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While it sister company Audi continues to forge ahead in Le Mans-class racing under diesel power, the SEAT division is likewise launching an assault on the British Touring Car Championship with an oil-burning Leon TDI. The Spanish automaker is also launching a special edition Leon for the road to coincide with its competition counterpart's race debut.

In only its second WTCC race, the diesel-engined Seat Leon TDI came in first -- in front of its gas-powered Leon sibling. The diesel car only entered the series in July, yet it won three races and the driver was in championship contention up until the final race. BMW didn't need any more impetus than that to start planning its own turbocharged diesel engine program for the race series.