Fleet News

Leon aims to put SEAT on fleet map

THE all-new SEAT Leon is the car the Spanish manufacturer has been waiting for to put it on the fleet map, according to UK boss John Abbott. When it goes on sale in the UK next April it will plug the lower medium sector hole in SEAT's armoury and will rival such well established fleet favourites as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 306 and Volkswagen Golf.

Making its world debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show the Leon, named after the Castillian city in northern Spain, will be launched with a choice of seven engines. However, it has yet to be decided which engines will be offered in the UK as well as badge and specification levels although there will be four trim levels.

Prices are expected to start at under £12,000 for the entry-level 1.4 16v 75bhp petrol unit with the range-topper being a 180bhp 1.8 20v turbo - the most powerful engine ever offered in a production SEAT which, in the Sport model, will be twinned with a six-speed manual transmission and have four-wheel-drive offering 142mph.

A total of seven engines will be available with the remainder of the line-up being a 1.6 100bhp petrol unit, a 1.8 20v 125bhp petrol unit, and three diesel engines: the 1.9 68bhp SDi, 1.9 90bhp TDi and 1.9 110bhp TDi. Looking like a coupe from the outside the Leon is a five-door hatchback. SEAT expects to sell 5,000 units next year rising to 8,000-10,000 units in 2001 making it the manufacturer's biggest selling UK model.

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