Seat Leon: Design Story (with video)
The official design story of the all-new Leon – the third generation of the hatchback model designed and developed at Seat’s base at Martorell in Spain.
The Leon was officially unveiled at this year’s Paris Motor Show and adopts the company’s new design DNA, featuring clean surfaces and sculptural forms defined by sharp lines, a direction previewed with show cars such as the IBL Concept (2011) and the IBE Concept (2010).
While the aesthetic language shares some common elements with the other VW Group’s brands, the new Leon maintain Seat’s identity through a number of key elements, like the dynamic character and stance, the angular lines of the headlamps, the sharp feature lines on the flanks (the so-called “Línea Dinámica”) and the short, upwards-pointing third windows.
Below we report a video with the designers’ statements and the official design story. Also check the extensive high resolution image gallery, with a set of photos from the development process.
From the official Press Release:
At 4.26 metres long, the new Leon is around five centimetres shorter than its predecessor, yet the wheelbase is up by almost six centimetres.
This packaging enables short overhangs and enhances the strong visual presence of the wheels, while giving practical benefits such as improved interior space, particularly for rear seat passengers, as well as in the luggage compartment.
“Thanks to its dynamic and assured character, the new SEAT Leon inspires self-confident stance. It has a decisive look,” says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Head of SEAT Design. “It keeps a high degree of formal beauty and sportiness.”
He adds: “It has extremely well proportioned volumes, with a slight shift of the visual weight of the cabin over the rear wheels, while keeping a very fluid transition between the front fender and the cabin.
“The surfaces have been severely sculpted all around in order to increase its tridimensional appeal, thanks to the effects of light and shadow. Its character lines show pure assertiveness, like for instance the outer shape of the head lamps and tail lamps. All in all, I strongly believe that the new Leon is full of character.”
The angular line of the headlamps is a typical feature of the new SEAT design language, while also being perfectly integrated into the Leon’s sculptural form.
Full-LED lights are available for the first time in the compact class. The new headlamps give an unmistakable look to the front end of the Leon. Additionally, the new Leon now has a distinctive signature appearance thanks to the fitment of LED daytime running lights.
From the side, the new SEAT Leon looks like a precisely executed sculpture on wheels. The characteristic, unbroken “Línea Dinámica” runs rearwards over the wheel arches. It is reminiscent of the tension of a well-trained muscle.
The trapezoidal C-pillars are characteristic to the Leon, as are the short, upwards-pointing third windows.
The rear end of the new SEAT Leon has been intensively modelled; the large logo serves as an opener for the rear hatch.
The slightly wedge-shaped rear light clusters underscore the breadth and are also available in LED technology.