Cupra Ateca Destroys Leon Cupra R in Drag Race

Cupra Ateca Destroys Leon Cupra R in Drag Race 4 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot/Quattroroute
Cupra Ateca Destroys Leon Cupra R in Drag RaceCupra Ateca Destroys Leon Cupra R in Drag RaceCupra Ateca Destroys Leon Cupra R in Drag Race
So far, the Cupra Ateca has received the cold shoulder from the automotive press, with most people saying that it's too dull to be the first car of a new brand. But frankly, the demands of those who wanted fruity exhaust and 350 horsepower were ridiculous, when Cupra delivered precisely what it should have, a fast crossover for not a lot of money.
This is the first drag race we've ever seen, and the result is as satisfying as it is predictable. Yes, the hot Ateca is over 200 kg heavier than the Leon Cupra, but due to its standard AWD system, it's way faster too. Cold weather swings the advantage even further.

A good launch control system is not something that should be taken lightly. Just look at big SUVs like the VW Touareg and Audi Q8, which are a little slower than claimed. But the DSG+AWD combo in the Ateca makes it a rocket off the line.

It and the Leon have the same engine, making 300 HP. The performance difference comes from the AWD, which makes better use of the available torque off the line. On a track or above say 50 km/h, that advantage is turned into a loss. That's why the Cupra that set the Nurburgring lap records was a simple manual model, for lightness.

To illustrate our point, the Italians at Quattroroute also dip a lap time test on a near-frozen track. Under these conditions, the Leon Cupra R was faster by over a second. It's a good result for the Ateca, actually, since it's over a second faster than a Stelvio 280. However, it's worth pointing out that the standard Leon Cupra R has ten less horsepower and inferior handling characteristics. Also, if you want AWD, you can have it in the ST Cupra wagon.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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