SEAT today unveils the quickest and most powerful series production car it has ever made: the SEAT Leon Cupra 280.
Every Leon Cupra completes the benchmark 0-62 mph sprint in less than six seconds, while all manual versions return exceptional 44.1 mpg average fuel consumption.
But the Leon Cupra is a car whose development was led by the pursuit of dynamic excellence. To that end, every Leon Cupra comes as standard with a mechanical front axle differential lock, a progressive steering system that sharpens the turn-in for improved agility, DCC dynamic chassis control to alter the suspension settings between sportier or more comfort-oriented, and two-stage deactivation of the electronic stability control (ESC) – including the ability to turn it off entirely.
Cupra stands for power, performance and dynamics – and the new Leon Cupra and Cupra 280 have all those qualities in abundance. The Cupra 280, with optional DSG transmission, catapults from zero to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds, or 5.8 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox equipped; every Cupra model has a 155 mph limited top speed.
Against this, the new Leon Cupra is astonishingly efficient. The average fuel consumption for both power variants is just 44.1 mpg with a manual gearbox equipped, and 42.2 mpg with DSG. This equates to CO2 figures of just 149 g/km and 155 g/km; by comparison the second generation Leon Cupra R with 265 PS emitted 190 g/km CO2.
Emotional design is a great strength of the Leon family. For the new Cupra, this has been developed one step further. The new front end, with its large air intakes and full-LED headlamps, ensures a powerful look, as does the rear skirt with its diffuser effect and the two oval end pipes. The alloy wheels are exclusive to the Cupra, while the red brake callipers and tinted side and rear windows underscore its individuality.
The focus of the interior is on the Cupra sports steering wheel in its own unique design, complete with shifting paddles for the optional DSG transmission. The sports seats, in dark grey Alcantara finished with white stitching, are another interior highlight. Black full-leather upholstery, likewise with white stitching, is also available. The pedals and entry sills are made from aluminium.
The Cupra 280 is visually differentiated by its unique 19-inch wheels with a titanium paint finish, plus the Aerodynamic Pack, which comprises a spoiler on the rear roof edge, Cupra lettering on the brake callipers and black exterior mirror housings. The trim elements in the cockpit of this top sporty variant are a deep glossy black.
In the UK, additional standard equipment for the Leon Cupra over and above the FR model (and the aforementioned styling details) includes 18-inch alloy wheels, full-LED headlights, DAB digital radio, SEAT Media System Plus, aluminium front door sill trims with Cupra logo, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights.
The Cupra 280 is distinguishable by its standard 19-inch alloy wheels, gloss black mirror caps, black exterior mouldings and frames, black rear roof spoiler, red brake callipers with Cupra logo, and black interior inserts. Satellite navigation comes as standard with the Cupra 280, too.
The new Cupra starts at £25,690 which will buy you a SC Cupra three door. At the top end a Cupra 280 DSG will set you back £28,525.