Photo: WTCC Media

SEAT enters diesel Léon in Sweden

SEAT will be the first Manufacturer to run diesel-powered cars in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The Spanish company announced today that next week in Anderstorp Jordi Gené and Yvan Muller will drive two León TDI machines equipped with a 280 hp turbo-diesel engine.

This will be a milestone for both SEAT and the FIA as it is the first time diesel cars will line up at an FIA World Championship race.

SEAT Sport engineers have been working for the past few months to develop the engine and, after a long testing period, the project is now ready for its debut.

Jaime Puig, Director of SEAT Sport, explained: “The regulations allow us to register a car equipped with a diesel engine, and we were happy to rise to the challenge. We are satisfied with the testing results and believe the León TDI can become competitive in the mid and long term.”

Benoît Bagur, SEAT Sport Chief Engineer, said: “Since the FIA made it possible to enter a diesel engine in the competition, we started looking into the viability of the project, and it took off a few months ago.

“The basis for the engine is the 170 hp 2.0 mounted on the León FR. We kept the engine block and the cylinder head of the production model, but changed the turbo charger and gearbox. Furthermore, we had to alter the front part to house the intercooler and create new air intakes.

“The diesel engine is 35 kilos heavier than the petrol engine, so we had to redistribute some weight. After satisfactory test results, we are eager to check its potential in actual racing conditions.”

In line with the FIA Super 2000D regulations, the SEAT León TDI will be 30 kilos heavier than its petrol-powered sister car.