Recording is strictly forbidden. At the SEAT Design Center everything is confidential so mobile phones and cameras are collected at the entrance. “We have plenty of secrets here”, says Design director Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos. This time, however, an exception is made. In an exclusive video, he guides us through the brand's most private facilities, where the new Leon, which he defines in one word as seductive, was created. The following are its highlights.
That was the team's goal in imagining and sculpting the proportions of the new model, which enhance its presence when standing still as well as when moving. “We successfully preserved the spirit of the previous generations of the Leon, but gave it a new interpretation. In terms of its proportions for example, when viewed from the side, the bonnet is longer, lower and ends at the front with a markedly vertical drop, sheer character. The expressive front end conveys strength and determination thanks to the powerful look of its LED headlights. The three-dimensional connection between the headlights and the grille gives it a bolder appearance with more character. It's my favourite part”, Alejandro explains.
Sportiness, elegance and simplicity in its DNA.
Mesonero-Romanos shows the various areas where the compact was shaped.
The new model features several differences, but it is still a Leon. “It retains the spirit of a car with a distinctly sporty character, combined with a generous helping of elegance and simplicity”, says Mesonero-Romanos.
Snug interior, like a cocoon.
The interior of the new Leon is even more innovative. “We worked hard to create a one-of-a-kind digital experience for the driver and passengers”, he explains. The cockpit was designed to be perfectly ergonomic, which enhances comfort and safety. The sleek, sweeping dashboard gives the ensemble an airy and pleasing appeal. “It is a fusion of functionality, minimalism and elegance”, he concludes.
Lighting the way.
“The lighting deserves a special mention”, point out Mesonero-Romanos. “The technology combined with its design makes it extremely effective and recognisable from a long distance.” The full LED technology improves visibility and the coast-to-coast rear lights give it greater expression, while making the vehicle highly visible to other drivers.
Inside, LED technology creates a more enveloping atmosphere. An arc of light extends across the front of the cockpit and continues along the doors. “It is a fascinating blend of design and functionality. Not only does LED create ambient lighting, but we combined it with functions such as indicator lights, the emergency brake light and rear-end vehicle approach detection when the door is opened; not to mention the welcoming spectacle which is stunning”, he assures. The side mirrors on cars equipped with the full LED option include welcome lights that greet the driver and passengers with the word 'Hola' projected onto the ground when the vehicle is activated.
From intuition to success.
“When it comes to design, all our work starts with a simple idea, an intuition, but then we have to work on it in depth and somehow tame it, to turn it into a successful car”, he explains. “We had a very clear idea of what kind of expression the new Leon should have, conveying character but not necessarily aggression. The SEAT Design Center team found the perfect way to combine a bold front end with sleek lines and a very distinctive rear end. The end result? “The best Leon of all time to date”, concludes the head of the team that designed it, as he moves on to shape the models of the future. These are, of course, kept in the strictest confidence.