Seat Leon FR

The Seat Leon family is being expanded by the addition of the most eagerly anticipated member yet: the new Seat Leon FR. As soon as the first version of this model hit dealer showrooms it became one of the most sought after models for anyone searching for a car with sporty styling that stands out clearly from the other models in the range and delivers class-beating performance.

The task of propelling the new Seat Leon FR falls to two power units, one petrol and one diesel. The former is a 2.0 TFSI delivering 200 hp. This four-cylinder 2.0-litre model featuring FSI direct-injection technology puts a peak torque of 280 Nm on tap between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm. Powered by this engine, the Leon reaches a top speed of 229 km/h and is propelled from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.

As far as the diesel variant is concerned, the Seat Leon FR is driven by the same 170 hp 2.0 TDI powerpack first showcased by its genetic sibling, the SEAT Altea FR. Partnered by a six-speed manual gearbox, this engine generates its maximum power of 125 kW (170 hp) at 4,200 rpm. The result: a top speed of 214 km/h and 8.2 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill.

Highlights of the Seat Leon FR drive train include the DSG automated gearshift that is available as an option for the 2.0 TFSI version. Praised by the motoring press and customers alike, this is the first time that this transmission has been made available in a petrol-powered SEAT. The DSG package includes shift paddles on the steering wheel, marking another first for a road-going model from the Spanish manufacturer.

Equipped with this gearshift, the Seat Leon FR returns exceptional performance figures which better the marks set by the manual version. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is over in 7.2 seconds compared to the 7.3 seconds taken by the manual model. Consumption on the combined cycle is also minor.

The model's exterior makes it clear from the very outset that this is not just another Leon. It starts at the front with a bumper that is larger than the one used on the other models in the range and includes an enormous air intake with honeycomb grille. The bumper at the rear of the car sports a black finish at the bottom, where the polished-steel twin tailpipes of the exhaust protrude prominently.

Moving round to the side, the door mirrors come with the silver-painted housing that is a hallmark of the FR models. The light-alloy wheels, which are available in 17-inch or optionally 18-inch formats, are particularly eye-catching. The wheels come in an exclusive FR design that gives a clear view of the impressive brake discs behind.

The sporty theme is continued inside the car where each and every element has been honed right down to the finest detail to immerse drivers in that unmistakable FR ambience the instant they take the wheel. Highlights include the exclusive sports seats with the initials FR embroidered into the seat backrest. Given the vehicle's high-performance capabilities, the seats have been ergonomically designed to optimise support for the occupants. The steering wheel with its micro-perforated leather grips at the sides as well as the gearshift knob are also exclusive to this version, as testified by the FR initials adorning both elements. Finally, the interior's sporty feel is accentuated by the use of a white background for the instrument cluster in place of the customary black together with the FR logo in the rev counter.

The Seat Leon FR also showcases a number of firsts when it comes to the optional equipment list. On the safety front, there are bi-xenon headlights incorporating the Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS). The AFS system uses the information gleaned from various rotational and speed sensors in the vehicle to adjust the direction of the beam of light emitted by the headlights, resulting in optimum illumination in all situations.

Besides this, the Seat Leon FR, along with all the other models in the range, now offers customers the option of either a connection which allows an iPod to be integrated into the vehicle or a special connection for all USB memory devices and MP3 audio players with a USB port. There is also an Aux-in audio connection as standard, which allows external audio sources to be plugged into the standard headphone socket and the sound played through the vehicle's speakers.

Behind the front wings, the new car's flanks sport the letters TFSI or TDI while the door mirrors come with the silver-painted housing that is a hallmark of this trim line. The light-alloy wheels, which are available in a 17-inch or optionally 18-inch format, are particularly eye-catching. They include a brand new, distinctive design which gives a clear view of the impressive brake discs behind. The accompanying tyres measure 225/45 R17 and 225/40 R18 respectively.

Seat Leon FR enthusiasts will not be disappointed when they move into the interior either, where each and every detail pulses with sportiness. Sports seats with the initials FR boldly embroidered into them wrap firmly around the occupant's body, just like the racing seats built by the best specialist manufacturers.

When sitting in the driver's seat, the eye is immediately drawn to the exclusive FR sports steering wheel, with its perforated leather grips at the sides and the FR logo embossed at the bottom, as well as to the gearshift knob, which is again exclusive to these model versions. Although the dashboard retains the original design featured in the rest of the Leon range, a quick glance at the instrument cluster is quite enough to confirm this model's sporty ambitions, courtesy of the white background that replaces the customary black with the FR logo in the rev counter.

It is also worth noting that the Seat Leon FR will be premiering a spectacular new bodywork colour in the form of yellow Crono. This striking paint finish lends further emphasis to the car's sporty nature and has been a trademark of the most recent generations of FR and Cupra models as well as of the Leon WTCC.

No model from the FR family can be content with just looking sporty - it has to be sporty too, through and through. This is why the Seat Leon FR comes with a choice of two power units offering top-class performance, one diesel and the other petrol. The newest of the two engines is the 2.0 TFSI petrol model developing 200 hp that is making its SEAT debut in the Leon FR.

This powerplant is a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre model featuring FSI direct-injection technology, which is furthermore boosted by a turbocharger that forms a single unit together with the exhaust manifold. Additional features include an intake system with continuously variable distribution and internal exhaust-gas recirculation. Among the engine's most noteworthy characteristics are its free-revving nature, its tremendous flexibility and its operating economy.

The 200 hp (147 kW) 2.0 TFSI engine is the most powerful in the Leon range. It musters up a maximum torque of 280 Nm between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm which makes for excellent in-gear acceleration. As a result, the car accelerates from 80 to 120 km/h in just 7.0 seconds in fifth gear and in 8.9 seconds in sixth.

Powered by this engine, the Leon is propelled from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 229 km/h. The time of 27.6 seconds for 1000 metres from a standing start is just as remarkable. All whilst returning average fuel consumption figures of 7.9 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions of 190 g/km overall.

The petrol variant of the Seat Leon FR will offer the option of the DSG automated gearshift. This is the first time that one of the most effective transmissions on the market will be made available for a petrol-powered SEAT.

But the innovations do not stop there, as shift paddles on the steering wheel will also be making their debut appearance in a road-going model from the Spanish manufacturer. The shift paddle system has true race car breeding, featuring for example in the Seat Leon models which compete in the Supercopa.

Equipped with this gearshift, the Seat Leon FR returns exceptional performance figures. The dual-clutch system makes for instantaneous gearshifts, meaning that acceleration is even sharper than in the manual model (7.2 seconds from 0 - 100 km/h as against the manual's time of 7.3 seconds). As for fuel consumption, the provisional figures are 7,8 litres for 100 kilometres for combined consumption, improving the marks set by the manual version.

As far as the diesel version is concerned, the Seat Leon FR is driven by the same 170 hp 2.0 TDI powerpack that can be found under the bonnet of its genetic sibling, the SEAT Altea FR. Developed based on the 103 kW (140 hp) 2.0 TDI unit, the engine is partnered by a six-speed manual gearbox. The reengineering measures that have been carried out have lifted maximum power to 125 kW (170 hp) at 4,200 rpm, while peak torque has been boosted from 320 to 350 Nm and is available from 1,800 rpm.

This significant jump in power and torque has been brought about by modifying the turbocharger's geometry. At the same time, the injection system's maximum rate of delivery has been increased and a shut-off system integrated into the intake ducts. Plus, high-pressure direct diesel injection technology has been incorporated in the form of the Piezo Pump Nozzle system with piezoelectric injectors.

Compared to the outgoing Seat Leon FR with its 150 hp 1.9 TDI engine, the new model develops an extra 20 horsepower - as in the petrol version - resulting in faster acceleration. The 150 hp Leon FR accelerated from 0 to 100 in 8.9 seconds whereas the new version requires just 8.2 seconds. In-gear acceleration from 80 - 120 km/h in sixth has been cut from 12.0 to 10.5 seconds.

One of the features that has received a lot of attention on the Leon FR, both the Diesel and petrol versions (but especially the latter) is the engine sound. In order to strengthen the sporty image of the FR, new SEAT SOUND exhaust systems have been developed. Their main characteristic is to enhance engine sound and the feeling of power at low revolutions without sounding too high-pitched, and can be felt both inside and outside the vehicle.

This sporty sound and the feeling of a gutsy engine has been enhanced in kerb-side acceleration, low-speed manoeuvres and full-load acceleration and deceleration at low revolutions.

Source: Seat press

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