• Premiere for the third-generation Leon in China at Auto Shanghai 2013
  • SEAT’s new compact model will go on sale in China in 2014
  • Sportier and more agile than the five-door version, with a wheelbase 35 mm shorter

 Shanghai Auto Show

Auto Shanghai 2013. The new SEAT Leon SC has made its debut at Auto Shanghai 2013 during the Volkswagen Group event the evening prior to the opening of the main show.

The unveiling of the three-door SC coincides with order books opening in China for the third-generation Leon, in both five- and three-door formats. First deliveries of the car begin in 2014.

As the first Leon with three doors, the Leon SC on display in China is a milestone for the Spanish brand. The previous two generations of the car have only been available as five-door models.

Following its premiere at the recent Geneva Motor Show, and the Chinese debut of the five-door Leon at Auto Guangzhou 2012, the new Leon SC is the second member of the Leon family and perfectly embodies the SEAT design language, adding an extra dose of sportiness without compromising its everyday practicality.

“The Leon SC is the most emotional expression of the new Leon. It is a sports coupé with anexceptional design that also satisfies customers’ rational demands,” explained Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT Executive Vice-President for R&D, during the car’s presentation.

“The new Leonis the lightest vehicle in its segment and stands out as the first in its category with LED headlights. The Leon plays a key role in SEAT’s future,” he stressed.

The new Leon SC is built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, with highlights including a spacious interior finished in high-quality materials and trim, which comfortably accommodates adult occupants. It also boasts a luggage compartment that retains the same 380-litre capacity as the five-door Leon.

With a body that measures 4.23 metres, the Leon SC is a design icon with decidedly sporty genes, thanks in part to a wheelbase that measures 35 mm less than the five-door version.

“We wanted the Leon SC to have its own distinctive personality, and simply getting rid of two doors wouldn’t have done the job. That’s why we went for a shorter wheelbase which, although it only measures 35 millimetres less, gives it a very striking visual look,” said Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Director of Design at SEAT. “The result illustrates the enormous difference in the way it conveys its dynamism.”

The Leon SC is manufactured in the SEAT plant in Martorell (Barcelona) and is the latest instalment in the company’s product offensive, along with the other recent model introductions, including the Mii, the revised Ibiza, the new Toledo, the five-door Leon and the Ibiza Cupra. The arrival of the estate version, dubbed the ST, in the Leon line-up will add another dimension to the product range later this year.