Seat unleashes Cupra 300 – its most powerful car ever

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Author: | Updated: 20 Oct 2016 12:08

2016 has been a stellar year for Seat, with the launch and universal praise of its first SUV the Ateca.

Seat is now looking to keep that momentum rolling into 2017, first with the launch of the new Seat Leon – traditionally the flagship model for the brand – in February, followed by the Cupra and the ST Cupra 300 in March.

ST Cupra 300

While we’re excited about the upcoming launch of the Leon, it’s the Cupra which has always stood out – not only for its scintillating performance but its striking design and alluring price.

The new Cupra promises to be no different. With its newly uprated 2.0 TSI engine putting out 300PS, it is Seat’s most powerful roadcar yet.

Increased performance = increased fun

Not only is the engine 10PS more powerful than before (up from 290 to 300), but it’s maximum torque has increased from 350Nm to no less than 380Nm, across an impressive range too, from 1800 to 5500 rpm. With such a wide band, the result is a convincing and powerful response, from the engine barely ticking over, all the way up to hitting the rev limiter.

To get the most out of what it offers, the Leon Cupra can be adapted to the drivers’ tastes thanks to Cupra Drive Profile. This allows the driver to choose from four modes - Comfort, Sport, Individual and Cupra mode.

With 4Drive traction on the ST version, allied to a double-clutch automatic gearbox, the car also comes with dynamic chassis control (DCC), a progressive steering system and electronic self-locking differential as standard. This offers the ultimate in hot hatch performance and aims to take the driving experience to another level.

Available in three bodystyles – SC, five-door and ST – UK pricing, specification and full technical information will be confirmed shortly before its showroom launch.

Or maybe you’d just prefer a standard Leon?

Seat Leon Lead

If the Cupra is too much car for you, you might be looking forward to the new Leon instead.

Blending traditional expectations of great drivability, comfort, technology and quality, the 2017 Leon comes with a raft of new additions across the range – from new engines and state-of-the-art technology to an array of driver assistance systems.

As such, very little has changed on the outside as one of the main reasons for the Leon’s success in the hatchback segment has been down to its quality design.

That’s why Seat design director, Alejandro Mesonero Romanos saw little need to alter its image, commenting: “The Leon is a very attractive model and it isn’t necessary to change its image, only reinforce it, refresh it.”

Seat Leon side

Slightly sharper design

You’ll notice that the front and rear have sharper and more assertive lines than the current model, with the intention from Seat to emphasise this look. This also extends to the bumper design, with the aim of the brand to increase the perceived size of the car by stretching the grille an extra 40mm.

Following the success of the Ateca and its vast range of driver assistance systems, the Leon has followed suit, offering drivers Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Assist and ACC. In traffic jams the car manoeuvres, accelerates and brakes automatically within the limits of the system.

Another added feature is the Pedestrian Protection System which recognises vehicles, as well as pedestrians, ensuring that safety is paramount both in the city and on the motorway.

New Seat Leon infotainment.

Further new systems include Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Detection, along with parking assist technology for both bay and parallel parking. The new Seat Leon also includes a new centre console with an electric parking brake.

Inside, the new Seat Leon offers a very high level of connectivity. This includes the Easy Connect infotainment system along with Seat’s Full Link and ConnectApp which have voice recognition and gesture control technology, meaning functions can be activated with a mere finger swipe.

New Seat Leon interior.

Trim levels

The 2017 Leon will be offered in five trim levels at UK launch: S, SE Dynamic, SE Technology, FR and the new Xcellence.

Xcellence is the top of the line trim, with its distinctive upmarket feel including luxurious upholstery, extensive trim elements and multi-colour ambient interior lighting. On the outside, it gleams with a chrome design front grille, new front and rear bumpers, and also comes with rear LED indicators.

There’s an equal amount of engines on offer too, ensuring that every driver’s needs are met. The TDI engine range begins with a 1.6 90 PS and goes up to the 2.0 184 PS, plus, it includes a new 1.6 115 PS powertrain.

In terms of petrol power, the new Leon’s options range from 110 to 180 PS, with a new 1.0 litre TSI three-cylinder 115 PS for the UK being the latest addition.

When it comes to gearboxes, the range includes five- or six-speed manual units, all well as double-clutch DSG with six- or seven-speeds.

Seat Leon range

The new Seat Leon will be available in the three existing body types – a five-door, SC (Sports Coupé) and ST (Sports Tourer).

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