SEAT Unveils Upgraded Leon Cupra 290 Model Ahead of Frankfurt

After releasing the better and rather drastically improved Ibiza Cupra, the Spaniards from SEAT decided it was time for the Leon to receive a somewhat similar treatment. Their hot hatch that took on the full brunt of the Megane RS in an epic Nurburgring duel is now even more powerful.
SEAT Leon Cupra 290 6 photos
Photo: SEAT
SEAT Leon Cupra 290SEAT Leon Cupra 290SEAT Leon Cupra 290SEAT Leon Cupra 290SEAT Leon Cupra 290
Using the same 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine as a number of other models built under the huge umbrella of the Volkswagen Group, the new Cupra is now enjoying 10 extra horsepower, bringing the total tally up to 290 HP in total.

Sounds good? Well, unfortunately, the torque figure remains the same at 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) but spread over a wider range, from 1,700 to 5,800 RPM. That should be plenty considering the size and weight of the hatch. Speaking of which, we should mention that they too remained the same, with the car tipping the scale at under 1.4 tons for both 3-door and 5-door alternatives.

The ST version also gets this improved power plant if you will, the ST Cupra 290 model benefitting from the same upgrade. All cars can be fitted with an optional Performance Pack that includes a set of Brembo brake calipers, an exclusive wheel design, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

Since other visual clues on the outside will be hard to find, the new model looking the same as the old 280 HP version, SEAT decided to stick special ‘290’ lettering on the rear end. Another way to differentiate it from its predecessor is by listening to the exhaust that should give the engine ‘an even more refined tone’ according to the Spaniards.

As you were probably expecting, the sprint times remained the same at 5.7 seconds and 5.8 seconds respectively, depending on the transmission choices, regardless of body type. That, of course, means that the DSG-equipped models will be marginally faster. The same small difference also applies in terms of fuel consumption, the dual-clutch being the most efficient choice at an average of 6.6 l/100 km (35.6 mpg).

Standard features include the progressive steering, dynamic chassis control, front-axle differential lock, CUPRA Drive Profile and high-performance brake system. Furthermore, you’ll also be getting full-LED lights, Alcantara sport seats and 6.5-inch color display for the infotainment system.

We’ll be taking photos of the new model, live on the floor of the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, and you’ll probably be able to order one towards the end of the year.
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