Want an Audi S3 , but can’t swing the cash? Well then the Volkswagen Group’s Spanish bargain-basement brand may be able to help. There is one catch: just like the S3, this car is not available in the U.S.
The Seat Leon shares a platform with the Volkswagen Golf and the Audi A3, so bolting the S3’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine to make a Leon Cupra was an easy fix. Audi fans don’t get too scared, while the Leon Cupra makes 240 hp, the S3’s price premium buys an extra 21 hp.
The S3 also keeps the quattro all-wheel drive system exclusive. Instead the Leon Cupra keeps the front wheel drive setup of the lesser models, but that does also include XDS and ESP traction control/performance enhancing systems. The whole package is good for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 153 mph.
Press release after the jump.
With the arrival of the 2009 version of the León, the SEAT range’s most powerful and spectacular car now features even more impressive looks thanks to several elements introduced on the interior and the exterior, making it the perfect extension of the León that is making phenomenal strides at the WTCC World Touring Car Championship.
The most obvious is the new silhouette, featuring sophisticated, innovative black honeycomb cooling vents at the front beneath the central grille. The front bumper houses two further black highlights, one at each side, with the word CUPRA immediately visible on the left.
The rear features a prominent black moulding at the bottom of the bumper, a polished steel oval tailpipe and the characteristic model name in the centre of the hatch.
A side look at the León CUPRA reveals a lower ground clearance compared to the basic León version, making the car look and feel more like a racing unit. The spectacular 18 inch rims, eye-catching wheel arches and black encased door mirrors are all distinctive traits of the SEAT model.
All the interior elements are black clad, replacing the usual light tones on other models. There is a leather steering wheel with aluminium colour inserts and the CUPRA logo at the bottom and a matching gearknob. Further sporty details are the white faced instrument dials and aluminium pedals.
Special mention goes to the Leon CUPRA seats, with their true racing bucket styling, featuring integrated headrests and the “CUPRA” badge displayed on the backrests. These seats offer tremendous side support when dealing with corners and driving comfort. An attractive new option is now available in black leather upholstery with white cross-stitching.
The same as on the previous version, the new León CUPRA 2009 is equipped with the powerful 240 hp 2.0 TSI engine, which provides brilliant performance and delivers exceptional fuel consumption figures. Top speed is clocked at 247 km/h, 0 to 100 km/h acceleration takes only 6.4 seconds, and it covers a standing kilometre in only 26.4 seconds. At the same time, average combined fuel consumption is listed at 8.3 litres for every 100 km.
The new SEAT León CUPRA features such standard equipment as the XDS system, ABS and TCS, ESP with EBA emergency braking, low tyre pressure warning, driver and passenger airbag, side airbag and head airbag, climate control, cornering foglights, trip computer, cruise control, sports suspension and CD radio + MP3 + 8 speakers + Aux-in, among others.