What is it?
Seat’s performance boffins have been busy beavering away to make their quickest hot hatch even faster. The already rapid Leon Cupra 280 model has been replaced with this new 290 version that gains an extra 10bhp over the old model. That takes power up to 286bhp.
Not only is it more powerful, the Leon’s peak torque output is available over an extra 550rpm: it now arrives slightly sooner at just 1700rpm and hangs around until 5800rpm. Despite the increase, emissions and economy are unchanged.
Helping performance and also generating a sportier sound is a new exhaust system. This has a lower backpressure than the previous pipework and is also 5.8kg lighter. Rounding off the changes is Seat’s Full Link infotainment system that supports Mirrorlink, Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
As before, you get a limited-slip differential up front to keep things under control, plus the option of a Sub8 Performance Pack, which adds bigger Brembo brakes with four-pot callipers and lightweight 19in wheels. If you’re really serious, you can have sticky track day spec Michelin Cup 2 tyres, too.