It’s been less than a month since the regular model’s unveiling and performance variants of the fourth-generation Seat Leon have broken cover, now badged exclusively under the Cupra name.
Unveiled in both hatch and wagon guises, the latest hot Leons sport a mildly more aggressive appearance than their standard counterparts, with a reworked front fascia with angrier intakes and new grille, plus side skirts, sporty rear diffuser, unique alloy wheels, quad exhaust tips (on higher grades) and an array of bronze accents.
Inside, performance-oriented touches include a Cupra-badged flat-bottom steering wheel, heavily-bolstered sports seats, alloy sports pedals, dark aluminium dashboard trim and bronze contrast stitching.
The technology suite from run-of-the-mill Leons carries over, with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, 10-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation and smartphone mirroring, and LED ambient cabin lighting.
Under the bonnet, a selection of petrol engines are on offer, with buyers able to opt for electrification for the first time.
Dubbed ‘e-Hybrid’, the PHEV Cupra Leon sports the same powertrain as the Volkswagen Golf GTE, combining a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor for a total of 180kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
A 13kWh lithium-ion battery delivers a 60km WLTP range and CO2 emissions of just 50g/km – a recharging time of 3.5 hours using an AC wallbox is claimed.
Core Cupra variants are powered by the familiar Volkswagen Group 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, matched exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
‘Base’ variants produce 180kW/370Nm, while mid-spec models develop 221kW/400Nm – both tunes are available in either hatch or wagon bodystyles, with front-wheel-drive and a standard-fit electronic limited-slip front differential.
Long-roof Leon customers have the option of a hi-po 228kW/400Nm version of the same engine, paired to a Haldex-based all-wheel-drive system. It can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in under 5 seconds, towards an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.
Hiding behind the 19-inch alloy wheels – fitted as standard to all variants bar the 180kW 2.0-litre – are 370mm front Brembo brakes with copper calipers. All Cupra Leon variants ride 25mm lower up front and 20mm lower at the rear, thanks to new adaptive dampers.
The Cupra Leon hatch and wagon will make their public debut at next month’s Geneva motor show, ahead of an on-sale debut in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2020.