Spanish automaker SEAT has announced the release of the sporty Linea R variant of its popular Leon hatchback. The VW Golf-based Linea R gets an updated range of diesel and petrol motors, a bold new design and a smattering of other cosmetic enhancements to take it into 2009.
For starters there's a new front bumper that features a massive central air dam and two rather large cheek-mounted intakes. There's also a pair of foglights embedded in the front fascia, and the almost canard-like chin extensions look very sporty indeed. The profile of the Linea R continues the theme with a set of sideskirts, 18-inch 'Supercopa' rims and silver wing mirrors, while out back is a rear hatch spoiler, heavily vented bumper and a pair of stainless steel tailpipes.
The performance theme continues inside, where a leather steering wheel and gear-knob join forces with a set of alloy pedals and sports seats to help liven up the interior of the Spanish hatchback.
There are two potent petrol motors and one diesel on offer, with each getting a helping hand from a turbocharger. The base engine is the 119kW 1.8 TSI, which puts out 250Nm of torque, burns 7.4 litres per 100km and can take the Linea R to 100kph in eight seconds.
Next up the range is the 127kW and 350Nm 2.0 TDI diesel motor, which improves the Linea R's economy figure to just 6 litres per 100km, however runs to 100kph two tenths slower than the 1.8-litre petrol.
Topping out the engine choices is the 2.0 TSI, which boasts 149kW and can also be optioned with VW's excellent DSG gearbox. When equipped with the DSG, the 2.0 TSI can take the Linea R to triple-digit speeds in just 7.2 seconds, while only consuming 7.9 l/100 km. Unfortunately the 2.0 TSI is the only model to get the DSG, with the others having to make do with a six-speed manual.
Oh, and that shiny exhaust we mentioned before? It's supposedly engineered to produce "an unmistakeable sound that will send chills down the driverâ€™s spine as if he were competing at the World Touring Car Championship". Intriguing.
While it may not be as fast as the 177kW Leon Cupra, the Linea R certainly scores an advantage in looks alone. That sporty bodykit does wonders for the Leon's shape, and it definitely ranks as one of the most attractive Golf-based hatchbacks around. It's just a pity it'll never come Downunder.
SEAT LEÃ“N LÃNEA R
It keeps getting betterÂ· Sportier, more imposing, more seductive designÂ· Extensive equipment for safe, efficient drivingÂ· 160 hp 1.8 TSI, 170 hp 2.0 TDI and 200 hp 2.0 TSI enginesThe attractive SEAT LeÃ³n range has been extended with the arrival of the highly exclusive LÃnea R version. With its powerful, seductive image, this new trim level boosts the LeÃ³nâ€™s sporty looks and the result is a unique, spectacular car whose appeal stems from its imposing design, specific detailing and efficient engine range.There are two petrol and one diesel engine versions responsible for powering the new LeÃ³n version. The first is the efficient 170 hp 2.0 TDI diesel which, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, delivers exceptional performance and provides reduced fuel consumption figures, making it an extremely interesting choice.The SEAT LeÃ³n LÃnea R petrol engine range includes none other than the 160 hp 1.8 TSI and the 200 hp 2.0 TSI units, the latter with either a manual or DSG twin clutch automatic gearbox for outstanding safety and driving comfort.The SEAT LeÃ³n LÃnea R adds an extensive list of standard equipment to its spectacular design and appealing engine range, including ABS and TCS, ESP, low tyre pressure warning, double front airbag, side front airbags and headbags, foglights, dual zone climate control, cruise control, CD MP3 radio and aux-in, and 8 speakers, among others.Imposing, seductive designThe exterior looks of the LÃnea R are immediately visible, including the spectacular new bumpers, the oversized honeycomb design air intake and stylised side vents, which contribute to enhancing the carâ€™s sportiness.Still at the front, the exclusive central grille features a honeycomb arrangement and chrome surround.The side view reveals exclusive, five double-spoke 18 inch â€œSupercopaâ€ wheels with their visible enormous disc brakes. The large discs and four-pot callipers provide immediate response to match the most demanding sports driving habits, while the special metal brake lines guarantee a faster, safer response to the system. The wheels are shod with 225 /40 R18 tyres.The side view would not be complete without the chrome encased door mirrors, which personalise and identify the car from a distance, as well as the door sills and the â€œLÃnea Râ€ logo on the B pillars.Finally, the rear end also distinctly sets the SEAT LeÃ³n LÃnea R apart. An innovative spoiler at the top of the rear hatch strengthens its sporty looks and at the same time enhances its already excellent dynamical performance.The rear bumper plays an important part by increasing the carâ€™s beefy looks. It is wider than on the rest of the versions thanks to the addition of distinct side ventilation slats and a twin tailpipe at either end which has been personalised by SEAT Sport. The polished steel twin tailpipe not only provides a whole new look to the car, but it produces an unmistakeable sound that will send chills down the driverâ€™s spine as if he were competing at the World Touring Car Championship.Every detail on the inside has been carefully chosen to reflect the carâ€™s sporty identity, featuring a new leather steering wheel, a round leather gearknob embossed with the â€œSEAT Sportâ€ logo, a chrome surround joining it to the console and a cross-stitched gaiter in SEAT red.No car such as the LeÃ³n LÃnea R could lack sporty pedals and footrest. Made of aluminium, they adapt comfortably to the driverâ€™s feet, as on competition cars. Driving is also made more comfortable by the snug front seats that provide firm support.Powerful, efficient engine rangeThe LeÃ³n LÃnea R version is available with three engine variations â€“ the 160 hp 1.8 TSI Sport-up and the spectacular manual or DSG 200 hp 2.0 TSI and 170 hp 2.0 TDI FR versions.The 160 hp (118 kW) 1.8 TSI engine is mainly characterised for its elasticity and economy. Featuring direct injection technology, this engine delivers 250 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm, resulting in excellent in-gear acceleration â€“ from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear in 9.3 seconds and 11.8 seconds in sixth.Top speed is clocked at 213 km/h, with 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in 8 seconds and 0 to 1000 metre acceleration in 29.1 seconds; while the combined fuel consumption figure is 7.4 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions are registered at 176 g/km.The new SEAT LeÃ³n LÃnea R is also available with the 200 hp 2.0 TSI, mated to either a six-speed manual or DSG automatic gearbox, which is one of the most effective on the market, featuring steering wheel shift paddles for greater shifting ease.Mated to the DSG gearbox, the LeÃ³n delivers performance levels worthy of a competition vehicle. It reaches a top speed of 229 km/h, accelerates from 0 to 100 in only 7.2 seconds, and covers a standing kilometre in only 27.5 seconds, (both figures a tenth of a second faster than the manual). The LeÃ³n delivers in-gear acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear in 7.8 seconds and 9.7 seconds in sixth, with a moderate fuel consumption rate for such sporty performance â€“ an average of only 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres.The 170 hp 2.0 TDI diesel engine is equipped with the DPF particulate filter and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox that develops 125 kW (170 hp) at 4,200 rm. Engine torque stands at 350 Nm from 1,800 to 2,500 rpm.With this engine, the SEAT LeÃ³n reaches a top speed of 214 km/h, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in only 8.2 seconds, from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth gear in 8.2 seconds and 10.5 seconds in sixth gear. The combined fuel consumption figure is only 6 litres for every 100 km of driving, and at 159 g/km, this engine complies with the strict Euro IV emissions norms.Effective, agile chassisThe SEAT LeÃ³n LÃnea R chassis is no different on all trim levels, with the same independent suspension arrangement - MacPherson with lower wishbone on the front shaft and multilink at the rear. The front stabiliser bar measures 23.6 mm and the rear bar 21.7 mm.The 160 hp 1.8 TSI engine version comes with 288 mm front ventilated brake discs and 255 mm solid rear discs; 312 mm and 255 mm discs on the 170 hp 2.0 TDI version and 312 mm and 286 mm discs on the 200 hp 2.0 TSI version.The brake system on the LeÃ³n LÃnea R is equipped with ABS and electronic braking distribution, as well as ESP electronic stability, which can be disconnected, and TCS traction control.Complete equipmentThe outstanding equipment level on the new SEAT LeÃ³n LÃnea R is built on essential aspects such as safety and passenger compartment comfort.Passengers receive protection from up to eight airbags â€“ two in the front, two at the side in the front and a front and rear headbag, all standard, while two further side rear airbags are optionally available. The rear window seats are also equipped with the Isofix anchoring points for child seats.Other active safety features include ABS, TCS and ESP while anti-theft protection is provided by a movement sensing volumetric alarm. Besides, the LeÃ³n LÃnea R is also equipped with further electronic devices such as cruise control and a driver-defined excess speed warning.This car can also be equipped with AFS sweeping bixenon headlights, which resort to several turning and speed sensors located on the vehicle to adapt the headlight beam direction for the best visibility at the front of the car. These headlights also modify their beam height automatically depending on the carâ€™s load weight, which is more convenient and more precise than adjusting it manually.The LeÃ³n LÃnea R offers several on-board plug and play solutions, such as an iPodÃ¢ connection or a specific slot for other USB type memory devices and MP3 music players. These connections can be found on the LeÃ³n range beneath the passenger seat.Furthermore, the sophisticated SEAT Mediasystem navigator can also be installed, which features a VGA resolution (800x400) 6.5 inch colour touch screen, as well as a 30 Gb hard disc that enhances route calculation speed.The standard equipment on the new SEAT LeÃ³n LÃnea R is the following for the Spanish market: ABS and TCS, ESP with EBA emergency braking, low tyre pressure warning, double front airbag, front side airbags and head airbag, Isofix anchoring points, front power one-touch anti-trap windows, front floor mat fasteners, CD radio with MP3 and aux-in, 8 speakers, volumetric alarm, foglights, two zone climate control, rear power windows + heated parking position door mirrors, cruise control, trip computer, coming and leaving home function, and sporty suspension and seats, among others.