The Volkswagen group are on a bit of a roll. There’s a potent new Audi RS3 in the pipeline, Volkswagen have just announced their most powerful Golf R and now, with the Leon Cupra R Seat have got their most powerful hot hatch ever.
Using a modified version of the 2.0-litre TSI that appeared in the previous Golf GTI, the Cupra R offers 265bhp and 350Nm of torque. A new ECU, intercooler and increased boost from the turbo are responsible for the increase in power over the standard Leon Cupra (240bhp). Like the Cupra there’s a new high-pressure fuel injection pump to feed the engine, and the six-speed gearbox has had it’s ratios changed to make the most of the extra power and torque. As you’d expect, the Cupra R’s performance is strong with 62mph arriving in just 6.2 seconds and the top speed is limited to 156mph.
19-inch Cosmos Silver ‘Potenza’ alloys (optionally available in white) are standard on the Cupra R and they cover an upgraded set of brake discs, with bright red 4-piston callipers gripping onto 345x30mm discs at the front and 286x12mm at the rear. Further modifications include stiffer front and rear springs, 35% and 30% stiffer than on the CUPRA version and a 17 mm lower ground clearance than on the basic Leon.
The Cupra R also benefits from Seat’s new electronic self-blocking XDS system. This system works together with ESP to improve the car’s performance when traction is lost by applying braking power to the wheel that loses grip. The XDS is particularly useful through bends where it stops the inside wheel from slipping and reduces understeer.
The Cupra R won’t be a shrinking violet in the looks department, taking a typically bolder stance than it’s German cousins. Expect some wild colour schemes, including the Kiwi Green you can see here (from the Custom Colours range ) as well as eight other shades – Candy White, Emoción Red, Crono Yellow, Mágico Black, Citrus, Speed Blue and the Lumina Orange and Furia Grey Custom Colors.
A new front bumper sports the ‘R’ logo and includes large honeycombed intakes, painted in the same gloss black as the wing mirrors. At the rear is a new bumper arrnagment, from under which protrudes a single oval exhaust tip in polished steel.
On the inside are bucket seats covered in a combination of grey cloth and alcantara and a set of ‘R’ logos. The dashboard features white LED lighting on the instrument dials, a leather 3-spoke multi-functional steering wheel and aluminium-clad pedals.
There’s no word on how much the Leon Cupra R will cost, although expect it to significantly undercut the Focus RS and Golf R.