SEAT dealers are getting ready for the arrival of their most powerful, quickest accelerating and fastest production car of all time, the new 262bhp SEAT Leon Cupra R.
Surprisingly it’s been four years since we last saw the Cupra R badge on a Leon, and back then it could only manage 225bhp from a turbocharged 1.8-litre unit. Now the engine capacity is up to 2.0-litres and the turbocharged power output is up by 37bhp, with noticeable improvements in performance. The 0-62 mph time is just 6.2 seconds while the top speed is 155 mph. Peak torque is also up to 350 Nm at just 2,500 rpm, up 50 Nm on the standard Leon Cupra.
Engineers at SEAT’s state-of-the-art Technical Centre in Martorell have worked to modify the existing 2.0-litre, four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine’s electronic management system as well as boost maximum turbo pressure to generate the Cupra R’s extra power and torque. Other changes include a revised high pressure fuel injection pump and the six-speed manual gearbox has been given a new set of ratios.
The Leon Cupra R shares much with its more expensive German cousin, the Volkswagen Golf R. As you’d expect from the VAG group many of the mechanicals are the same, but the styling changes are also similar – subtle ‘R’ badging front and back with gloss black highlighting inside and out. While the Golf R gets a little more power (268bhp) than the Leon Cupra R, the Leon hits back with bigger 19-inch Potenza alloys (18-inch on the Golf) and quilted leather bucket-style front sports as standard.
There’s one area that the Leon Cupra R really wins, and that’s on price. The cost of a new Leon Cupra R is confirmed at £25,205, making it a full £5k cheaper than the Golf R and almost £3k cheaper than a Ford Focus RS. Should you be tempted (and if not, why not?) the order books will open on April 1st.