SEAT Leon Cupra R Review
The 1.8 litre 20 valve turbo engine replaces the 210 PS version originally available in the Leon Cupra R.6 March 2005
How It Drove - Performance
The 1.8 litre 20 valve turbo engine replaces the 210 PS version originally available in the Leon Cupra R. It has been fine-tuned to deliver 225 PS at 5900 rpm, enabling the Leon Cupra R to accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and continue to a top speed of 150 mph. This performance makes the Cupra R a reference point amongst front wheel drive cars in its segment.
The Cupra R is the ultimate Leon - power delivery is near instantaneous and it is designed for quick and safe motoring. The acceleration and top speed are complemented with Brembo brakes, ventilated discs all round and for those of you who wish to wear your brakes on your sleeve, the 'four pot' callipers are painted red. All Leon's are equipped with ABS (anti-lock braking system) and EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) as standard. The brakes are very effective and felt perfectly in tune with the car.
The Cupra R features a 6-speed gearbox, which enables you to reach 60 mph in second gear and then carry onto 150 mph. The gear change is superb offering precise and fluid changes. Fuel consumption is very good returning 32.1 mpg on a combined cycle - not back for hot hatch delivering 225 PS.
One word of caution - unless you are restrained with the throttle you could find yourself relying on public transport.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
The SEAT Leon Cupra R is equipped with sports suspension as standard which lowers the car all round by 15 mm, firming up the ride, tightening up the handling and giving it a more aggressive stance on the road. The sports suspension pack also includes a rear anti-roll bar.
The Leon suspension has MacPherson struts at the front with trailing arms and an anti-roll bar on all versions. At the rear, there’s a semi-independent set-up with longitudinal arms and coil springs.
The Leon Cupra R features SEAT’s 'agile chassis concept', known as DSR (dynamic steering response) which was developed especially for the Cupra R. Central to DSR is the adoption of a revised and further lowered (6mm at the rear) suspension geometry with a new sub-frame at the front that is mounted to the chassis using compliant silent bloc bushes. A thinner (19mm) front anti-roll bar is anchored directly onto the spring/damper assembly to minimise interference caused by the vertical movement of the suspension. The sub-frame assembly adds greater torsional stiffness to the car’s body shell, which has a positive effect on the Cupra R’s handling. Revised spring damper rates and silent bloc mounts at the rear enhance the small degree of passive rear wheel steering which is built into the chassis to improve precision and rapid response to direction changes.
The Cupra R is fitted with 18” wheels and 225/40 ZR tyres all round, of course the tyres will tramline and there is the expected torque steer, but it really isn't that bad and it is counteracted by an electronic differential. Ride is always pretty much composed but with sports suspension lowering the car, you certainly feel in touch with the road. One problem we faced was grounding the front spoiler of the car on our favourite Devon country lanes. We mowed the grass growing down the middle of many a lane and had to be very careful pulling out of a side road onto the main road, purely because we were going to rip off the front spoiler. Again in town we faced the same problem over the hideous speed humps that litter our towns and cities.
SEAT Leon Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||SEAT Leon Cupra R|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Platinum Grey Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||150 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||42.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year or 60,000 mile (whichever comes first) warranty from date of first registration|
|Price (when tested on the 06/03/05)||£18,055 OTR |
Car as tested £18,380 including £325 for Metallic paint