Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New Leon Cupra Is One Hot SEAT

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New Leon Cupra Is One Hot SEAT

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Russon

HOT hatch fans are going to have to do some serious head scratching in the next few weeks.

A new Leon Cupra is on the way from SEAT and it outguns the Golf GTI in every way.

And perhaps with the exception of the smaller Ford Fiesta ST it puts SEAT at the top of the pile when it comes to serious hatchback fun.

Get down to basics and all that is common between the performance version of SEAT's new hatch and its VW stablemate is the platform on which they sit.

The SEAT has more power, more performance, more glitz and is some PS2,000 cheaper than the latest version of the iconic GTI.

In the Leon Cupra SEAT has taken the VW Group's two-litre TFSI turbo engine to new levels and it is available with 265 or 280bhp.

By comparison the same engine in the hottest Golf currently develops a mere 220bhp and that won't be surpassed until the arrival of the 300bhp Golf R in the spring.

The Leon Cupra is stunningly quick yet very manageable with top notch dynamics delivering a positive feel in every aspect.

A multi-mode drive control switches the car from comfort settings to a firmer, sportier ride in the blink of an eye but the Leon's handling characteristics are sublime in all circumstances.

SEAT has even conjured up a preprogrammed Cupra drive mode to take the car to its limits while for those who know what they are doing the set up can be configured to individual tastes and stored in the electronics for instant reactivation. With either engine the new Cupra is incredibly agile, jinking through curves with astonishing precision.

To keep everything in check the Spanish car maker has devised a limited slip differential for the front axle which can channel all of the engine's power to a single wheel if necessary.

It eliminates torque steer which can plague high powered front wheel drive cars while still delivering excellent feedback.

As such, the Leon Cupra is a hot hatch par excellence and it comes with all the requisite style trappings such as sculpted bumpers, spoilers, twin exhausts and tinted glass.

In the expanded Leon line up the Cupra is available in both three and five door body shapes. …

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