Power boost for new SEAT Leon Cupra 290

The 286bhp hot hatchback is the most powerful production SEAT ever

SEAT has announced a more powerful version of its hot hatchback, named the SEAT Leon Cupra 290. The latest version of the high-performance hatchback has been given a power boost of around 10bhp.

Now putting out 286bhp in total, the Leon Cupra 290 should remain one of the sharpest hot hatchbacks on the market.

With rivals like the Honda Civic Type R and upcoming Ford Focus RS offering more than 300bhp, the Leon Cupra needs this power boost in order to remain competitive. It still accelerates quicker than less extreme rivals such as the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The sprint from 0-62mph is dealt with in 5.8 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox, or 5.7 seconds if you choose the slick six-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic. The car is limited to a top speed of 155mph. It can return up to 42.8mpg fuel economy, while CO2 emissions of 149 grams per kilometre translate to annual road tax of £145, if you specify the three-door version with DSG transmission.

The 290 features a brand-new differential – a gadget that splits power between the front wheels to improve grip when cornering in front-wheel-drive cars like the Leon. In this case, up to 100% of the power can be diverted to either wheel in order to maintain maximum grip.

Progressive steering adjusts the amount of weight you feel through the steering wheel, so it becomes light during parking manoeuvres and tight urban driving, but adds feel when you’re on a fast country road.

Little has changed in terms of the exterior and interior design, but kit like full-LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels and SEAT’s Driver Profile system is present. The latter lets you choose between Comfort, Sport and Cupra modes to suit your driving style. You also get SEAT’s Full Link system, which integrates MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into one connectivity platform, allowing your smartphone to interface with the car.

As with the rest of the Leon Cupra range, you can also choose to specify the Sub8 Performance Pack, which adds larger brakes from Brembo, unique alloy wheels and grippy Michelin sports tyres.

The power boost comes just days after SEAT announced that they have revised their smaller hot hatch, the SEAT Ibiza Cupra.

For more information on the current SEAT range, visit Carbuyer’s reviews page.

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