Seat is planning the most substantial changes yet to the Leon hatchback when the fourth-generation model arrives in the summer of 2019. A new high-tech cabin and the introduction of electrification will represent the biggest leap forward in the nameplate's history.
Central to the 2019 Seat Leon will be a much more advanced infotainment system than the car has at present. It will be able to update its maps, apps and functionality over the air, and that will make it the first vehicle in the Volkswagen Group stable to be equipped with this capability. It's believed Seat is getting this tech ahead of the other VW brands because it has a younger customer base and this is the sort of tech that appeals to that more youthful demographic.
Matthias Rabe, Seat's research and development chief told the UK's Autocar publication the new infotainment system coming to the 2019 Leon is a "fantastic technology" that has a "fantastic user interface." Rabe also claimed the new interface was so highly praised in customer clinics it was considered better than the very highly regarded system in the Tesla Model X.
Seat CEO Luca de Meo added, "For two years, we have been working on what will be the best infotainment system coming to market next year, starting with the Leon."
To deliver improved fuel economy and lower emissions, including a limited zero-emission capability, the fourth-generation Leon will also get Seat's first plug-in hybrid powertrain. The plug-in version of the Leon will just be the start of Seat's electrification program as a standalone EV is also on the cards for 2020. It's likely a 48-volt mild hybrid system will also be introduced but unlike some other brands, Seat is set to continue offering diesels, at least for the moment.
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The 2019 Leon will be built on the VW Group's MQB platform, which is also being used for the Mk8 Golf that's also set to arrive with us next year. The new Leon will eventually be offered in five-door hatch, estate and crossover forms, with the crossover version sitting below the Ateca SUV in the Seat family as a "more extreme" model than a Leon Estate Allroad.