Currently reading: Hot new Seat Leon Cupra gets 276bhp
Seat’s new 2.0-litre turbo hot hatch comes in 261bhp and 276bhp forms, priced from £25,690

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.

Read more Geneva motor show news.


Read our review

Car review

New hot hatch promises to outgun its rivals, including the Volkswagen Golf GTI

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Chris from TheC... 9 January 2014

276bhp? When I read the title

276bhp? When I read the title I was thinking that pretty damn powerful for a Seat Leon, then I start reading and you say it's the most powerful car they've built, not bad, Seat, not bad at all. I like the look of it too, a lot of car makers spent the last decade making their cars rounder and modern. And with this and the 2014 WRX I'm starting to think they're going back to hard extreme angles, it just makes the car look that much more manly and aggressive, and that's what we want!
Next year I want to see the Veyron beating 1100bhp Seat Ibiza haha!
mdouth258 9 January 2014

Start of Rant

I'm bored with the whole Audi drivers being c**cks thing. It was funny when Clarkson made the joke in 2007. Its old... find a new group of motorists to pick on that aren't middle lane hoggers, tailgaiters, youths or pensioners. Or van drivers. Or lorry drivers. Or motorcyclists. Oh no... that is all the categories that can be picked on... Maybe that means that the car forums will be used to discuss cars and not their drivers. Wouldn't that be a novelty!

End of rant

Beastie_Boy 8 January 2014

Don't worry VainAudiS3Buyer

I've been called a c**k once or twice (even by people who I suspect meant it!) and I've a Seat.

Being a cock isn't just the preserve of you Audi owners, it's something many of us are guilty of, despite our choice of car.