2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Seat underlines the sporting ambitions in the new middle classes. Thanks to Wolfsburg support, the Spanish VW subsidiary has mainly developed the high horsepower ranges.
By Thomas Flehmer
The Easter penance period, better known as Lent, is drawing to a close. Just in time for Easter Sunday, Seat can look forward to a full nest. Instead of chocolate bunnies or colored eggs, the Spanish VW subsidiary finds powerful gifts from the mother in Wolfsburg, which will primarily benefit the powerful models of the brand, which is ambitious in terms of sport - and all of this without exhausting the search for them.
GTI engine for Leon and Altea
The middle class with Altea and Leon, which accounts for around 40 percent of Seat's total sales, benefits in particular from the Wolfsburg innovations, which are included in the Golf GTI that has just been introduced. In addition to the 2.0 TSI for the top model Leon FR, the Spaniards receive the electronic limited-slip differential XDS, which in conjunction with the ESP ensures improved cornering behavior. In addition, common rail technology is now also used in both models. The 2.0 TDI with 125 kW / 170 PS had celebrated its premiere shortly before in the Exeo, the discarded, but by no means old, model series of the Audi A4.
Of course, the new innards have to be packaged in the same way as a premium egg from southern Germany. The radiator grille has been made smaller on both models, as has the brand logo, the headlight washer system and the exterior mirrors. To do this, the designers broadened the lines of the tailgate so that the appearance is at least as pompous as the largest chocolate bunny in the Easter basket.
Seven-speed DSG and higher quality interior
And the interior has also been made more festive. Hardly anything has changed in the basic concept. The materials have become more valuable. So the brown tone disappeared in the Altea Freetrack and was replaced by the black with the hard plastic from Seat, which is typical of the brand, but which are very tasteful.
Another Easter surprise is the DSG, in the new 1.8 petrol engine with 160 hp it is even the seven-speed double clutch that allows the vehicles to accelerate sportily without any interruption in tractive power. Thanks to the improved rigidity of the front and rear axles as well as softer springs, corners can be tackled safely and comfortably even at higher speeds on the 4.50 meter long Altea Freetrack.
GTI in Spanish
The Freetrack - equipped with the GTI engine - drives almost like a compact sports car despite its actual slowness. The Altea has reached 100 km / h in 7.6 seconds and can go up to 218 km / h on its own. With the Leon it is 7.1 seconds that pass before you penetrate into the three-digit km / h range.
The GTI does it 0.2 seconds faster. The Wolfsburg-based company can overlook the fact that Seat can get one more horsepower out of the four-cylinder direct injection. At 25,690 euros, the Spanish offshoot is 900 euros cheaper than the classic from Wolfsburg. Who crosses the line as the winner is not difficult to answer despite the price difference.
Waiting for the next party
But whether the nice Easter surprises will help the ailing manufacturer to be more successful remains doubtful. Because only the high horsepower areas were served. Consumption is reduced thanks to the new engines, but the stated values of 8.4 liters for the Altea Freetrack and 7.5 liters for the Leon FR fall victim to sporting ambitions. There are also no useful extras such as start-stop. But Seat can comfort itself, in a year it will be Easter again.