Storming into UK showrooms now, and due to face the glare of the nation’s motoring media at a launch event in the next few days, the latest Leon is nothing less than the most powerful SEAT yet offered for sale in the brand’s 25-year UK history.
That 265 PS power peak is the product of a tuned 2.0-litre, four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine - revised by the engineers at SEAT’s state-of-the-art Technical Centre in Martorell to make it more potent, even, than the current Leon Cupra which is good for a still impressive 240 PS from its 2.0-litre powerplant.
The 16V petrol engine features a new, high-pressure fuel pump injector to satisfy the greater performance demands and allow it to meet strict EU5 emissions standards while revisions to the electronic engine management system, plus increased maximum turbo pressure (1.9 bar at max output and 2.2 bar at max torque, versus 1.8 bar for the 240 PS 2.0-litre TSI in Leon Cupra) complete the powerplant changes beneath the SEAT’s svelte ’clamshell’ bonnet.
The torque generated by the new Cupra R’s refined and willing engine is, arguably, even more impressive than its power peak. No less than 350 Nm is on offer at just 2,500 rpm - that’s a full 50 Nm more than the already muscular Leon Cupra.