accentuated even further. The large air intakes make the sheer potency of this athlete apparent at the very first glance, as do the quadruple exhaust system and large rear roof spoiler. It goes without saying that the full-LED headlamps on the Cross Sport deliver a determined look, as well as great visibility.
Crossover ideas with SEAT style
The Leon Cross Sport show car is painted in ultra orange – the same colour featured on the SEAT 20V20 show car at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015. And that is not all the two concept cars have in common – both redefine the combination of dynamic performance and versatility in the unique SEAT style, with an unmistakable design language, clear dynamic credentials and perfect quality. These show cars make a very clear statement of the direction that SEAT will be taking over the next few years with new products in the crossover and SUV segments.
High-quality interior with exceptional attention to detail
The interior of the Leon Cross Sport, too, features the colour inspired by the Barcelona sun – orange is used here as an accent in the intricate seams of the leather seats, the cockpit and the steering wheel, and as a powerful surface colour on the seats' centre panels and door panels. The leather is combined with orange Alcantara, with a focus on high quality and attention to detail that are part of the SEAT brand's DNA. The cockpit has a light, weightless feel and is clearly focused on the driver – as in every Leon.
Like all current SEAT products, from the Ibiza to the Alhambra, the Leon Cross Sport is equipped with the latest-generation connectivity. Smartphones from various different manufacturers and platforms (Apple iOS, Android, MirrorLink) can be easily and conveniently connected to the vehicle system using SEAT's Full Link connection and then operated via the car's touchscreen. And, with the exclusive SEAT ConnectApp, all it takes is a few simple, self-selected gestures to carry out functions such as calling a friend, activating route guidance or finding a petrol station. The SEAT ConnectApp reads out incoming messages, while answers can be dictated via voice recognition. The driver's concentration remains fully focused on the road ahead, which is extremely good for safety – and not just with 300 PS under the bonnet.
Responsive sports engine with excellent pulling power
The state-of-the-art two-litre TSI engine in the Leon Cross Sport has already caused quite a stir in the Leon CUPRA, with achievements such as record laps of the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In the Leon Cross Sport, this highly responsive sports engine has been boosted to give 300 PS, with a mighty 380 Nm of maximum torque available from just 1800 rpm. The six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission delivers fast and precise gearshifts.
Permanent all-wheel-drive for every situation
The Leon Cross Sport's permanent all-wheel-drive is one of the most modern and efficient systems of its kind in the world. SEAT uses a newly developed, multi-plate clutch with hydraulic actuation and electronic control – a fifth-generation Haldex coupling. It reacts extremely quickly to all imaginable drive influences, delivering considerably improved safety and handling.
Assistance systems for the urban jungle
This dynamic handling is supported by the very latest electronic safety and assistance systems. The progressive steering and a specially adapted electronic stability system improve handling and driving fun. Adaptive cruise control with Front Assist, traffic sign recognition and lane keeping assistance are likewise extremely useful in the urban jungle.