New SEAT Leon Cupra revealed

The new SEAT Leon Cupra gets more power than a VW Golf GTI at a knockdown price

The SEAT Leon Cupra will undercut the Golf GTI by around £500 and offer a significant power advantage when it is launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

It’s set to be one of the fastest hatchbacks in the world, and there are two different versions available. First of those is the £25,690, three-door manual SEAT Leon SC Cupra, which gets 261bhp and can reach 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds. Compare that to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, which takes 6.5 seconds to go from 0-60mph, and the figures are even more impressive.

If that’s not enough power, you can opt for the DSG automatic-equipped Leon SC. Called the SEAT Leon Cupra 280, it gets 276bhp and can get from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds. Both the manual and DSG-equipped, five-door Cupras also get the 280 treatment and are priced from £28,525. All Cupras are limited to a top speed of 155mph.

Underlying SEAT’s commitment to making the Leon the fastest hot hatch on the market are rumours that the Cupra is quicker than the Renaultsport Megane 265 around Germany’s gruelling Nurburgring race circuit. It is generally thought to be the benchmark for fun-to-drive hatchbacks.

To take on the Renault, the Cupra gets clever electronics that give it added grip through the corners, while the car’s dampers can also be adjusted to make the suspension more comfortable or better at resisting body lean. The five-door version adds to the equipment list with grippier tyres, larger 19-inch alloy wheels, and powerful brakes for quicker stopping.

SEAT has worked hard to move this version of the Cupra away from the ‘boy racer’ image of the older models, so only a subtle body kit, larger wheels and twin exhaust pipes hint at the performance on offer. SEAT will, however, be offering a limited-edition version that has looks inspired by the firm’s Leon race car.

Despite the huge performance, all Cupras get stop-start technology to help them return economy of up to 44.1mpg and emissions of 149g/km of CO2 for annual road tax of £140.

All Cupra models come with generous equipment levels, including powerful full-LED headlights, a DAB digital radio, plus automatic lights and wipers. The Cupra 280s also get a rear spoiler, gloss-black wing mirrors, red brake callipers, and sat-nav.

Order books for the SEAT Leon Cupra are open now.

For more information on the SEAT range, visit the Carbuyer SEAT reviews pages.

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