The new León FR 2.0 TFSI with DSG gearshift is now available across the SEAT sales network. This transmission set-up includes steering wheel mounted shift paddles for the first time on a SEAT model, adding a sporty feel to manual speed changes, as well as the comfort and safety of not having to release the steering wheel.
The SEAT León family is being expanded by the addition of the most eagerly anticipated member yet: the new León FR. As soon as the first version of this model hit dealer showrooms it became one of the most sought after models for anyone searching for a car with sporty styling that stands out clearly from the other models in the range and delivers class-beating performance.
The task of propelling the new León FR falls to two power units, one petrol and one diesel. The former is a 2.0 TFSI delivering 200 hp. This four-cylinder 2.0-litre model featuring FSI direct-injection technology puts a peak torque of 280 Nm on tap between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm. Powered by this engine, the León reaches a top speed of 229 km/h and is propelled from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.
As far as the diesel variant is concerned, the León FR is driven by the same 170 hp 2.0 TDI powerpack first showcased by its genetic sibling, the SEAT Altea FR. Partnered by a six-speed manual gearbox, this engine generates its maximum power of 125 kW (170 hp) at 4,200 rpm. The result: a top speed of 214 km/h and 8.2 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill.
First petrol engine from SEAT with a DSG gearshift
Highlights of the SEAT León FR drive train include the DSG automated gearshift that is available as an option for the 2.0 TFSI version. Praised by the motoring press and customers alike, this is the first time that this transmission has been made available in a petrol-powered SEAT. The DSG package includes shift paddles on the steering wheel, marking another first for a road-going model from the Spanish manufacturer.
Equipped with this gearshift, the León FR returns exceptional performance figures which better the marks set by the manual version. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is over in 7.2 seconds compared to the 7.3 seconds taken by the manual model. Consumption on the combined cycle is also minor (7,8 litres per 100 kilometres compared to 7,9 of the manual model). (Provisional values for the TFSI DSG motor).
A cut above the rest of the range
The model’s exterior makes it clear from the very outset that this is not just another León. It starts at the front with a bumper that is larger than the one used on the other models in the range and includes an enormous air intake with honeycomb grille. The bumper at the rear of the car sports a black finish at the bottom, where the polished-steel twin tailpipes of the exhaust protrude prominently.
Moving round to the side, the door mirrors come with the silver-painted housing that is a hallmark of the FR models. The light-alloy wheels, which are available in 17-inch or optionally 18-inch formats, are particularly eye-catching. The wheels come in an exclusive FR design that gives a clear view of the impressive brake discs behind.
The sporty theme is continued inside the car where each and every element has been honed right down to the finest detail to immerse drivers in that unmistakable FR ambience the instant they take the wheel. Highlights include the exclusive sports seats with the initials FR embroidered into the seat backrest. Given the vehicle’s high-performance capabilities, the seats have been ergonomically designed to optimise support for the occupants. The steering wheel with its micro-perforated leather grips at the sides as well as the gearshift knob are also exclusive to this version, as testified by the FR initials adorning both elements. Finally, the interior’s sporty feel is accentuated by the use of a white background for the instrument cluster in place of the customary black together with the FR logo in the rev counter.
New equipment features
The León FR also showcases a number of firsts when it comes to the optional equipment list. On the safety front, there are bi-xenon headlights incorporating the Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS). The AFS system uses the information gleaned from various rotational and speed sensors in the vehicle to adjust the direction of the beam of light emitted by the headlights, resulting in optimum illumination in all situations.
Besides this, the León FR, along with all the other models in the range, now offers customers the option of either a connection which allows an iPod to be integrated into the vehicle or a special connection for all USB memory devices and MP3 audio players with a USB port. There is also an Aux-in audio connection as standard, which allows external audio sources to be plugged into the standard headphone socket and the sound played through the vehicle’s speakers.
- Stands out distinctly from the rest of the range
- Sporty essence shines through in every detail
- 17-inch and 18-inch light-alloy wheels exclusive to the FR models
There is no denying the new SEAT León’s membership of the Spanish manufacturer’s enticing and dynamic FR family. The SEAT León FR retains all of the unmistakable traits and characteristics which can be seen in its "genetic" siblings, the Altea FR and Ibiza FR. At the front can be found a bumper that is larger and more imposing than the one fitted on the rest of the range. The enormous air intake with honeycomb grille is not just for show; it is also a direct result of the fact that the powerplant under the bonnet requires a higher rate of cooling than normal. The striking bumper at the rear of the car sports a black finish at the bottom that is somewhat reminiscent of the air diffusors fitted on the León Supercopa. And no FR would be complete without the polished-steel twin tailpipes of the exhaust. The initials themselves appear discreetly at the bottom right of the hatch.
Behind the front wings, the new car’s flanks sport the letters TFSI or TDI while the door mirrors come with the silver-painted housing that is a hallmark of this trim line. The light-alloy wheels, which are available in a 17-inch or optionally 18-inch format, are particularly eye-catching. They include a brand new, distinctive design which gives a clear view of the impressive brake discs behind. The accompanying tyres measure 225/45 R17 and 225/40 R18 respectively.
SEAT León FR enthusiasts will not be disappointed when they move into the interior either, where each and every detail pulses with sportiness. Sports seats with the initials FR boldly embroidered into them wrap firmly around the occupant’s body, just like the racing seats built by the best specialist manufacturers.
When sitting in the driver’s seat, the eye is immediately drawn to the exclusive FR sports steering wheel, with its perforated leather grips at the sides and the FR logo embossed at the bottom, as well as to the gearshift knob, which is again exclusive to these model versions. Although the dashboard retains the original design featured in the rest of the León range, a quick glance at the instrument cluster is quite enough to confirm this model’s sporty ambitions, courtesy of the white background that replaces the customary black with the FR logo in the rev counter.
It is also worth noting that the SEAT León FR will be premiering a spectacular new bodywork colour in the form of yellow Crono. This striking paint finish lends further emphasis to the car’s sporty nature and has been a trademark of the most recent generations of FR and Cupra models as well as of the León WTCC.
- Choice of 170 hp 2.0 TDI and 200 hp 2.0 TFSI engines
- Most powerful engine in the SEAT León line-up, available with DSG gearshift for the first time
- Sporty acoustics thanks to SEAT SOUND
No model from the FR family can be content with just looking sporty – it has to be sporty too, through and through. This is why the León FR comes with a choice of two power units offering top-class performance, one diesel and the other petrol. The newest of the two engines is the 2.0 TFSI petrol model developing 200 hp that is making its SEAT debut in the León FR.
This powerplant is a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre model featuring FSI direct-injection technology, which is furthermore boosted by a turbocharger that forms a single unit together with the exhaust manifold. Additional features include an intake system with continuously variable distribution and internal exhaust-gas recirculation. Among the engine’s most noteworthy characteristics are its free-revving nature, its tremendous flexibility and its operating economy.
The 200 hp (147 kW) 2.0 TFSI engine is the most powerful in the León range. It musters up a maximum torque of 280 Nm between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm which makes for excellent in-gear acceleration. As a result, the car accelerates from 80 to 120 km/h in just 7.0 seconds in fifth gear and in 8.9 seconds in sixth.
Powered by this engine, the León is propelled from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 229 km/h. The time of 27.6 seconds for 1000 metres from a standing start is just as remarkable. All whilst returning average fuel consumption figures of 7.9 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions of 190 g/km overall.
When measured against the previous León FR with its 180 hp 1.8 20 VT engine, output has been increased by 20 hp. This translates into superior performance, particularly in terms of the vehicle’s acceleration and fuel consumption. The last generation of the León FR took 7.7 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h from standstill compared to the new car’s time of 7.3 seconds, while in-gear acceleration from 80 - 120 km/h in fifth has been reduced from 8.0 to 7.0 seconds. And to round off the healthy balance sheet, average fuel consumption has now dropped to 7.9 litres per 100 km compared to 8.4 litres previously.
First petrol model from SEAT with DSG gearshift
The petrol variant of the SEAT León FR will offer the option of the DSG automated gearshift. This is the first time that one of the most effective transmissions on the market will be made available for a petrol-powered SEAT.
But the innovations do not stop there, as shift paddles on the steering wheel will also be making their debut appearance in a road-going model from the Spanish manufacturer. The shift paddle system has true race car breeding, featuring for example in the SEAT León models which compete in the Supercopa.
Equipped with this gearshift, the León FR returns exceptional performance figures. The dual-clutch system makes for instantaneous gearshifts, meaning that acceleration is even sharper than in the manual model (7.2 seconds from 0 - 100 km/h as against the manual’s time of 7.3 seconds). As for fuel consumption, the provisional figures are 7,8 litres for 100 kilometres for combined consumption, improving the marks set by the manual version.
The 170 hp 2.0 TDI
As far as the diesel version is concerned, the León FR is driven by the same 170 hp 2.0 TDI powerpack that can be found under the bonnet of its genetic sibling, the SEAT Altea FR. Developed based on the 103 kW (140 hp) 2.0 TDI unit, the engine is partnered by a six-speed manual gearbox. The reengineering measures that have been carried out have lifted maximum power to 125 kW (170 hp) at 4,200 rpm, while peak torque has been boosted from 320 to 350 Nm and is available from 1,800 rpm.
This significant jump in power and torque has been brought about by modifying the turbocharger’s geometry. At the same time, the injection system’s maximum rate of delivery has been increased and a shut-off system integrated into the intake ducts. Plus, high-pressure direct diesel injection technology has been incorporated in the form of the Piezo Pump Nozzle system with piezoelectric injectors.
The results are remarkable: acceleration and overall performance in the León FR is outstanding, as demonstrated by the top speed of 214 km/h and the 8.2 seconds taken to reach 100 km/h from standstill. The sub 30 second time recorded for one kilometre with a standing start is also a noteworthy feat.
The figures for in-gear acceleration make equally impressive reading: 8.2 and 10.5 seconds to speed up from 80 to 120 km/h in fifth and sixth gears respectively. As remarkable as the car’s performance figures might be, they are outshone by its fuel consumption figures, which are more what one would expect from a small, economical car rather than such a high-performance vehicle. Out on the open road, it burns just five litres to cover 100 kilometres, and even in urban areas consumption never exceeds the eight-litre mark. Consumption on the mixed urban and extra-urban cycle is just over six litres per 100 kilometres. As for emissions, the new engine meets the rigorous requirements of the EU4 standard, as well as featuring the DPF diesel particulate filter system.
Compared to the outgoing León FR with its 150 hp 1.9 TDI engine, the new model develops an extra 20 horsepower – as in the petrol version – resulting in faster acceleration. The 150 hp León FR accelerated from 0 to 100 in 8.9 seconds whereas the new version requires just 8.2 seconds. In-gear acceleration from 80 - 120 km/h in sixth has been cut from 12.0 to 10.5 seconds.
One of the features that has received a lot of attention on the Leon FR, both the Diesel and petrol versions (but especially the latter) is the engine sound. In order to strengthen the sporty image of the FR, new SEAT SOUND exhaust systems have been developed. Their main characteristic is to enhance engine sound and the feeling of power at low revolutions without sounding too high-pitched, and can be felt both inside and outside the vehicle.
This sporty sound and the feeling of a gutsy engine has been enhanced in kerb-side acceleration, low-speed manoeuvres and full-load acceleration and deceleration at low revolutions.
- Suspension settings adapted to harness the increase in performance
- Oversized brakes with extra braking power
- Full complement of electronic aids for safer motoring
The high performance delivered by the SEAT León FR engines demands a chassis that is capable of handling the tougher demands. The basic independent suspension concept is the same – McPherson struts at the front with bottom wishbone and a multi-link rear axle – but the front springs have been made around 12% firmer. The shock absorbers have also been specially tuned for the FR version. As for the stabiliser bars, the one at the front measures 23.6 millimetres across and the rear stabiliser bar 21.7 millimetres.
Another important aspect is the brakes. To take account of the higher demands in terms of power output, they have been increased in size from the 15" used for the remaining León models to 16". The ventilated discs at the front wheels measure 312 millimetres across and the solid discs at the rear 286 millimetres (as compared to 280 millimetres and 255 millimetres respectively in other León models).
As you would expect, drivers of the León FR will have the peace of mind offered by the latest-generation ABS with electronic braking force distribution. In addition to this, however, the León FR also comes equipped with the ESP Electronic Stability Program (can be deactivated) including EBA Emergency Brake Assistance, TCS traction control, plus an array of further functions to aid the driver. These include:
- Overboost, which increases brake pressure without any notable change in the force that the driver has to apply at the brake pedal when the system temperature far exceeds normal operating temperatures.
- BSW, which cleans the brake discs regularly whenever the windscreen wipers are switched on.
- Driver Steering Recommendation which helps to keep the vehicle on the correct course in critical handling situations.
The most noteworthy of these systems is Driver Steering Recommendation. When the ESP control unit detects that the vehicle has entered an unstable situation caused by oversteer, it transmits a signal instructing the steering system’s electric motor to automatically turn in the appropriate direction to correct the vehicle’s course. The driver senses this as a steering recommendation, prompting him or her to turn the steering wheel in the direction necessary to stabilise the vehicle. When driving over a dry, asphalted road, the driver barely notices this steering prompt, such that the system proves most effective when driving along roads offering differing levels of grip on each side of the car, e.g. a surface that is dry on one side and wet on the other.
The principal benefits of ESP featuring Driver Steering Recommendation are improved stability, less directional deviation and a reduction in the vehicle’s stopping distance of between 5 and 10 percent. However, the task of this function is merely to recommend a steering manoeuvre to the driver in critical driving situations. This function does not steer the vehicle for the driver, rather the driver is responsible for controlling the vehicle’s steering at all times.
Equipment and safety
- Bi-xenon headlights with Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS)
- Multiple connectivity options
- Comprehensive specification for more comfortable, safer motoring
First design, then performance and last, but by no means least, equipment. Here again, the new León FR boasts a number of significant innovations that put it on a par with models from higher segments.
The principal new feature consists of the bi-xenon headlights with Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS) which are now available. This system blends the superior luminous power and quality that bi-xenon headlights are renowned for with all of the benefits of AFS intelligent control.
The AFS system uses the information gleaned from various rotational and speed sensors in the vehicle to adjust the direction of the beam of light emitted by the headlights, resulting in optimum illumination in all situations. What’s more, these headlights also automatically adjust the height of the beam as the vehicle load changes, doing away with the need for fiddly and less accurate manual adjustment.
These headlights are also made special by the fact that they are able to turn asymmetrically. In a right-hand bend, for instance, the headlight on the right will turn more sharply than its counterpart on the left (15° and 8° respectively), allowing drivers to see the inside of the bend or the side road far more clearly, while the left-hand headlight maintains optimum illumination of the area to the front of the vehicle.
>The result: maximum illumination, thus unprecedented levels of visibility and, consequently, safety. The intelligent bi-xenon headlights with AFS expand the effectively illuminated zone when cornering by up to 30% and increase the distance at which objects ahead or cars in bends can be detected by as much as 68%: at a speed of 70 km/h, this would give drivers an extra 1.8 seconds to react.
Multiple connectivity options
One of the objectives pursued by SEAT is to make cars that are an extension of our personal lifestyle. One way in which this can be achieved is to facilitate connectivity of the car with external devices, in much the same manner as the advent of Bluetooth technology did for mobile phones.
Now it’s the turn of personal audio players. A connection which allows an iPod to be integrated into the León FR can be ordered as an option, as can a special connection for all USB memory devices and MP3 audio players with a USB port. The connections are fitted under the front passenger seat on León models.
These connections enable a far greater number of tracks to be listened to via the vehicle’s audio system with greater flexibility of use than is possible with conventional systems. Added to this is the fact that the volume and mute controls as well as the functions for skipping tracks and folders (up to a maximum of 6) can all be operated by means of the controls on the steering wheel for supreme convenience and safety. Plus, the current track number and the total number of playable files appear in the radio unit’s display.
In addition to this, the León FR also includes an Aux-in audio connection as standard. This connection in the centre console allows external audio sources to be plugged into the standard headphone socket and the sound played through the vehicle’s speakers.
Passengers in the new León FR can be protected by as many as eight airbags: two front airbags, two side airbags in the front, plus two curtain airbags offering head-level protection for both passengers in the front and rear all come as standard, and can be supplemented as an option by the addition of two side airbags in the rear. A facility for deactivating the front passenger airbag makes up part of standard specification. All five seats are fitted with three-point seatbelts including belt force limiters, while the front seats also benefit from pyrotechnic pre-tensioners. Isofix anchoring points for attaching child seats are furthermore incorporated into the two outer seats in the rear.
This is all complemented by additional active safety features, including ABS, TCS, ESP and the Emergency Brake Assistance system (EBA) that automatically activates the hazard warning lights when triggered. For added peace of mind, the León FR comes with an anti-theft alarm with volumetric motion sensor as standard. What’s more, there are a number of handy electronic extras to aid drivers, such as cruise control and the audible warning that sounds when the limit speed as programmed by the driver is exceeded.
The list of comfort features in the León FR is an impressive one, and includes twin-zone climate control, height-adjustable driver’s seat with variable lumbar support, rear seats with a 60/40 split-folding backrest, stowage drawer in the base of driver seat, power windows front and rear, remote-controlled central locking, electrically adjustable and foldable door mirrors, trip computer, height and reach-adjustable steering wheel including audio controls, radio with MP3-compatible CD player, plus, for the first time, the aforementioned standard Aux-in audio connection in the centre console.
Other equipment features available as options include:
- Dynamic navigation system with either a 6.5" colour or a monochrome screen
- Installation of Bluetooth phone system
- AFS bi-xenon directional headlights
- Rain sensor with auto-dimming rear-view mirror and automatic headlight activation
- Side airbags in the rear
- Electric glass sunroof with anti-trap facility
- Dark-tinted rear windows
- Winter package
- Heated seats
- 7.5J x18" wheels
- Connection for iPod
- USB connection for MP3 players (pen drive)