The Seat Leon SC Cross Sport may not be making production, but the design studio’s chief engineer, Angel Lahoz, says the car could feasibly be on the roads tomorrow.
Driving the almost production-ready concept car around the Castelloli race track near Barcelona affirms Lahoz’s claim, with the usual clunky and unfinished feel of a concept largely absent.
But there are a few differences from what a production version would offer. While carry-over parts include the brakes and DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine doesn’t quite produce the 286bhp that it does in the production Leon Cupra, and even with a 40mph speed limit, it does still seem to lack the full Cupra punch when accelerating.
The steering, says Lahoz, is only in prototype form and would need some work, while the Ultra Orange colour scheme features pigments that wouldn’t be able to hack everyday UV rays.
So is it more than an orangey, jacked-up Leon SC Cupra? Not especially, but that’s not to say it isn’t fun.
There’s a nice deep burble from the quadruple exhaust, while the all-wheel drive system makes the car feel very stable around the track without sucking the fun out of it; in full-blooded Cupra mode it still allows a bit of rear slip even with the traction control on. The 41mm extra ground clearance, although not drastically different, removes some of the engagement with the drive, though, and there’s no great added practicality to speak of.