Currently reading: Seat Leon Cupra spotted - first pictures
265bhp Leon Cupra in development for 2014

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 Seat 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. 

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Demonic Soul 26 September 2013

I like the current Leon but I

I like the current Leon but I hate the fact that all these VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars are just clones of each other. The only thing that differs is the build quality depending on which badge you buy. They need to axe one of the brands at least and I think Seat would be the one to go.

Ollieo 26 September 2013

This is sadly true. 99% of

This is sadly true. 99% of the car buying public are bedazzled by figures - mph, bhp, 0-60 - and that's enough of a sales pitch. You can't blame manufacturers for catering to that - there is a lot more money in high-performance hot hatches, where the profits to be made are no doubt larger.

Enthusiasts will always want a car with 'feel' and 'handling prowess', but when some people have only driven one or two cars in their life, what do they have to compare it to? The average joe will probably take a 208GTi out and think it's the bees knees!

That said, I still think there is a hot hatch market (or 'warm hatch' as it is known now, sadly) for some of the smaller manufacturers that don't have a pedigree to compete on such a huge level.

MG are missing a trick by not launching a honed sporty hatchback that not only plays up to their past, but coincides with the fact they are racing in the BTCC too. Seems like a no-brainer to me... It's not like they have much to lose!

dukebox9reg 26 September 2013

There just moving the goal

There just moving the goal posts. People winge about light weight etc etc but when car makers stick their head out and make them, nobody buys them, Twingo RS, Swift sport (you don't see that many of them about)

Manufacturers are always trying to cater by doing warm versions of their smallest cars (the same size as the older C segment cars) but nobody buys them. Most people nowadays don't want a car with 130bhp where to get that power you have to be within 1 mm of the redline.

For example how many Focus ST's do you see compared to the Twingo and Swift, a lot more. I think I've seen more Mk2 Focus RS's then both of them in fairness. You cant complain, its not the manufacturers fault, its the customers.