This is the all-new Seat Leon Cupra 280, the Spanish company’s most powerful production car to date.
Sitting at the very top of the Leon range, the Cupra 280 is a performance iteration, which provides a much needed rival to the diverse range of hot hatches offered by Volkswagen, Ford and Vauxhall.
Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 276bhp, the Cupra 280 will be available in both five and three-door body styles and will start from £26,940.
A slightly less powerful version with 261bhp – dubbed simply 'Cupra' – will also be offered, priced from £25,690.
Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. However, opting for the optional six-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic improves performance figures. 0-62mph takes just 5.7 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.
To aid handling, Seat has fitted the Leon Cupra 280 with a proper mechanical locking differential, which smoothes power delivery between the front wheels. Also fitted is the company’s DCC chassis control system which firms up the suspension at the push of a button.
Visually, the Cupra range gets a relatively subtle makeover to differentiate it from lesser models in the range. Large front air intakes and full LED lights give an instantly recognisable front-end aesthetic, while at the rear there are two large oval tailpipes.
Inside, the Cupra gets a unique steering wheel, Alcantara sports seats with contrasting stitching and aluminium-finished pedals.
Despite being the most powerful car Seat has ever put on sale, fuel economy and emissions are impressive, with the Cupra 280 returning 44.1mpg on the combined cycle and emitting 149g/km CO2.
Order books are open now with the first customer cars expected for delivery in March.
If you can’t wait that long, you can always search our classifieds for a used Seat Leon here.
January 9, 2014