Updated: New Seat Leon Cupra to Pack 300+ hp and 4WD
Among the bright lights and ostentatious display stands at the LA Auto show, Seat gave a few unsubtle hints as to what the next Leon Cupra will be like. In short, it’ll be like a Golf R with a different badge and most likely a slightly cheaper price tag.
We now know some more detail about the Cupra 300 which Seat has today (December 5th confirmed). The car’s power output is – unsurprisingly – 300ps, or 296hp in old money, with 280 ft lb (380Nm) of torque available between 1,800rpm all the way to 5,500rpm. If that doesn’t sound punchy enough, there is now the option, as expected, of the acclaimed DSG gearbox. What is slightly disappointing at the time of writing is that judging by the official blurb, the 4Drive four-wheel-drive system will only be available on the Seat Leon ST Cupra 300 – the estate version. We hope they apply it to the hatch in due course.
We’re big fans of the current Seat Leon Cupra 290 which has a great formula of a punchy engine, superb front-wheel-drive chassis and a well-spec’d interior. The new car, which has followed the Golf in terms of a mid-life facelift, promises even more. It’ll be the most powerful car in the Seat range for one thing, and also the first Cupra with four-wheel-drive since the first-generation Cupra 4 back in 2000.
As well as the obvious parallels to the Golf R (which itself has recently been updated) the Cupra may be a rival to Ford’s much-lauded Focus RS – depending on how far over 300hp it is. To that end, expect 0-60 to come up in less than 5 seconds and a limited 155mph top speed. Also expect it to undercut these two cars in terms of their £30k price tags.
Beneath the new styling and beefy performance, the Cupra will almost certainly benefit from the dizzying array of gadgets and connected options in the standard car. Driver aids such as automatic acceleration and braking at low speeds, adaptive cruise control, traffic sigh recognition and high beam assist make life easier behind the wheel. An 8-inch screen is the outlet for all infotainment; there’s a wireless phone charger, USB, MirrorLink Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity; you can even text, tweet or update Facebook by voice command. Why you’d need to tweet from behind the wheel is a mystery to us, though…
From the scant detail we have on the new Seat Leon Cupra we’re intrigued to see the outcome, which we hope will be as impressive as it sounds on paper.