What exactly is it?
This is actually the features, top dog from the Seat Leon range – probably the most effective, most focused and many extreme variant from the brand’s Ford Focus rival. It comes down outfitted with similar turbocharged 2.-litre engine because the supercar-aping Volkswagen Golf R, too as lots of performance hardware to create a base-level Porsche Cayman seem under-gunned.
We first drove it in The country late this past year and were astounded by its eye-widening mix-country pace and quickened responses. However, with all of 24 United kingdom-bound types of the model offered out, we have our very first time in a single on British roads to actually test how adding unique adaptive dampers and a few pretty extreme (by production vehicle standards) negative camber affect its real-world performance.
The car’s engine produces 306bhp, like the Golf R, but there’s no Haldex clutch to juggle power between your front and back axles here, because drive is distributed solely towards the front wheels. Torque is controlled with an electronic locking differential that’s taken straight from the Cupra 300.
What’s it like?
Indicate point, even on the bumpy British B-road, the Leon Cupra R could make ground as quickly as other things with seatbelts along with a horn. It doesn’t chew in to the tarmac under turn on corner exits just like a Golf R – with two-wheel drive, obviously it can’t – however the front wheels grip the top with your fantastic amounts of traction the Cupra R’s rampant powertrain could be exploited with enthusiasm.
Frequently, focused hot hatches can seem to be excessively harsh and brittle on Britain’s busy road surfaces. However the Cupra R, using its distinctively tuned suspension, will a fine job of dissolving the vibrations generated by creases within the tarmac. It’s firm, particularly at low pace, however the faster you decide to go the greater effectively the vehicle glides over ridges within the road. That being stated, it’s not really forgiving like a Golf R, but to become fair, that was to become expected.
The Cupra R is extremely clearly more worried about being driven like your hair’s burning, so charge right into a corner on the trailed throttle and also the front finish will respond eagerly. The additional negative camber (it’s been almost bending) enables the vehicle to actually lean into its front tyres (our vehicle came with optional Michelin Cup Sport 2 tyres as opposed to the standard Continental SportContact6s), encouraging the rear-finish to in excess of-rotate a couple of levels. It’s less laugh-out-loud mobile because the Honda Social Type R or Renault Sport Mgane (which advantages of four-wheel steering), but it provides the vehicle a far more loutish demeanour.
That’s matched through the engine’s tone, which sounds more aggressive compared to Golf R’s because of a less restrictive (when it comes to volume) exhaust that beguiles with pops and crackles off throttle once the car’s set to the top Cupra mode – that is new for that R. Much more satisfying may be the snort of overrun whenever you pull for any quick upshift with the car’s tightly gaited six-speed gear box. United kingdom buyers aren’t offered a dual-clutch automatic like other markets, but our experience suggests the Cupra is even more rewarding for this.
Dial things in comfort mode and also the Cupra R is really as supple like a warm hatch so that as docile like a mid-spec diesel, even though it never completely winds to exactly the same extent because the Golf R. The blip of throttle on start-up is a continuing indication you’re within the hottest Leon to create production yet.
Must I purchase one?
The question ought to be preceded by ‘Can I purchase one?’ because, unless of course you’re among the 24 Brits or 775 individuals from other markets who’ve already purchased it, you’ll have to hang about until the very first Cupra R arrives at the 2nd-hands sell to bag one.
Even though you could purchase one, you may have a problem justifying the cost because, as exciting because it is, you’re parting with 34,995 for any Leon. Take into account that the just as fast and more playful Social Type R is 4000 cheaper, as the RS Mgane, which on first impressions may be the Social Type R’s greatest threat, is anticipated to become almost 6000 less, which figure only appears bigger.
On the other hand, possibly that’s missing the purpose. The Cupra R is neither probably the most extreme nor diversely gifted from the class, but it’s an explosive model for Seat aficionados and you’d be difficult-pressed to locate certainly one of individuals not amazed by its performance.
Where Surrey On purchase Offered out Cost 34,995 Engine 4 cyls, 1984cc, turbocharged, gas Power 306bhp at 5800-6500rpm Torque 280lb foot at 1800-5700rpm Gear box 6-spd manual Kerb weight 1453kg Top speed 155mph -62mph 5.8sec Gas mileage 38.7mpg CO2 170g/km Rivals Honda Social Type R, Renault Mgane Renault Sport 280