The upcoming Geneva Motor Show has been selected as venue for the debut of SEAT's updated Leon and Altea but, as is all too common these days, Seat just couldn't wait.
Thanks to these preliminary images, we can see that both models get a minor visual facelift including revised grilles, head lights, and a new tailgate on the Altea which now features full width glass. The updates continue SEAT's 'Arrow' design philosophy, but you really need to pay attention to spot the differences.
The most notable differences are evident within the cabin, where SEAT has put considerable effort into improving the look and feel of each model's interior space.
Visuals aside, SEAT is offering a whopping ten different engine options - five petrol and five diesel - which include a couple of common-rail diesel units as well. A Volkswagen-sourced seven-speed DSG is also on offer and includes paddle shifters behind the steering wheel for manual control.
An all new XDS differential will be available and works with the stability and traction control systems to minimise torque-steer, which should be especially useful on hotter variants of the Leon.
You can catch the 2009 Leon and Altea alongside the Exeo ST at SEAT's booth during next monthâ€™s Geneva Motor Show. For more information, hit the gallery and the press release below.
SEAT is presenting the new 2009 LeÃ³n and Altea models
* The front and rear ends carry identity traits of the new design
Greater driving comfort and safety with the XDS system
Diesel engines with common rail technology
Taking place from 5 to 15 March, 2009, the Geneva Motor Show is the backdrop chosen by SEAT to showcase the new 2009 LeÃ³n and Altea models for the first time. With these models, the Spanish brand's intermediate range has undergone a considerable evolution, with their identity traits visible on the front and rear of all the body styles, and a completely updated engine range including common rail Diesel variants. All these novelties combine with an outstanding level of equipment, with special emphasis on comfort and safety elements.
The same as on the fourth generation Ibiza and the new Exeo, the Arrow Design concept defines the exterior looks of the 2009 LeÃ³n and Altea. They both clearly reflect the silhouettes of the previous models, but contain interesting new design details.
Now with smoother, more elegant lines, prominent elements are a new grille with a smaller SEAT logo and more stylised chrome surround, larger headlights, newly designed door mirrors and modern wheel rims; while at the rear, the window is larger for greater visibility, and the hatch and light clusters have also been modified, among others. In the interior, modifications have been made to the instrument panel, central console and door panel trim and materials, resulting in a modern, ergonomic passenger compartment.
Maximum traction capacity with the XDS system
The addition of the XDS system to the new 2009 SEAT LeÃ³n has led to a substantial increase in both driving comfort and safety. This electronic system works together with ESP as a self-blocking differential, improving the car's performance in situations where traction is lost by braking the wheel that loses surface grip.
This novelty on the company's new car combines with the brand's characteristic Agile Chassis concept, providing efficient driving capacity in any situation.
New engines and the arrival of common rail technology
The broad engine range on the new LeÃ³n, Altea and Altea XL models includes a total of 10 different choices - five petrol and five Diesel. They have all undergone a significant evolution in every aspect, with special mention to performance and a reduction in fuel consumption figures and emissions levels.
The powerful 211 hp 2.0 TSI engine steals the spotlight in the petrol engine range, while the great novelty among the Diesel choices is the arrival of common rail technology to the 170 hp 2.0 TDI engine. Furthermore, all the versions equipped with the DSG automatic sequential gearbox, now also available on the seven-speed 160 hp 1.8 TSI, feature shift paddles on the steering wheel.
More equipment to choose from
With the arrival of the 2009 versions, the equipment list has been unified on the SEAT LeÃ³n, Altea and Altea XL models. All three are now equipped with the same standard elements on the Reference, Style and Sport versions. In addition, the LeÃ³n has added the sportier FR version to its range.
The company's new vehicles feature a complete equipment list. Besides the XDS system, exclusive to the new LeÃ³n 2009, other outstanding additions include Hill Hold Control, dual xenon headlights with AFS and daytime driving lights, a new climatiser and new audio equipment, cornering foglights, front and rear parking sensors and an optical parking system displayed on the new navigation system.
Besides, all the versions feature new upholstery, with the possibility of choosing black leather, and a new cognac colour leather for the LeÃ³n units. A further choice on the FR versions is a combination of black fabric (for the seat sides) with red or silver Alcantara down the middle.
And finally, in terms of active safety measures, the new 2009 LeÃ³n and Altea include all the electronic assistance devices. ABS + TCS and ESP with EBA emergency braking will be available as standard across the entire range.