Driving to the limit A Leon in the desert

A Leon in the desert

Martorell,  02 June 2017

  • The Leon X-Perience tackles dunes, rocky terrain and extreme temperatures in the Sahara desert
  • When driving through the desert, it is advisable to stop when a sandstorm kicks up and to face dunes straight on and drive quickly

-Facing the challenge of temperature variation: With outside temperatures that vary from below zero at night and 50 degrees during the day, the temperature inside can reach up to 60 degrees. One of the challenges of driving in the desert is to ensure that outside variations do not affect the interior of the passenger compartment nor the driver.

-Dust particles smaller than one micron: The Scirocco, a south-eastern wind common to this area, can carry dust particles that measure one micron, or one-thousandth of a millimetre. Before a model goes on sale, the SEAT prototypes undergo several tests to ensure the passenger compartment is water and airtight. The goal is to ensure that, in real driving conditions such as the one carried out by the Leon in the desert, not a micron of dust gets into the passenger compartment.

-Extreme weather events: Sandstorms are a common weather phenomenon in desert areas. Although they move quickly, reaching up to 75 km/h, it is not advisable to attempt to cross through them when driving in the desert. When a sandstorm kicks up, the best thing to do is to stop, face the car away from the direction of the wind and wait until it blows over.

-Climbing a mountain of sand: Unlike driving on a paved surface, one of the keys to driving on sand is to slightly decrease the pressure of the tyres so that they have greater ground contact. Likewise, in order to drive across a dune, you have to face it straight on and go up at a certain speed. To ensure you remain in control of the vehicle, you should never go downhill in neutral.

                
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