Seat is getting its new Leon Cupra ready to be released on the market. It will be more powerful than the VW Gold GTI and cheaper as well. The sporty three door SC has recently been pictures which in testing at the Nurburging. There have been confirmations that there will be a five door offering and an estate model as well.
There are a few clues in the pictures to reveal that this is a hot hatch. It has 19 inch alloys which have been seen in the VW golf R and Scirocco R but there will be bespoke rims in the final models. Behind these are the large brake discs with the red calipers on. There are also large tailpipes which are bookending the rear bumper which is quite different to the left sided pipes that are normally seen in a Leon.
It has been badged as a top spec model but it is expected that there will be a more interesting body and more vents around the front grille area of the car.
This new vehicle will have a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine and that will give around 260bhp. This is higher than the old Leon Cupra R model, which is what would be expected as Seat tends to offer more power in its hot hatched than Skoda or VW do. It is possible that a Leon Cupra R could appear with 280 bhp which would then overtake the Vauxhall Astra VXR. It is also likely there will be an estate version as a rival to the Ford Focus DT estate which offers 247 bhp. (Not to be confused with Seat ST cars which are their Sports Tourer wagon models.)
There will be only a front wheel drive option in the Cupra range and there will be a six speed dual clutch or manual transmission. The last model used an ESP programme that was electronically powered to brake the inside of the front wheel when it was cornering but the new car may actually use the hardware from the Golf GTI performance pack.
It is expected that the Leon Cupra will be seen in its production trim by the end of this year because it is expected to be on the market next spring. It does mean that its closest competitor, the VW Golf GTI MK7 will have a years advance on sales but with the Leon Cupra expected to be cheaper than the £25,845 price of the Golf, this could have a big impact on sales.