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The Seat Leon Cross Sport is a 296bhp hot hatch-SUV concept. Whuh?

Like a pick and mix of VW Group bits, Seat shows us a jacked-up AWD hot thing with nearly 300bhp

Thought every potential automotive niche had been mined dry? You are wrong, and Seat has proved it by showing this, the Leon Cross Sport. It’s a concept that’s just had its first airing at the Frankfurt motor show.

It’s essentially a hot hatch crossover, combining as it does a 296bhp version of the Leon Cupra’s 2.0-litre turbo and hiked-up ground clearance with all-wheel drive.

Think of it as a rebadged Golf R on stilts, aping its setup of a Haldex AWD system and DSG paddleshift gearbox. They help the Cross Sport to boast some rather impressive performance: a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds is nearly a second quicker than a standard Leon Cupra.

Seat is keen to point out that AWD extends the ‘everyday driving fun’ of its hot hatch to poor road surfaces, and cites safety, too. But our minds instantly think of gravel rally stages, upon which one of these would surely be a right giggle.

The Cross Sport’s styling is described as like ‘a highly-trained cross-country runner’: more prosaically, it’s a hiked-up Leon with black bumpers and a wild orange hue just like those we used to see on Spanish hot hatches before they grew up a bit. We’d quite like those colours back, Seat.

A production version hasn’t been confirmed, but even Seat seems to have acknowledged the Cross Sport’s rather specialist nature. There are suggestions the Cupra engine and three-door layout would make way for more sensible engines and five doors come the showroom, essentially turning the Cross Sport into a smaller version of the Leon X-Perience estate.

In the meantime, this concept is another reminder that Seat finally has an SUV range coming. And about time too…

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