The new Seat Leon Cupra 280 is set to be the most powerful series production road car the Spanish brand has ever produced.
The 276bhp 2.0-litre turbo-powered hot hatch will be offered in both three-door SC and regular five-door forms, priced from £26,940 for a six-speed manually equipped SC Cupra 280. A slightly detuned SC Cupra with 261bhp will also be offered as a base version, priced from £25,690.
A Cupra 280 equipped with the optional six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission will crack the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.7sec and reach a top speed limited to 155mph. Even the base SC Cupra model dips under 6.0sec to 60mph with a time of 5.9sec. The peak torque figure of 258lb ft between 1750 and 5300rpm is the same for both versions of the car.
That headline figure of 276bhp for the Cupra 280 surpasses the 261bhp of the Cupra R version of Seat’s previous-generation Leon, which was until now the firm’s most potent road car.
To help channel drive to the road, the front-wheel-drive Leon Cupra range is equipped with a mechanical locking differential. The steering features a variable-ratio rack, while the suspension consists of MacPherson struts at the front and multi-links at the rear. The electronic stability control can be fully turned off and the DCC chassis control system includes a Cupra mode to firm up the suspension. The Cupra 280 is said to be 55kg lighter than its predecessor.
Other features include a sound actuator to enhance the engine noise in the cabin, start-stop as standard and claimed combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 149g/km in its most frugal form.
The new Cupra range gets a typically sporty look, including larger front air intakes, a pseudo diffuser, bespoke 18in alloys and twin oval exhausts. Cupra 280 models are differentiated from base Cupras by an aerodynamic pack that includes a rear spoiler, 19in alloys and bespoke black trim inside and out.