Remember the SEAT Leon Cupra 280? Launched at the start of 2014 to a flood of praise and accolades (including from myself), it was seen as one of the best hot hatches on the market. Well, that’s so last year, because the Cupra 280 is gone.
Instead we’ve got a Leon Cupra 290 and, as you might have guessed, it’s got a power increase of 10PS courtesy of a mild ECU remap. Which might not seem like much but, as a certain supermarket giant likes to remind us, every little counts. It takes the Leon’s output even closer to the Golf R, beats the Focus ST with ease and matches the Megane 275’s recent power hike.
Not that you’ll notice much difference. The official acceleration times for the Cupra 290 are exactly the same at 5.7 seconds for the DSG and 5.8 for the manual transmission and top speed is still limited to 155mph. Economy and CO2 emissions are identical but the peak torque of 350Nm is at least available across more of the rev range than before, from 1,700rpm all the way to 5,800 rpm.
Of course, you could go to an aftermarket tuner and get 4 or even 5 times the power increase along with some extra torques for a few hundred quid. The trouble is that might upset SEAT’s warranty department so if you want a little more power this is one way of getting it without affecting your Leon’s warranty.
No official word on prices yet but expect to see a slight increase from the 280’s £28,485 OTR.
2015 SEAT Leon Cupra 290 Specifications
|Model||2015 Leon SC Cupra 290||2015 Leon SC Cupra 290 DSG||2014 Leon SC Cupra 280||2014 Leon SC Cupra 280 DSG|
|Transmission||6-speed manual||6-speed dual-clutch automatic||6-speed manual||6-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|Engine||2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol||2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol||2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol||2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol|
|Power (PS / bhp)||290/287||290/287||280/276||280/276|
|Torque (Nm /lb.ft)||350/258||350/258||350/258||350/258|
|Kerb Weight (kg)||1,395||1,421||1,395||1,421|
|0-62 mph (s)||5.8||5.7||5.8||5.7|