Seat launches 237bhp Leon Cupra
18 July 2006

This is the new Leon Cupra, the much-anticipated go-faster version of Seat’s Focus-sized hatchback, revealed at the British motor show this morning (18 July).

Although it looks similar to the warmed-up Leon FR launched earlier this year, under the bonnet is a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged TFSI engine, pumping out 237bhp. That makes the new Leon Cupra the most powerful production Seat ever.

Performance is brisk, with a 153mph top speed and 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds. Average fuel consumption is an impressive-for-the-performance 32.8mpg.

The chassis is lowered and lightened, with a modified power steering system that is claimed to improve feel. Stopping power is provided by 345mm ventilated discs up front, with an uprated Brembo brake system available as an option.

As you’d expect for a sporting flagship, the Leon has pumped-up styling, with extended front and rear bumpers, side skirts and a jutting exhaust pipe, while Seat is especially proud of the ebony black door mirrors and special 18-inch alloys. It does look very similar to the FR, though – and nowhere near as dramatic as the Supercopa Leon racing car.

Inside there are deep bucket seats, red highlights on the wheel and gearstick, white instruments and a black rooflining.

Seat’s touring car drivers James Thompson and Jason Plato, unveiled the car at ExCeL. The firm’s President of the Executive Committee Dr Andreas Schleef said, “We had two reasons for unveiling the car here in London. Firstly, the UK is the strongest market for the Cupra brand. We have always been successful here in that area of the market. And secondly, the Leon is leading not only the World Touring Car Championship but also the British Touring Car Championship.”

The Leon Cupra should be on sale by January, with prices expected to start at around £20,000 – about the same as the 40bhp less powerful VW Golf GTi, but around £1000 more than the three-door only Vauxhall Astra VXR, and £2k more than the base Ford Focus ST.

Other British motor show newsChrysler Sebring makes debut in LondonLexus launches limited-edition GS300New Vauxhall Corsa is goFocus CC priced to beat TwinTopFord's 'green scheme' marches onQ&A with Jaguar's Ian CallumMazda brings the rain for MX-5 Roadster CoupeMore Rs in Jaguar's rangeQ & A with M Division bossKia reveals new Focus rivalNo charge for electric carQ&A: Citroen designer Leighanne EarleyConnaught's V10-powered British coupeFord boss reveals vision of green futureCaddy Escalade heads for Blighty

 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals