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Spyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon Facelift Testing New Engine: 1.8 TSI with Cylinder Deactivation?

The test prototype for the SEAT Leon mid-life facelift is no nearer to being revealed than it was a few months ago when we last saw it. However, we still need to take a close look at the vehicle because magic is happening underneath.
Spyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon Facelift 8 photos
Photo: SB-Medien
Spyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon FaceliftSpyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon FaceliftSpyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon FaceliftSpyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon FaceliftSpyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon FaceliftSpyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon FaceliftSpyshots: 2016 SEAT Leon Facelift
Notice the low suspension and the fact that measuring devices have been installed at all four corners? That to us suggests they are developing a brand new powertrain. But which one? Because it has twin exhaust, a minimum of around 150 horsepower should come out from the turbo mill.

As you all know, the SEAT Leon is based on the same MQB platform as the VW Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia. It was Audi's job to develop the 1.8-liter TSI/TFSI engine and for 2016 they have a new one available. It's got 190 PS and cylinder deactivation, sometimes called ACT (Active Cylinder Timing).

By cutting two of the cylinders when the powerful engine is operating under light loads, fuel consumption can be reduced by around 5%. It's not much, but every little bit counts.

We know for sure that the 1.8 TSI with ACT exists, but we're not 100% certain SEAT will get it. Whatever the case, this updated hatchback will have new bumpers and lights. The 2015 Geneva Motors Show seems like the most likely place for a debut.

Compared to its German and Czech brothers, SEAT is a relatively small carmaker. Just to give you an idea, the Dieselgate scandal only affects 700,000 Spanish cars, compared to 2.1 million premium Audis.

Theoretically, all the 1.6 and 2.0-liter engines of the current Leon are not affected by the recall/scandal, since they comply with Euro 6 regulations and don't come with defeat devices - so far. However, it wouldn't hurt for the Martorell people to think about a 1.0 TSI eco model that drinks petrol and competes with the Focus 1.0 EcoBoost.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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