This model was caught testing at the Nurburgring
This is the first time a development mule for the Leon Cupra has been seen
Drivers should be able to choose from a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox
A top speed in excess of 155mph is expected
The test model sports larger air intakes and lower suspension than the standard Leon
Rumours suggest it will launch next year
Seat is also evaluating a 300bhp, all-wheel-drive Leon Cupra R
The Seat Leon Cupra has been photographed for the first time.
Due to go on sale early next year, this early prototype sports large air intakes, significantly lowered suspension and a new rear exhaust design. The new Leon Cupra will be front-drive only, but still pack around 265bhp from its 2.0-litre turbo engine.
As with the standard car, power is expected to be transmitted through either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox.
The car's interior is expected to receive bespoke elements to seperate it from the standard Leon and three-door Leon SC.
An even hotter version of the Leon, the Cupra R, is also in development. Rumours suggest it will be a 300bhp, all-wheel-drive Leon, and will act as a performance flagship for the new Leon line-up.
The model would be equipped with a highly tuned 300bhp version of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI’s EA888 engine hooked up to a dual-clutch DSG gearbox and all-wheel drive. A 0-62mph time close to 5.0sec is being indicated by sources, as is a top speed in excess of 155mph.
Other features of the Cupra R prototype, our sources indicate, include launch control and a special ‘Cupra’ driving mode that significantly sharpens up the driving experience.
Quad exhausts, lowered sports suspension and a subtle bodykit are also expected for the Cupra R, as are sports seats and new sporty trim for the interior. Three- and five-door versions of the Cupra R are plotted.
Internet rumours suggest the Cupra R will launch in 2014, after the launch of a non-R Cupra for three- and five-door and estate body styles.
Elsewhere in the Leon line-up, the Leon ST estate is in line for four-wheel drive next year, although it has yet to be decided whether this will be offered in the UK. Seat is also planning an ST with Audi Allroad-style body cladding and raised suspension for a rugged, off-road look.