New SEAT Leon Concept Coming; Standalone Cupra Models Announced
We know for a fact that SEAT is working on the next generation Leon – we’ve seen the Spanish company testing its next-generation hatchback. Judging by the spy photos, it’s already shaping up quite nicely, but we can’t tell details about its design – the prototypes we’ve spied are still highly camouflaged. Apparently, we’ll know more in March next year, when SEAT will preview the new Leon with a concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
The study will introduce a new design language for the brand, which will better differentiate new SEAT models from their Volkswagen Group siblings. The designers of the brand will put an emphasis on the “fullness” which will replace the current sharp lines.
“We are going to be steering away from edges and lines. Using hard lines to express precision is something we have been doing since the Leon was launched in 2012. But we need to be more different to our colleagues in the VW Group,” the company’s design boss Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos confirmed to Autocar in a recent interview.
Interestingly, SEAT won’t apply a different design language to its future electrified and fully-electric vehicles. Instead, the Spanish EVs will look like the rest of the new-generation models from the marque.
Meanwhile, it has become clear that Cupra, SEAT’s performance division, is planning to launch a standalone model by the end of next year. Think of it as what the upcoming sports car is for Hyundai’s N sub-brand – an exclusive production model, not a study, that will be built in a limited series and will basically showcase all the performance tricks that Cupra has in its pocket.
Hybridization will play an important role in the Cupra’s future. The engineers of the division are looking to implement electrification in future powertrains and even a fully-electric Cupra vehicle is in the cards. But before all that, Cupra will launch the Cupra Leon, Cupra Leon ST, and Supra CUV model by the end of this decade.