What is it?
Nürburgring lap records, rightly or wrongly, dictate opinions in the car world. The success of a brand or model can rise or fall depending on whether you can clinch one lap record or another - and competition is fierce. Just look at the media frenzy surrounding the lap times of the LaFerrari, the Porsche 918 Spyder and the McLaren P1.
The record that's most relevant to this test is the title for front-wheel-drive production cars. Seat broke it in March last year with the three-door Leon SC Cupra 280, but the title was short-lived. Only a few months later, Renault slashed a full four seconds from Seat's lap time of 7min 58.4sec with the 271bhp Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R.
Still, Seat chose to honour its achievement with a new performance pack, dubbed the Sub8. It's available in three stages, but each builds on the standard three-door SC Cupra 280, which is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 276bhp.
Stage one of the pack, as tested here, adds orange paintwork, side skirts, lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels and 30mm larger ventilated brake discs with Brembo calipers at a cost of £2150. Stage two adds Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, taking the total cost to £2510.
Stage three is the serious option, and involves removing the Leon's centre armrest, rear air vents and front storage units, reducing the speaker count from eight to four, and replacing the standard climate control system with a smaller heater - for this radical diet, you'll pay £4200.