SEAT officially unveils the new Leon Cupra

We brought you initial pics and details last week, and today, SEAT made it all official in London where factory Touring Car drivers James Thompson (WTCC) and Jason Plato (BTCC) pulled the checkered cover off the all-new Leon Cupra.

To refresh your memories, the Cupra is the latest tasty morsel from the Spanish automaker. The stylish hatch has VW's 2.0T FSI four-banger lurking underhood, tuned to produce 240 horsepower. So equipped, it makes the run from 0-62 in 6.4 seconds, topping out at an impressive 153 mph. Somehow through all this the Cupra (if you resist the urge to drop the hammer all the time) can average over 30mpg in fuel consumption along the way.

Distinguishable by its curvy body, tough aero kit, and 18" wheels, the Cupra also creates an inviting driving environment for it's pilot and passengers, with sport seats, contrast stitching, and a slick variation on the already-excellent VW-sourced dash and instrument cluster.

We wish we could get it here!

(Additional info and photos after the jump)

[Source: SEAT] SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra
SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra
SEAT Leon Cupra SEAT Leon Cupra

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SEAT presents the new León Cupra at the London Motor Show
  • With 240 hp, the most powerful Cupra
  • Spirited with the racing León, leader at the WTCC and BTCC
  • The UK market leads in León Cupra units sold
SEAT presented its new León Cupra this morning at the London Motor Show, where WTCC driver James Thompson and BTCC driver Jason Plato, unveiled the new model produced at the Martorell facilities. Together with their team-mates, they are currently leading the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)classification, and also in the lead at the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

SEAT President Dr. Andreas Schleef said that the choice of London to present the new model, "which can be defined as our street version of the León WTCC" was not purely by chance, since "the UK is where the most SEAT León Cupra units have been sold". In fact, sales of the SEAT León range have increased by 72% in the UK over the previous year. Dr. Schleef also pointed out that SEAT has increased its sales in the UK by more than 12%, a significant figure when bearing in mind that the market has decreased by 4%. In Europe, total SEAT sales grew by more than 5% from January to June compared with first-half sales in 2005.

The most powerful Cupra model

Since the first León Cupra appeared in 2000, SEAT has progressively been improving its engines so that the Cupra is the brand's flagship, beginning with the 204 hp, and the 215 and 225 hp Cupra R. Now, the 240 hp 2.0 TFSI provides the León Cupra with performance levels worthy of a WTCC car – a top speed of 247 km/h and 0 to 100 acceleration in only 6.4 seconds.

Another traditional defining trait of the Cupra is its spectacular looks and sporty interior. The new León Cupra is no exception, and features magnificent 18 inch rims, the usual polished steel oval tailpipe, specific steering wheel and gearknob and black interior trim. Similar to the Ibiza Cupra, it also sports the Cupra logo in the centre of the rear hatch, and features ebony black door mirrors. One of the most outstanding novelties in its interior are the exclusive sporty bucket seats.

The León FR reaches the UK market

The León Cupra will not have the exclusive for sportiness at the SEAT booth in London. The new León FR can also be admired, which has recently gone on sale in the UK market. With a 170 hp 2.0 TDI diesel and a 200 hp 2.0 TFSI petrol engine, the León FR is SEAT's sporty answer to those who crave high performance without resorting to the radical Cupra solution.


Once again, the most powerful SEAT production car: Cupra

# The spirit of the León WTCC in a León road car
# Powerful 2.0 TFSI 177 kW (240hp) engine
# Exclusive and striking styling

The new León Cupra is hitting the roads – a vehicle in which SEAT has implemented all of the knowledge gained during the current successful World Touring Car Championship season; the Spanish make is, in fact, one of the favourites for the WTCC constructors and drivers championship. For SEAT, whose goal is to create sporty cars with cutting-edge design and the latest technology, the arrival of the new León Cupra is not just a source of satisfaction and pride; it is also essential.

The new Cupra is also a record-breaking car: it is the most powerful SEAT passenger car to date. With 240 hp, the new model sits at the top of SEAT's sporty range. The León Cupra's advanced engineering, allied to its agile chassis, looks set to create a stir in the increasingly competitive hot hatch market.

Winning looks

One outstanding feature of the Cupra series has been its powerful and aggressive styling compared with the rest of the range. This is also the case for the new León Cupra.

From the outside, the León Cupra demands attention. Its exclusive front bumper has larger air intakes than usual in order to enable sufficient airflow to cool the 240 hp engine, which purrs away under the chiselled bonnet.

An outstanding feature at the rear of the car is the lower section's black finish, which emulates the León WTCC's diffusers. Another unique Cupra feature is the polished steel oval exhaust pipe. The word "CUPRA", which appears below the rear logo, marks out the new model from other versions. In profile, the Cupra's most striking feature is its stunning, exclusively designed 7.5J x 18" wheels, as well as the 'ébano' black door mirrors.

But to really appreciate the feeling of being in a true sports car, you actually need to step into the new Cupra. The ultra-sporty seats are the first feature which catches the eye. In fact, the Cupra's seats are so focussed that they could genuinely be racing car seats. They surround the body and include an integrated head restraint.

The second feature that sets the Cupra apart from other versions of the León is its black interior. The car's pillars and roof are black instead of the usual cream-grey combination. The Cupra's interior colour scheme perfectly sets off its key features: the striking leather perforated steering wheel against a red background, the gear stick, the white instrument panel and the sporty metal pedals. Each and every one of these parts bears the unmistakable Cupra logo.

A racing car at heart

Now let's turn to the León Cupra's key feature, the reason why customers will go for this model over any other: its spectacular 2.0 TFSI 240 hp engine. This is the most powerful engine ever installed in a SEAT production car.

With this engine, the León Cupra achieves performance worthy of a WTCC track car with a top speed of 247 km/h, or 153 mph. The Cupra accelerates from 0 to 100 in only 6.4 seconds. Furthermore, it covers the first 1000 metres in only 26.4 seconds. In terms of in-gear acceleration, the León Cupra goes from 80 km/h to 120 km/h in fifth gear in 6.4 seconds. In sixth gear, this takes 8.2 seconds.

Even though the car's performance is highly sporty, it is also capable of returning impressive fuel consumption, with an average of only 8.6 litres per 100 km (around 32.8 mpg). (Performances and consumption provisional).

A racing chassis

In order to successfully transfer all of the engine's power to the road, the suspension elements of the León's proven and effective agile chassis have been adapted, while its weight has been reduced. The power steering system has also been modified in order to give the Cupra an even sharper feel compared with other Leóns. These changes provide the highest levels of driving precision, as expected from the most focussed and sporty model in the SEAT range.

The Cupra's high performance capabilities require brakes that are equally impressive - and the new model delivers, with a powerful system featuring striking red-painted callipers. The front ventilated discs are sized at 345x30 mm, which is larger than those used on the rest of the range. And if that was not enough, the Cupra can also be fitted with an even more capable Brembo brake system as an option. This four-piston system offers enhanced stopping performance and improved resistance to high temperatures.

Circuit sound

Another León Cupra feature worked on by SEAT is the all-important soundtrack from the engine bay. New SEAT SOUND exhaust systems have been developed so that drivers can really experience the sporty nature of the Cupra. These systems boost the richness of the engine sound and the feeling of power at low revs, and can be experienced both outside and inside the car.

The feeling of sporty acoustics and sheer engine power is accentuated when moving off from a standing start, performing low-speed manoeuvres, accelerating and braking at full speed and at low revs.

World leader

The León Cupra, which could be called the road car version of the León WTCC, shows off the technological skills used in vehicle design, development and production by SEAT. It was created both at the SEAT Martorell site.

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