Leon Tuning

"Getting the best performance from your Seat Leon."

One of the first major releases from SEAT to be produced under the watchful eye of VAG and certainly an impressive release.

The Leon was released in 2000 and was constructed by the VAG group.

Combining the Latin flair of Seat with the build quality of Volkswagen.

The Leon can be considered a fun rival to the golf sharing the range of engines from the 1.4 up to a heavily tweaked 1.8l 20 valve Turbo.

Later TFSi engine options really sparkle and bring out the full potential of the Leon chassis.

The Seat Leon is available in a variety of bright fun colors with red and yellow remaining the popular choices.

Performance wise the model to go for has to be the Leon Cupra, which was released with 180bhp AUQ engine code, there was a 210bhp model AMK engine code, and this later a heady 225bhp with the arrival of the BAM engine code, leaving both the A3 and golf looking a bit power shy.

Also there were some pretty impressive diesels which came in 110, 130 and 150bhp variants there are also some Cupra diesel versions.


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The obvious engine choice is the 1.8T and the later 2.0 TFSi and this can stand phenomenal tuning without major internal modifications. A larger turbo along with an intercooler upgraded Dump valve and remap could produce power gains of up to 300 BHP on the 1.8T. Remaps on the 2.0 TFSi sees power hiked to around 280bhp!

The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel (Front mounter intercooler on Turbo models)

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,power clutch, KO4 turbo conversion

Typical stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger - twicharging), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam, sports gearbox.

Because of the popularity of this engine there are a number of VAG specialists springing up with a standard tuning packages which can be applied.

Sharing the Audi and VW engines means there are so many tuning options.

The standard performance and handling is a very good although many owners will lower their car 30 millimetres and fit slightly stiffer springs to help eliminate body roll.

Larger wheels will look nicer but can really hamper the handling so stick with 16 or 17's and use low profile tires to retain the cars original rotational diameter. Large heavy wheels really will hamper the cars handling and cornering abilities.

From a performance point of view we should not ignore the diesel range which included the 1.9 TDi which produces 110 BHP. With a relatively cheap remap you can see power levels of 160 BHP and still retain much of the fuel economy of the standard model. (The power gains on the 2.0 and 2.5 diesel engines are even better!)

Later diesel engines respond even better to remapping and you will generally see better fuel economy as well. Just expect to service the car more frequently though.

All the diesel models respond really well to remapping giving 30% more power and 15% better economy. We've seen the diesels pushed to 220bhp on stock internals although the smaller turbos run out of puff around 180bhp.

Feel free to browse our tuning articles and if you require any more detail on the modifications we have recommended use our forum to ask a model specific questions. You will also meet other enthusiastic seat tuners and be able to swap tips and ideas with them.

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