If car company product planners got their way, there might be a new SUV or all-wheel-drive model arriving fresh every year right as the weather turns cold and snowy.
The same folks would love a cabrio for the showrooms every June — but that is not really how the car business works.
Or is it!? SEAT today revealed the production-specification Leon X-PERIENCE — which is an Outback-type of upgrade to the normal Leon Estate.
As a huge fan of the Leon 5-door as well as the Estate — this new model makes perfect sense! We estimate the arrival in SEAT showrooms in November of 2014 after first orders are taken in September.
SEAT confirms it will run a choice of two TDI engines and hit 60-mph in just 7.1 seconds with the top 184-horsepower model. The new Leon X is permanent four-wheel-drive — which is excellent news and makes this a serious Subaru competitor.
A rugged-ized tall wagon like this will handle circles around any SUV in high-speed mountain roads or in any sporty driving. Real SUVs typically are required only for folks who need ground clearance to really go off-roading in rocky terrain.
But maybe next year… in time for Christmas or the first snow… SEAT will have another new model arriving for buyers who need a taller 4×4 to rescue Land Rover Evoques from the mud…!
Until then, the Leon X looks just about perfect. Love the seats too.
2015 SEAT Leon X-Perience
23 June 2014
SEAT Leon X-PERIENCE – Driving fun on all roads
Permanent four-wheel drive and all-road equipment
2.0 TDI engine with 150 and 184 PS
Robust, elegant design with premium interior
State-of-the-art ACC with Front Assist and SEAT Drive Profile
The new SEAT Leon X-PERIENCE, with permanent four-wheel drive and all-road equipment, offers driving fun wherever you may choose to go. The newest member of the successful Leon line-up combines emotional design with state-of-the-art technology, together with optimum usability and surprising versatility. With an exceptionally high level of performance and safety, the latest-generation all-wheel drive and a full array of state-of-the-art assistance systems, the Leon X-PERIENCE is offered with 2.0 TDI 150PS and 184PS outputs.
The new Leon X-PERIENCE completes SEAT’s highly successful Leon range. Alongside the dynamic two-door Leon SC, the elegant five-door Leon, the versatile Leon ST estate and the high-performance Leon Cupra, the Leon X-PERIENCE is the perfect companion for a varied and active lifestyle.
“The new Leon X-PERIENCE interprets our emotional design language in a whole new way. This functional aesthetic, this elegant robustness and safety shows an openness to new ideas. We maintain the youthful spirit with a distinctive feel for the practical things in life” says Jürgen Stackmann, President of SEAT S.A. “The Leon X-PERIENCE is the perfect fit for SEAT. As the next step in our brand strategy, it will expand and consolidate the great success achieved by the Leon.”
Alongside the latest-generation TDI engines and permanent all-wheel drive with intelligent, electronic control, the Leon ST X-PERIENCE boasts all-road suspension with extra ground clearance. A distinctive off-road look and individual interior offer an added dimension of driving fun, together with a wide array of ultra-modern technologies. These include a four-wheel EDS dynamic control system (electronic differential locks on both axles), an extended electronic differential lock for better traction while cornering (XDS), an electronic stability programme and a multi-collision brake system delivering maximum safety.
Further optional hi-tech features include full-LED headlights, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control with City Emergency Brake function, drowsiness detection and lane-keeping assistant.
“On tarmac or gravel, in sun, rain or snow – with its all-wheel drive, the Leon X-PERIENCE takes it all in its stride, demonstrating its superb dynamics on all types of road with absolutely no negative impact on either comfort or usability. Emotional driving fun and exceptional usability – this is where the customer finds both,” says Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice-President for Research and Development at SEAT S.A. “The Leon X-PERIENCE also offers outstanding safety in all situations, thanks to its superb traction, excellent brakes and integrated assistance systems that extend all the way to ACC adaptive cruise control with Front Assist and emergency braking function.”
The highly acclaimed design language of the Leon family has been further accentuated for the X-PERIENCE. Sharp lines provide the all-road estate with a stunning appearance of energy and vitality. The dynamic silhouette is long and graceful, yet the Leon X-PERIENCE offers the full spectrum of usability for work and leisure, family and sport. The luggage compartment offers a carrying capacity of 587 litres, which extends to as much as 1,470 litres with the rear-seats folded down.
The Leon X-PERIENCE derives its own distinct character from the robust protection moulding on the door sills and wheel arches. The powerful front end is adorned with substantial air intakes and integrated fog lamps with cornering light function, plus the front spoiler with its aluminium-look. The rear end, too, is distinguished by its new bumper with an aluminium-look insert and by the chrome tailpipes, which are standard on the 2.0 TDI 184 PS. The large wheel arches can accommodate 17-inch or optional 18-inch wheels in a dedicated five-twin-spoke design. The roof rails are finished in black.
The Leon X-PERIENCE emphasises its premium position within the Leon family with its unique trim. In the interior, new materials, attention to detail and a combination of strong colours give this car more personality. It offers the black and grey sporty elegance of high-quality fabric upholstery, as well as the option of brown Alcantara or all-black leather seats.
The X-PERIENCE logo adorns the door sills and steering wheel, while orange stitching accentuates the adventurous spirit and youthfulness of this car, which can be both serious and fun.
“The Leon X-PERIENCE expands the possibilities of everyday life. We also wanted it to have a look that combined premium elegance with sporty dynamism” says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Head of SEAT Design.
Power with Efficiency – the engines
The dynamic character of the Leon X-PERIENCE is perfectly matched with two TDI engines that are as gutsy as they are efficient, plus a six-speed manual transmission. The common-rail four-cylinder units produce 150 PS and 184 PS. The standard fit Start/Stop System and Energy Recover System are key elements of the efficiency package.
The top engine is the 2.0 TDI with 184 PS. With its maximum torque of 380 Nm and DSG transmission as standard, it delivers enormous dynamism that is only partially conveyed by its acceleration time of 7.1 seconds from 0 to 62mph and its top speed of 139mph. The engine declares its efficiency with a combined fuel consumption figure of 55.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 133 grams per kilometre.
The 2.0 TDI with 150 PS, 320 Nm of torque and six-speed manual transmission also provides effective propulsion for the Leon X-PERIENCE, boasting a fuel consumption figure of 57.6mpg (CO2: 126 g/km).
Latest-generation drive system
The permanent all-wheel drive in the new Leon ST X-PERIENCE is among 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 clutch. It reacts extremely quickly to all conceivable drive input, thus delivering a considerable benefit in active safety and dynamics.
In the interests of axle-load distribution, the clutch is positioned at the end of the prop shaft in front of the rear-axle differential. Inside is a multi-plate package running in an oil bath. The metal friction rings are ordered in pairs one behind the other – one ring of each pair is permanently meshed with the clutch cage, which rotates with the prop shaft. The other ring rotates with the drive shaft to the rear-axle differential.
In normal operation, the clutch transmits most of the engine power to the front wheels. Should their traction decrease, the torque is diverted smoothly and in a matter of a few milliseconds to the rear. A piston presses the multi-plate pack together to reach the necessary oil pressure. The new generation of the clutch no longer requires a pressure accumulator, making it considerably more compact and 1.4 kg lighter than the same part in preceding generations.
Dynamism and Safety
The carefully balanced running gear reinforces the dynamic character of the new Leon ST. The springs smoothly master all surface irregularities, while the steering delivers calm and refined directionality, as well as excellent feedback.
Compared with the Leon ST, the X-PERIENCE stands around 15 millimetres higher, giving it that much more ground clearance. Up front is a MacPherson-strut suspension layout with subframe. The Leon X-PERIENCE responds spontaneously and precisely to steering input, mastering all manner of corners with calm stability. At the rear is a four-link suspension that handles longitudinal and transverse forces independently from one another. Shock absorbers and coil springs are mounted separately – a solution that delivers exceptionally fine response characteristics. The brake system on the new SEAT Leon X-PERIENCE is likewise a match for tough tasks.
SEAT Drive Profile enables the driver to vary the characteristics of the power steering, throttle control and the DSG transmission in three modes – eco, comfort and sport. There is also an individual setting. In addition, SEAT Drive Profile incorporates a sound actuator close to the engine to provide an even more refined engine tone.
The Leon X-PERIENCE is available to order from September and will reach UK showrooms later in 2014.
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 more than 80% of its vehicles, and is present in more than 75 countries. In 2012 SEAT had a total turnover exceeding six 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 close to 1,000 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 2013, selling 45,312 cars and achieving a 2.0% market share – both company records.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.