Daryl Smurthwaite’s modified SEAT Leon TDi
Not so long ago owning a diesel wasn’t the coolest ride to rock, but now with their tunable, torquey, turbocharged, and dare I say it, efficient engines, they’re a firm favourite with us modifiers.
One man who knows only too well the advantages of a diesel lump is Daryl Smurthwaite. Two years ago Daryl picked up this 2.0-litre SEAT Leon TDI in standard form. Initially owned by a farmer Daryl did the deal and drove the Leon back home.
The SEAT was already everything Daryl could want from a car, but leaving it standard would just be criminal! He started off tweaking the ride height with some springs and bolted a new set of rims to the car, this was supposed to be the end, but it ended up being the beginning, and these couple of mods soon snowballed into a full on project.
Bagging himself a set of classic 18-inch BBS LM rims wrapped in grippy 185/35 Falcon tyres was the turning point, suddenly the simple drop just wasn’t cutting it. Daryl put a call into Ray at Rayvern and booked the car in for a full air-ride system. Once dropped, the Leon sat firmly on its arse and tucked those BBS rims tight up into the arches.
Something was missing though, so after much consideration Daryl took the plunge and booked his car in for a full re-spray with the guys at Body Tech.
The bright Kiwi green paint that now covers the car was a brave choice, but one that’s really paid off. To break up the bright green bodywork the roof was sprayed gloss black along with the bumper inserts and front badge.
Somehow Daryl’s managed to get his hands on a couple of green zebra hides (we didn’t realise Zebras came in green too?) to trim his pillars and interior mirror in.
He then turned his attention to a more conventional type of hide to finish off the interior, by covering the seats and door cards with the finest of black cow leather. Double green stitching runs around the leather and gives it an air of VIP against the wacky zebra print.
With the styling box well and truly ticked it was time to squeeze more out of that TDI lump. One of the main reasons Daryl picked the Leon was because of the number of miles he travels and the great MPG you get from a diesel. This didn’t mean he couldn’t add an extra bit of welly though!
After fitting an uprated panel filter and BTCC straight through exhaust, the car was taken to local mappers Falcon Performance. The guys at Falcon took a reading of the Leon’s ECU and adjusted the parameters to hike power up to a respectable 180bhp, with plenty of torque to boot. Best of all though, it’s also improved MPG, giving Daryl the best of both worlds.
Daryl’s done his diesel proud and proved that in a world of increasing running costs you can still rock around in a decked out daily, still have decent power – without needing shares in Shell, and still have loads of fun on your daily commute.
TECH SPEC SEAT LEON
Full respray in Kiwi green; tinted windows and lights; colour coded badges, gloss black roof; all standard plastics on front and rear bumpers wrapped in gloss black vinyl; rolled rear arches; 6K HIDs.
18-inch BBS LM wheels; 215/35×18 Falcon tyres; Rayvern air-ride.
Green zebra print pillars; seats and door cards fully re-trimmed in black leather with green cross-stitching.
DVD headunit; 1200-watt amp; VIBE front speakers; 800-watt sub.
Falcon remap to 180bhp; panel filter; BTCC straight through twin-exit exhaust system.
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