Seat’s Altea midi-MPV is the latest model to get a performance makeover under the sub-Cupra ‘FR’ tag.
Power comes from an uprated version of the VW Group’s 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine – also set to feature in hot versions of the Golf and Passat - with modifications to the turbocharger and fuel injection system raising power from 138 to 168bhp.
Driving the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, it’s enough to propel the Altea from rest to 60mph in under 9sec and on to a top speed expected to top 130mph while still returning over 40mpg. A dual-clutch DSG automated manual version could follow after launch.
To harness the extra power, chassis improvements include firmer springs and thicker anti-roll bars and there are larger brake discs – ventilated to the front - all round.
In keeping with the sporting theme, the Altea has undergone an aggressive makeover. There is a deep air intake and honeycomb grille up front, while a faux air diffuser sits alongside a pair of chrome exhaust pipes to the rear. Titanium housings for the door mirrors, 17in alloy wheels and FR badges complete the look.
Inside there is a pair of heavily bolstered and FR-branded sports front seats, along with black-on-white instruments, new grey/black trim and a three-spoke sports steering wheel.
The FR is expected to cost around £18,000 when it goes on sale next March.
Meanwhile, an image released by Seat of its new WTCC contender gives a strong clue to the styling of next year's Cupra version of the Leon. The aggressive front air dam is expected to feature on the 240bhp hatch, along with a version of the racer's DSG transmission.