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SEAT Leon Cupra R Comes with 310 HP, Copper Trim and Disappointment

As the best looking and possibly fastest car SEAT has ever made, the Leon Cupra R is brilliant. However, we're slightly disappointed with one of the most hotly anticipated hatchbacks, and the hardcore Cupra fans are likely to feel that way too.
SEAT Leon Cupra R Comes With 310 HP, Copper Trim and Disappointment 2 photos
Photo: SEAT
2018 SEAT Leon Cupra R
Put simply, the Cupra R reminds us of French hot hatch projects like the Peugeot 308 GTi or DS3 Performance. It's available with fancy trim and even flat paint. But we always thought the Cupra brand was all about performance and technology.

The range-topping model now packs 310 HP (metric), compared to the 300 HP all other Leon Cupra versions have. The press blurb isn't clear about this, but torque should stay the same at 380 Nm.

A six-speed manual is standard, but if you switch to the optional DSG, power will drop down to 300 again. Also, despite sharing the letter R with the performance Golf, all-wheel drive isn't available on the Cupra R.

That's we feel reluctant to call this the fastest SEAT ever made. The Cupra 300 4Drive wagon takes just 4.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph), while the Cupra R will probably need around 5.5 to 5.6 seconds (official numbers aren't available).

To set it apart from the regular version, SEAT has given its special Leon carbon spoilers at the front and back. Both sets of bumpers have been revised as well, while copper trim decorates the intakes, badges, mirror caps and alloy wheels.

The undeniably attractive body kit seems to have fender flares and side skirts. Our disappointment may be washed away when a new Nurburgring lap record is announced, thanks to a tweaked suspension, drive modes, and Brembo brakes. However, those are usually short-lived and lack significance when cars become too expensive or are built in small numbers.

Ahead of the Frankfurt IAA debut, SEAT has already announced that 799 examples of this mighty Leon will be made available, although pricing hasn't been disclosed yet.

This is the third time a Leon Cupra R went on sale. The first came between 2002 and 2005, while the second launched in 2010 and had 25 HP more than the standard 240. So you see, we had pretty high expectations.
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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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