Like Hollywood actors and It Girls, most modern cars require a facelift and injection of Botox halfway through their lives – and it's no different for Seat's Leon hatch. Our spies have snapped the new-for-2009 Leon out on test under the bodywork bandages that belie the changes underneath.
We'll see the facelifted Leon at the Geneva motor show in March 2009 and UK sales are planned for next summer. However, new Seat president Eric Schmitt has a knack of pulling launches forward and we hear there is pressure to fast-track the 2009 Leon pep-up too.
Seat Leon: the 2009 facelift
What's new on the oh-nine Leon? Not very much, actually. There will be a mildly restyled exterior, but it'll mainly be achieved through detail changes. Expect hints of the new 'Arrow Design' philosophy, the styling mantra espoused by ex-Lambo design chief Luc Donckerwolke and witnessed on the new Ibiza supermini
But while the exterior changes are modest (and, let's face it, the Leon is still an appealingly designed family hatch), more attention will be lavished on the 2009 car's interior.
We hear that the engineering package will be refreshed too, with the VW Group's excellent 1.4 Twincharger engine likely to make an appearance. We've already seen it in the new Ibiza
and in numerous Volkswagen group products. Read all about the twin super- and turbocharged 1.4 in our long-term review of the VW Golf 1.4 TSI here