New SEAT Leon Cupra Is Unleashed In London

SEAT Leon Cupra

SEAT Leon

SEAT revealed at the British International Motor Show its most powerful and exciting production model to date - the new Leon Cupra. The unveiling marks the first time the Spanish brand has used a UK show for a World Premiere.

Presented in London by Dr. Andreas Schleef, President of SEAT S.A., the new Leon Cupra is the most potent symbol yet of both SEAT and its famous motto, ‘auto emoción’. With purposeful, race-track-inspired looks allied to a driving experience designed to appeal to serious enthusiasts, the new Cupra is the most focussed hot hatch SEAT has ever made.

The 2.0-litre T FSI powerplant nestling under the Cupra’s menacing snout is an even more potent version of the 200 PS petrol engine used in the just-launched Leon FR. For the Cupra, this direct-injection unit has evolved to pump out a heady 240 PS (179 kW).

The new Leon’s performance more than lives up to the high standards promised by its legendary ‘Cupra’ badge. From a standing start, this hottest SEAT will blast to 62 mph in only 6.4 seconds, before going on to a maximum speed of 153 mph, where permitted.

Distinguishing the Cupra from other Leon models are a raft of design touches. These comprise new front bumpers - similar to those on the FR, but with extra black elements - attention-grabbing 18 inch alloy wheels, black door mirrors and a polished steel oval tailpipe. Inside, the atmosphere is distinctly sporty, with bucket-style sports seats, exclusive Cupra steering wheel, gearknob and pedals, and black trim.

The Cupra joins the FR at the top of the hugely successful new Leon range, and will be launched in the UK early next year. The new Leon has performed fantastically in a highly competitive area of the UK market, with sales up 69% year-to-date (to end of June) compared with the same period last year. Indeed, March was the best sales month so far in the Leon’s six-year UK history, with 2,183 sold. This was achieved without FR and Cupra models - all the more impressive as these two hot models accounted for around 45% of previous Leon sales, and are set to take a similar stake in the new range.

Published 21 July 2006 Melanie Carter

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