New SEAT Leon hybrid 2020: Family hatchback gets plug-in powertrain

SEAT Leon eHybrid will join mild-hybrid, petrol and diesel engines in fourth-generation line-up

SEAT Leon

The all-new fourth-generation SEAT Leon for 2020 will get an 'eHybrid' plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain, mirroring its VW Group stablemates the Volkswagen Golf GTE and forthcoming Skoda Octavia iV.

The Leon plug-in hybrid will be powered by a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine paired with an electric motor drawing power from a 13kWh battery pack. Total power output will be 201bhp and the battery will recharge in three and a half hours from a 3.6kW outlet.

SEAT is claiming a 38-mile electric range for the Leon eHybrid, but no fuel-economy or CO2 emissions figures have been released yet. Other engines in the range include 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrols, a 2.0-litre turbodiesel and 1.0 and 1.5-litre petrols with 48v mild-hybrid technology.

Six trim levels will be offered – SE, SE Dynamic, FR, FR Sport, Xcellence and Xcellence Lux – although we don't yet have an exact breakdown of what powertrains will be offered with what specification levels. Key features standard across the range include keyless start, USB points, LED headlights, powered and heated mirrors, an eight-inch infotainment system, a leather steering wheel and gearstick, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Like its predecessor, the new Leon will be offered in five-door hatchback and 'ST' estate guises, and like the recently unveiled new Golf Mk8, the latest Leon places a heavy emphasis on in-car technology and connectivity as well as offering electrified powertrains. The SEAT Digital Cockpit (standard on SE Dynamic spec and above) forms the heart of the new Leon's interior, bringing together a high-resolution 10.25-inch driver instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment system.

Full Apple and Android smartphone connectivity will be standard, and a SEAT Connect app will allow remote control of the eHybrid model's charging and climate control. 'Car2X' technology is also employed, allowing for early warning of traffic-light changes and incidents on the road up ahead, with messages relayed to the Leon's in-car screens.

In addition to the Leon eHybrid, SEAT is planning to bring a plug-in hybrid version of its Tarraco family SUV to market this year. The Spanish brand also recently launched the Mii electric zero-emissions city car, a sister model to the Volkswagen e-up! and Skoda Citigoᵉ iV, and will offer its own version of the Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatchback, called the SEAT el-Bornin the near future.