Facelifted Seat Leon goes undercover

Published: 04 June 2015

Updated Seat Leon spied night testing 
 A particularly thorough camouflage job
Expect only minor exterior alterations

Somewhere underneath all that heavy bandaging is a facelifted Seat Leon. Spied testing during the dead of night, it’s about as heavily camouflaged as prototypes get. Even the headlights are buried beneath bulky black cladding, the driver relying on roof-mounted spotlights to light the way.

Is it really facelift time for the Seat Leon already?

Such is the advanced timeframe designers must work within that although the current generation was launched only in 2013, its mid-life update will already be some way into its development phase.

However, given the Leon’s relative freshness we should expect only minor exterior changes. Such is the thoroughness of the disguise on this test car that even the door mirrors are concealed, pointing to a potential design rethink. Excessive wind noise around the mirrors at motorway speeds was one minor complaint from some quarters at the car’s launch.

What else is likely to change?

An interior spruce-up generally goes hand in hand with an exterior facelift. Could the Leon’s rather plain cabin be in line for some of the design love it deserves? Expect a typical round of improvements on the emissions and fuel consumption front too. This test car’s relatively small, tall diameter tyres and blanked off corner vents on the bumper suggest it’s a Leon from the more humble end of the performance scale.

Click here to read how CAR got on when it ran a petrol-fuelled Seat Leon 1.4 TSI on the long-term fleet for half a year.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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