What is it?
There’s something decidedly satisfying about a fast estate car. A good one lets drivers make compromises without feeling that life is getting the better of them - and this limited edition Leon might just be one of the best of the breed. As we know, Cupra makes Seats go faster, and this is the fastest of the lot, so far.
The Leon Cupra R Abt 4Drive ST (try casually dropping that little lot into a conversation) begins life as a regular Leon Cupra ST. The R version brings about a host of stylistic changes – real carbon-fibre, fake carbon-fibre, Cupra copper colouring, Alcantara, you get the picture – while the Abt element (a £500 option) sees the German tuning house delve into the matrix of the engine’s ECU and upgrade the exhaust to release 345bhp.
There is nothing clever about the way this has been achieved. But what matters is that the result edges the Leon closer to the current crowd of hyper hatches and does so with the full permission of Seat, so buyers can sleep soundly at night knowing the manufacturer’s warranty remains intact.
Just 150 of these will be sold in the UK, and a third have already gone. In addition to the cosmetic enhancements and boosted four-cylinder turbocharged engine, Cupra has fitted new uprights to better manage the front suspension assembly, and tweaked the negative camber to 2 degrees, at the front and back, to better maintain each tyre’s contact patch when you’re playing a cheeky game of harrying a Porsche 911 driver in what, to the untrained eye, could pass for a diesel Seat estate.