Although Seat has been active in motorsport for well over 40 years, it’s only in the past 20 that you’ve been able to purchase a swift Spaniard for the road. The story begins with the Ibiza Cupra, a car that was developed alongside the Ibiza Kit-Car that won the World Rally Championship for F2-spec cars.

While the Ibiza was based on the same architecture as the Volkswagen Polo, it shared the same 148bhp 2.0-litre engine as the Mk3 Golf GTI 16v. With just over 1100kg to push around, it could crack 62mph from rest in a brisk 8.3sec. It was a good package, and the Ibiza rally car would go on to win three world titles for Seat.

Four years later, the Ibiza Cupra R was launched. Based on the same platform, it ditched the old naturally aspirated 2.0-litre engine for a 1.8-litre turbocharged lump taken from the larger Leon 1.8VT. Power was up to 178bhp and the 0-62mph time down to just 7.2sec, setting the scene for more rapid Cupra models.