SEAT has taken the covers off a concept ‘Leon Cup racer’, which could form the basis of a new challenger in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
The new model “already gives a clear indication of what a SEAT touring car racer might look like, prepared for a wide range of racing series worldwide,” a statement from the Spanish carmaker reads. It will be showcased for the first time in a GTI meeting at Austria this weekend.
“The Leon Cup racer forms the basis for the development work and test drives to be undertaken over the coming months,” it adds.
Speculation that SEAT could introduce a new model – despite previous non-commital statements from Jaime Puig, head of SEAT Sport – has been bubbling for some time.
The recent move to new turbo regulations across a number of touring car championships worldwide where SEAT competes, coupled with the increase competitiveness of rival manufacturers in these series, has increased the momentum to introduce a new model.
Operating in a factory-supported capacity, SEAT introduced a turbodiesel engine in 2007, and it swept to two successive Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship crowns in 2008 and 2009.
But SEAT switched to a customer-support model after the 2009 season, leaving the development of the Leon to its customer partners, which led to the turbocharged engines developed by SUNRED and ORECA.
The 330bhp concept model is a radical change from the currently-raced Leon, sporting aggressive lines, radical wheel arch and read-end designs and a wide wheeltrack. We certainly think it’s an absolute beauty and would love to see it on the track!