Cupra, the performance offshoot of the SEAT brand, has released its hot take on the Leon. Available in both hatchback and estate forms, it will produce as much as 306bhp in its most potent form, but will also be offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Designed, engineered and built at Cupra’s new purpose built facility in Martorell near Barcelona, the Cupra Leon will face rivals like the Hyundai i30N and Ford Focus ST. It’ll also need to fend off competition from within the Volkswagen Group itself: both the Skoda Octavia vRS and VW’s own Golf GTI will make its debut shortly.
From the outside, the Cupra Leon sports a more menacing look than its SEAT relative - and not just because of the two unique matte paint finishes available. The front bumper has a large open air dam, plus the new copper-coloured logo on the nose. Depending on the model, there’s a choice of 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels finished in silver, black or a mix of copper and black.
Inside, the copper theme continues, with highlights on the seat stitching (there’s two types of sports seats to choose from), air vent surrounds, and the steering wheel. The wheel itself is similar in design to the SEAT Leon, but gains two new switches: one starter button, and another to adjust between one of four drive modes: Comfort, Sport, Cupra and Individual.
The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel gets a new ‘Sport’ menu view, which places the rev counter prominently to the centre of the driver’s view, while showing power, torque G-force and turbo boost readouts.