Riding on Volkswagen's modular MQB platform, the SC is the first three-door Leon since the nameplate was launched in 1999. Like the five-door version that bowed in Paris last September, the SC borrows styling cues such as its angular headlights and its trapezoidal grille from the smaller Ibiza, though its overall silhouette is noticeably sleeker.
Inside, the SC is identical to its five-door counterpart. It features an instrument cluster with two round analog gauges and a center console that is oriented towards the driver.
Marketed as an A3 for budget-conscious buyers, the Leon SC is available with a number of turbocharged TDI and TSI four-cylinder engines pulled out of the Volkswagen parts bin. The entry-level offering is a 1.2-liter gasoline-burning unit that makes 105 horsepower and the range topper is a gas-powered 1.8-liter that is rated at 180-horsepower. A more powerful Cupra-badged model will be added to the lineup later in the production run.
Regardless of what lies under the hood, power is sent to the front wheels via either a manual or a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Although it is not the biggest or most expensive member of the SEAT lineup, the Leon SC is considered the brand's current flagship.
"The new Leon SC is the design icon of the model line-up. It conveys perfectly the core values of the SEAT brand - design and dynamics, technology and quality, all at a fair price," said James Muir, the company's president.
The Leon SC is scheduled to go on sale in Europe, Mexico and China before the end of the year. Pricing information will be revealed closer to its launch.
Live images by Ronan Glon.