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SEAT Leon Cupra R launches in the UK

Nine months after its debut in Frankfurt, the Seat Leon Cupra R has gone on sale in the UK.  The new model uses a four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 261 horsepower (195 kW / 265 PS), more than ten percent higher than the Leon Cupra.

Still, this is not the "most potent Leon yet," as claimed by the automaker in a press release.  Though strong, the Dutch market's limited edition Cupra 310 gets the benefit of 306 hp (228 kW / 310 PS), while the German market has access to the Cupra Edition, which has access to 282 hp (210 kW / 286 PS).

Drivers will be pleased with the 350 Nm of torque, an increase of 17 percent over the Cupra, and the short-throw six-speed gearbox.  The Cupra R has 1.9 bar turbo pressure at maximum output, and 2.2 bar pressure at maximum torque (1.8 bar standard)), and features high-pressure fuel pump to boot.  The performance upgrades let the car sprint from 0 to 62mph in 6.2 seconds, on its way to a 155mph top speed.

At the same time, the car gets 34.9 mpg, while spewing out only 190 grams of CO2 per kilometer.  Other features include XDS, a system that retools the anti-lock brakes to mimic a limited slip differential.  Stability control, traction control, and emergency brake assistance is also included.

Also seen on the car are 19-inch Potenza wheels, available in silver or white, glossy black details, a rear diffuser, spoiler, and center-mounted dual exhaust tailpipes. 

Customers in the UK can expect to pay £25,205, with production held to just 500 units per year.  The first Seat Leon Cupra R will be delivered imminently.

SEAT's scorching Leon Cupra R is here!

Just weeks after SEAT launched its most economical Leon to date in the shape of the latest Ecomotive the stylish Spanish brand is teeing up the showroom debut of its most potent Leon yet: the awesome Cupra R.

While the green-themed new Ecomotive with its road tax-busting CO2 rating of just 99g/km is all about economy and environmental responsibility the 265 PS Cupra R is, undeniably, aimed at ultra-hot hatch enthusiasts with high octane fuel coursing through their veins.

Storming into UK showrooms now, and due to face the glare of the nation's motoring media at a launch event in the next few days, the latest Leon is nothing less than the most powerful SEAT yet offered for sale in the brand's 25-year UK history.

That 265 PS power peak is the product of a tuned 2.0-litre, four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine - revised by the engineers at SEAT's state-of-the-art Technical Centre in Martorell to make it more potent, even, than the current Leon Cupra which is good for a still impressive 240 PS from its 2.0-litre powerplant.

The 16V petrol engine features a new, high-pressure fuel pump injector to satisfy the greater performance demands and allow it to meet strict EU5 emissions standards while revisions to the electronic engine management system, plus increased maximum turbo pressure (1.9 bar at max output and 2.2 bar at max torque, versus 1.8 bar for the 240 PS 2.0-litre TSI in Leon Cupra) complete the powerplant changes beneath the SEAT's svelte ‘clamshell' bonnet.

The torque generated by the new Cupra R's refined and willing engine is, arguably, even more impressive than its power peak. No less than 350 Nm is on offer at just 2,500 rpm - that's a full 50 Nm more than the already muscular Leon Cupra.

Naturally, the challenge of harnessing all this urge in a front-wheel drive set-up has been comprehensively met by SEAT's engineers who have applied a host of effective yet unobtrusive aids to the task.

XDS - SEAT's clever electronic system which uses enhanced ABS functionality to mimic the operation of a traditional limited slip differential - ESP stability control, TCS traction control and EBA emergency braking assistance are among the new car's standard-fit kit and work together to help keep things on the straight and narrow.

The result? Near-supercar levels of acceleration and performance. The benchmark 0-62 mph dash is dispatched in only 6.2 seconds while, where legal, Leon Cupra R drivers can thence press onward to a top speed of 155 mph. Impressive stuff.

As impressive, perhaps, is the new Leon's frugality. Combined economy of 34.9 mpg and CO2 limited to just 190 g/km make the newcomer among the ‘greenest' ultra-hot hatches around. Not green enough to qualify for the brand's Ecomotive badge, of course, but markedly more environmentally responsible than a number of rivals which have CO2 emissions of 220 g/km and above.

The Cupra R's standard six-speed manual gearbox has not escaped the development engineers' attention either: modifications include a shorter ‘throw' (down by six millimetres) to help the driver achieve even faster changes.

As stylish as it is swift, the latest Leon has undergone a number of bespoke styling modifications, inside and out, to elevate its kerbside appeal and deliver the necessary air of exclusivity demanded by what will be an elite hot hatch.

Among the changes are the addition of sporty twin central exit exhaust pipes within a customised rear diffuser, discreet extended high level rear spoiler, subtle ‘R' badging and the careful application of gloss black highlighting inside and out.

The new ebony black front seatbacks even give rear seat occupants a taste of the Cupra R cabin upgrade, while the prominent ‘R' logo incorporated on the seatbacks leaves no one in any doubt about the identity of this super-quick SEAT.

Mighty 19-inch ‘Potenza' wheels, available in traditional silver alloy or contemporary white finish, mark out the ‘R' as something extra special and ensure the car becomes the first SEAT model to use 19-inch wheels on this platform.

UK pricing for the new Leon Cupra R is confirmed at £25,205, production is limited to around 500 in a full year, and the first customer cars are due to be delivered within weeks.

Welcoming the long-awaited arrival of SEAT's most powerful model to date the brand's UK Product Marketing Manager, Andy Medcraft, said: ‘The Leon Cupra R is a special car for us not just because it is the most powerful, fastest and most extreme production model we have yet made.

‘It also clearly illustrates what makes SEAT stand out from the crowd, and is our brand's familiar 'auto emoción' slogan made metal.

'We're anticipating a huge surge of interest around the showroom debut of this exclusive car and I know our dealers nationwide can't wait to welcome it.'

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Comments (8)

richard_x
Strange reaction hellbound, seat is currently active in the WTCC championship, and doing more then well showing the BMW and chevy the rear side of the car. Maybe you don't need to worry that much you will only see the rear side from your car. :) maybe a bmw ?
Jun 21, 2010 6:30 am
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Neo67
It's not realy the same price...
Jun 21, 2010 5:47 am
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Neo67
Mikeado: The Scirocco with the same engine+front wheels drive don't have any probleme, so the Leon Cupra R to, the XDS is very good! N20: I don't think so....she is the less expansive of is classe!
Jun 20, 2010 2:56 pm
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Mikeado
No better Hot Hatch for the same price? Focus RS? Megane 250?
Jun 20, 2010 5:11 pm
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N20_Purge
Looks good, but I'm pretty sure there are better Hot hatches for the same price though.
Jun 19, 2010 11:28 am
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Mikeado
260 horsepower? You can almost feel the torque-steer just looking at it. VW gave the 270PS Golf R AWD for a reason (the Leon shares the same platform). It's a damn sight cheaper than a Golf R though. Makes sense.
Jun 19, 2010 8:14 am
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sub39h
and yet they didn't give the Scirocco R AWD and it's also based on the same platform. don't get me wrong, i think this thing will handle like a pig, but i reckon there's probably a good engineering/financial compromise being made here, which is why they haven't given it AWD
Jun 21, 2010 7:41 pm
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Hellbound
£25k, not a chance. Get it in black if you must, anything to hide that ridiculous grill surrounding the Seat badge. I'm counting down the days Seat has left before they're sold off by VAG.
Jun 19, 2010 12:58 am
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