With the VW Golf and Skoda Octavia confirmed to get a facelift in 2024, it makes sense Cupra is testing an updated version of the Leon. Our spies caught two prototypes in southern Europe, and while you’d be tempted to believe they’re identical, the devil is in the details. One of the compact hatchbacks had Brembo brake calipers and a charging port, denoting it was the eHybrid model or the Spanish equivalent of the Golf GTE and Octavia RS iV.
Many would argue the disguise is essentially pointless considering Cupra showed the 2024 Leon without any camo back in June 2022. For only a mid-cycle update, this facelift is surprisingly substantial, especially since the updated Golf will barely change. The revamped front fascia boasts new headlights with a three-point motif akin to the Tavascan electric crossover.
Aside from getting all-new headlights, the Cupra will adopt a fully redesigned front bumper with a more aggressive lower air intake featuring a grid pattern. Unfortunately, the radar sensor still sticks out like a sore thumb rather than being neatly integrated somewhere else. The Leon does look more aggressive than before, although we’re positive some will prefer the cleaner look of the current model. Although these spy shots depict the hatch, previous images captured by car paparazzi have featured the more practical wagon.
A wild report published recently by Autocar speculated the VW Group could drop the SEAT Leon altogether and sell the facelifted model strictly with a Cupra badge. Even if that’s not going to be the case, the traditional brand still faces uncertainty. When asked about the future of SEAT, company chairman Thomas Schäfer said “the future of SEAT is Cupra.” The traditional brand will survive but it’s going to have a “different role.” It’s unclear what that will be, although sources close to Martorell are indicating it’ll become a mobility brand by selling e-scooters and whatnot.
The SEAT/Cupra Leon facelift should debut in 2024 and stick around for roughly 3-4 years. With VW confirming the next-gen Golf is going to be purely electric, logic tells us it’ll be the same story with the future Leon and Octavia. Audi has already confirmed the A3 replacement won’t have a combustion engine, so the VW Group’s compact MQB-based cars are preparing for a final update.