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The New León, based on VW Golf V platform, has a sharper exterior look with the wipers hidden and the external rear doors handles more integrated, in a similar style to that seen on recent Alfa Romeo models. Design was handled by Walter de'Silva, and the car uses the same design style that started with the SEAT Altea.

In spite of its sporty image, the engine range is more limited when compared with the Golf's. The base model on offer is the old 8-valve 1.6 L engine with 102 PS (75 kW). The sportier variants begin with the 150 PS (110 kW) 2.0 FSI and the popular 140 PS (103 kW) 2.0 TDI Diesel. Both are fitted with a standard 6-speed manual with the DSG semi-auto gearbox available as an option. A 185 PS (136 kW) variant of the 2.0 TFSI unique to the León was later introduced, but despite a low list price and rapid performance attracted only minimal attention and average reviews, so this was later taken off sale to make way for the sportier FR variants.

The first real sporty León within the new range is the León FR with rear twin-exhaust pipes to one side, sport seats and gear stick with FR logo to distinguish it from lesser models, was introduced in June 2006, when it finally received the 200 PS (147 kW) 2.0 TFSI engine from the Volkswagen Golf GTI, as well as a 170 PS (125 kW) variant of the 2.0 TDI unit featured in the Golf and Audi A3. While both models retained the 6-speed manual, only the petrol variant can be fitted with the DSG. Further standard equipment includes climate control for the front passengers.

The range-topping model in the León range is to be the 2.0 TFSI Cupra model. Boasting 240 PS (177 kW) and a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds, this model will be the fastest SEAT ever. The Cupra comes with standard 18" 5 twin-spoke alloys, red brake callipers and the standard Cupra oval exhaust to distinguish it from the FR model, as well as new, unique paint finishes and heavily bolstered sport seats complete with the Cupra logo. Also standard are climate control for the front passengers and drilled-aluminium sports pedals.
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