The Spanish arm of the Volkswagen family, Seat has just added a new version to its sporty Leon lineup of hot hatches to make the all new factory tuned Seat Leon Cupra R the most powerful vehicle in the automaker’s history because it is powered by a 2.0 Liter TSI engine that produces a maximum output of 265 HP that allows the Spanish sports car to sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 6.2 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 155 MPH.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 321702

The car’s increased performance under the hood is only accentuated by the new ten spoke 19 inch rims that are actually five pair of skinny split spokes that hide the large red brake calipers behind them. Both the front grill and rear hatch get a distinctive R badge complete with trailing checkered flag to let the world know that this is a special kind of Leon Cupra no matter whether you are coming at it head on or watching the Seat get smaller and smaller as it zooms on by.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327763

The interior of the Seat Leon Cupra R is upgraded with a sporty set of bucket seats wrapped in grippy grey Alcantara upholstery, while the instrument cluster is lit up by a series of white LEDs. As far as the drivers tactile connection to the car is concerned, Seat has fitted the most powerful Cupra with a leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel and some sporty aluminum pedals to make this car look as good as it goes.

UPDATE 06/21/2010: Just nine months after we got a first look at the new Seat Leon Cupra R, it has gone on sale in the UK. The new Cupra R gets a four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that has 261 horsepower. That is a massive 10 percent more than the old Leon Cupra.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

SEAT is beginning the second half of the year with the same punch as it ended the first half, keeping up with the launch of new products that are making the Spanish brand’s range the freshest and youngest on the market.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 321700

This year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, being held from 17-27 September, is the backdrop for the unveiling of SEAT’s new León CUPRA R, the sportiest, most powerful model in the company’s history thanks to its awesome 265 hp 2.0 TSI engine and a long list of exclusive interior and exterior detailing that redefine its stunning new looks and personality.

The CUPRA R crowns the León’s sportiest range, providing a tempting offer of both equipment and engine line-ups.

High-tech, high-speed performance

The new CUPRA R has earned a special chapter in SEAT’s history book. Equipped with a 265 hp engine, it is the brand’s most powerful car, and matches the output of the champion SEAT León TDI raced at the WTCC. These credentials are revealing of SEAT’s new model’s excellent performance output and figures.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 321702

The focal point on the new León CUPRA R is its 265 hp direct injection 2.0 TSI engine. Its main characteristics are its tremendous power, easy torque transmission and elasticity. The car’s new engine also features a new, high-pressure fuel pump injector to satisfy its greater performance demands, while fully complying with strict EU5 emissions standards.

The new León CUPRA R powerhouse delivers performance levels worthy of a WTCC car – a top speed of 250 km/h and 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in barely 6.2 seconds. It also covers a standing kilometre in only 25.7 seconds. These competition-class figures are achieved with the fuel efficiency of only 8.1 litres on average to cover 100 km.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 321699

The high level of exclusivity of SEAT’s new model is easily identifiable on both the outside and inside by the distinctive letter ‘R’ readily visible on the central grille and at the lower right of the hatch, the right instrument dial and the remote control key. The exclusive CUPRA logo graces the front bumper on the lower left, the centre of the hatch, the steering wheel and the seat backrests.

Further distinctive detailing on the CUPRA R that underlines its racing spirit are the spectacular 19 inch, five double-spoke wheels shod with 235/35 tyres. The wheel assembly also enables a set of generous 17 inch 345 x 30 mm front disc brakes with 16 inch 286 x 12 mm at the rear given the greater braking capacity needed by a car that harnesses 265 hp beneath the bonnet.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 321698

The interior features eye-catching competition styled bucket seats in grey alcantara upholstery, white LED lighting on the instrument dials, a leather multi-functional steering wheel and an aluminium pedal arrangement. With its prevailing shades of black, the passenger compartment of SEAT’s new model is as comfortable as any higher segment car, and the view from the driver’s seat is as impressive as the cockpit of a race car.

The CUPRA R version displays an extensive line-up of standard equipment, including ABS + TCS, ESP + EBA, electronic self-blocking XDS, front airbags, 2 side airbags, 2 head airbags, passenger airbag disconnection, rear window seat Isofix anchoring points, low tyre pressure warning, automatic lights on, rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensor, cruise control, tri computer, cornering foglights, dual zone climate control and CD radio + MP3 + 8 speakers + MDI, among others.


The new León CUPRA R is easily recognisable on the road. The new ‘R’ version builds on the essentially sporty lines of today’s León CUPRA with a number of distinctive features that round off its upgraded image with a yet more ‘racy’ look. The front end grabs your attention. An exclusive honeycomb mesh central grille with a black surround and the letter ‘R’ on the right are the car’s most obvious trademarks. As on the CUPRA versions, too, the sophisticated air vents beneath the grille enhance its sporty appeal.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 321701

Another tell-tale CUPRA feature seldom found on other cars are the pronounced shoulders that house the headlights. A black character stripe runs the length of the front bumper and the word ‘CUPRA’ stands out on the left. Finally, there is a larger trapezoid-shaped cooling grille, with cornering fog lights built in at the sides.

From the side, the car’s exclusive 19-inch Cosmos Silver ‘Potenza’ wheel rims (optionally available in white) are shod with ultra-low profile 235/35 tyres, and the five double-spoke rims reveal enormous red brake callipers. The disc sizes and four-pot callipers provide the immediate braking response obviously required by a car in this class.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327759

The side view includes gloss black door mirrors, which lend the car a personal touch and echoes the mirror treatment of the entire SEAT CUPRA range.

The rear of the car also clearly identifies the SEAT León CUPRA R. As at the front, a more blunt bumper with a prominent black moulding enhances the car’s racy looks. A polished steel oval exhaust pipe, the model name in the centre of the hatch and the letter ‘R’ at the lower right of the hatch (also seen on the key control and engine block) complete the check-list.

Sporty interior

Inside this extreme new SEAT, great pains have been taken to ensure that the passenger compartment detailing reflects the car’s sporty exterior. Extensive use of black and grey helps conjure up the sporty atmosphere of a race car cockpit.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327773

The first thing you see when opening the doors of the new León CUPRA R are the competition-styled bucket seats with a combination of grey cloth and alcantara upholstery, integrated headrests and the CUPRA logo on the backrests. These comfortable seats provide great lateral support in tight bends and, as on the CUPRA version, an attractive new option is available: black leather upholstery with white cross-stitching, highly reminiscent of ‘70s competition cars.

There is a three-spoke multi-functional leather steering wheel with aluminium colour inserts and the CUPRA logo at the bottom, plus a matching gearknob with a newly designed gear diagram. The competition-style wheel is flattened at the bottom, with ergonomic grips at either side. The instrument panel is lit with self-regulating white LEDs, and the letter ‘R’ can be found at the bottom right of the left-hand speedometer dial.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327774

The centre console houses the warning switches, in black, the ESP disconnection and a new row of buttons which includes the parking sensor disconnection. Design modifications have also been made to the climate control and the new satellite navigation system, which blend in perfectly on the León CUPRA R. Finally, no self-respecting CUPRA R vehicle would be complete without a set of racing aluminium pedals and footrest to round off a comfortable driving position.


"It’s the most powerful car ever built by SEAT – and, in fact, is as powerful as the Leon touring car racer, putting out 261bhp from a two-litre turbo petrol engine, the same unit found in the Audi S3. (TopGear)

The new CUPRA R is equipped with a turbo-charged 265 hp (195 kW) 2.0 TSI engine, making this car the most potent production SEAT to date. The engine settings have been carefully calculated to deliver its 265 hp output, brilliant performance, moderate fuel consumption and EU-5 emissions compliance.

The most powerful in the range

turbo-charged 265 hp 2.0 TSI engine; top speed of 155 mph and 0 to 60 mph in 6,2 seconds

The new engine on the CUPRA R is a development of the familiar 2.0 TSI. Its 265 hp comes from a different engine management set-up, as well as greater turbo pressure compared to the 240 hp engine: 1.9 bar at maximum output and 2.2 bar at maximum torque compared to the 1.8 bar of the 240 hp 2.0 TSI. On both the 240 and 265 hp versions, the 2.0 TSI engine features a new, high-pressure fuel-injection pump and modified catalyst in order to comply with EU-5 emissions standards; the intercooler connection pipe is also different on both models – the 265 hp version including a higher-performance intercooler.

As a result, the 265 hp engine helps the CUPRA R to a top speed of 250 km/h (self-limited), 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in only 6.2 seconds and 0 to 1,000 metre acceleration in only 25.7 seconds. 350 Nm of torque is generated between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm, guaranteeing brilliant in-gear acceleration – 5.7 seconds from 80 to 120 km/h in 5th and 7.1 seconds in 6th.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 321703

The León CUPRA R’s TSI technology also means a much lower fuel consumption than might be expected of a 265 hp high performance hatch; only 8.1 litres on average for every 100 km. The CUPRA R also features usefully lower emissions levels than many of its rivals, as its 190 g/km on average make it the most efficient car in its segment with this power output.

Custom gearbox

The six-speed manual gearbox fitted in the CUPRA R has also been modified compared to the 240 hp version. Reinforced to withstand the car’s 265 hp and 350 Nm output, the 5th gear has been designed with fewer teeth, giving it greater transmission resistance while maintaining virtually the same gear ratio.

Other modifications carried out by the Martorell Technical Centre include reinforcing the synchronising rings on 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th gears, while 3rd and 5th gears feature an extra rectification after the tightening process. The gear lever movement is also now 6 mm shorter than before for even faster gear changes. The 265 hp 2.0 TSI on the León CUPRA R warrants a new exhaust system and the tail section has a new silencer to adapt to the demands of the new engine.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327776

Efficient cooling system

The León CUPRA versions feature an engine cooling system that responds faithfully in any situation. The larger radiator with welded tube technology provides better cooling to deliver greater performance. In order to enhance the radiator’s heat exchange function, both the León CUPRA and the León CUPRA R are equipped with a tandem electro-ventilator arrangement made up of a twin 300 and 200 W ventilator.

The front intercooler is cooled by channelling air to the exterior through optimised deflectors that maximise the airflow-pressure ratio. In order to achieve this, it was necessary to adjust airflow to the maximum in relation to the exterior design of the bumper. Finally, part of the pleasure derived from driving the León CUPRA R comes from the spectacular engine roar developed by SEAT engine acoustics engineers. The effect on SEAT’s most powerful car can immediately be felt, and heard, by the driver and front passenger.


SEAT’s Agile Chassis is responsible for transmitting the 265 hp output delivered by the new León CUPRA R’s engine to the road surface. On this version, the chassis has been enhanced to make it one of the sportiest, most effective in its segment. SEAT technicians worked to find the most appropriate settings to maximise traction capacity and performance; thereby delivering an agile car capable of effectively dealing with any combination of road surface and layout.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327732

Electronic self-blocking XDS as standard

The new XDS system on the León CUPRA R is key to helping transmit it’s the car’s prodigious horsepower to the road, in the process guaranteeing the highest levels of safety, precision and control. In combination with ESP and TCS, this system acts as a self-blocking differential without the need for any additional mechanicals. It anticipates wheel traction loss and limits power to the wheel that is potentially losing grip.

This system provides a similar feeling through the steering wheel to that of a car with a conventional self-blocking mechanism, and considerably improves the capacity to transmit power from the driven front wheels to the ground. Especially through tight twists and turns, this prevents the inside wheel from slipping and reduces understeer. The result is a car with unbeatable handling and sporty driving pleasure. The system also combines perfectly with ESP for enhanced active safety.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327745

The SEAT León CUPRA R’s trademark sports performance, agility and quick response provides driver and passengers alike with added driving comfort. Modifications have been made to the front and rear shock absorbers, too, to create a smooth, precise ride on winding roads and motorways, and the front and rear silentblocks have been lengthened by 1.5 and 17 mm, both compared to the FR and CUPRA versions.

Further modifications include stiffer front and rear springs, 35% and 30% stiffer than on the CUPRA version, and a 17 mm lower ground clearance than on the basic Leon. The anti-roll bar, meanwhile, maintains the same diameter. As on the CUPRA version, the brakes have been reworked to do justice to the new SEAT’s power output. The CUPRA R sports larger ventilated disc brakes than on the rest of the range, featuring a 345 x 30 mm arrangement at the front and 286 x 12 mm at the rear.

New steering parameters

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327769

The León CUPRA R is the first Volkswagen Group model to use 19-inch wheels on this platform, guaranteeing a more immediate steering response with a much lower slip angle.

The SEAT Technical Centre adapted the software parameters of the power assisted steering to the specific requirements of the CUPRA R, resulting in a greater level of assistance at lower parking speeds and less assistance at medium speed. These modifications have increased the steering wheel’s sensitivity to torque variations, maintaining the habitual linear torque progression with steering wheel angle, while it remains the same at high speeds to ensure agile lane changes.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327755

The spectacular 19-inch ‘Potenza’ wheels are shod with 235/35 tyres and are available in white or Cosmos Silver; their five double-spoke structure revealing flashy red brake callipers.

Every imaginable driving aid

The SEAT León CUPRA R is fitted with all available driving aids such as ESP, ABS + TCS + EBA + EBV.

Hill Hold Assist is another electronic driving aid found on the new SEAT León CUPRA R. It helps by keeping the vehicle stationary on a slope for two seconds when the brake pedal is released prior to accelerating. This prevents the car from rolling forward or back, and makes city driving and manoeuvring more comfortable.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327768


The SEAT León CUPRA R is equipped to the highest levels. Its full electronic equipment line-up includes countless active and passive safety and comfort features, as well as items that enhance the model’s sporty nature.

Driver and passenger safety are paramount, with the possibility of protection from up to eight airbags – two at the front, two front side airbags, and a head airbag at the front and rear. These six airbags come as standard, with the option of rear side airbags. The rear window seats are also equipped with Isofix anchoring points for child seats.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327770

As well as the XDS system, other standard active safety measures include ABS, TCS, ESP and EBA emergency breaking that activates the hazard lights when engaged. The car’s anti-theft device is a standard, volumetric motion sensing alarm. Furthermore, the León CUPRA R is equipped with other electronic driving aids such as cruise control and a driver-defined maximum speed warning system.

The standard sports seats are highly distinctive on the CUPRA R, featuring a combination of grey cloth and alcantara upholstery, integrated headrests and the CUPRA logo on the backrests, with the optional possibility of ordering the car with black leather upholstery and white cross-stitching.

The lighting system includes new headlights and tail lights, optional bi-xenon lights with the AFS system that now features daytime driving lights ahead of the 2011 deadline for obligatory installation. It also comes with standard cornering fog lights that greatly improve visibility.

Fingertip navigation

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327771

The satellite navigation system is completely new. It combines audio equipment and navigation system with a touch screen and SD memory card slot. The screen displays information related to navigation, audio, telephone and climate control. The Integral Parking Pilot has front and rear sensors, and the Optical Park System displays the proximity to obstacles surrounding the vehicle on its screen, as a visual back-up to the warning beeps.

Another new system is the MDI Multi Device Interface, which provides USB or Aux-in connectivity to external audio sources through a discreetly located twin-lidded slot. The car is also equipped with an upgraded version of the terminal that regulates the telephone, with even more Bluetooth functions.

The instrument panel also features new displays such as a digital instant speed indicator and recommended gear function. There’s also a new menu selection concept, new languages, a multi-function indicator and vehicle condition display.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327775

Many of these functions can be controlled via the buttons located on the new multi-functional steering wheel. The clusters on the left side operate the audio/telephone, with the menu control functions on the right.

Finally, the new SEAT León CUPRA R is available in nine body colours – Candy White, Emoción Red, Crono Yellow, Mágico Black, Citrus, Speed Blue and the Lumina Orange, Kiwi Green and Furia Grey Custom Colors.

The León CUPRA R comes with the following standard equipment on the Spanish market:


  • ABS + TCS
  • ESP + EBA
  • XDS system
  • Front airbags
  • Two side airbags
  • Two head airbags
  • Passenger airbag disconnection
  • Rear window side Isofix anchoring points
  • Height adjustable seatbelts with fastening warning (driver side)
  • Low tyre pressure warning
  • Cruise control
  • Volumetric alarm with back-up battery
  • Anti-theft roof aerial
2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327734


  • Double headlights
  • Cornering fog lights
  • Coming Home function
  • Dark tinted glass
  • Gloss black door mirrors
  • Body colour bumpers with integrated mouldings
  • Specific suspension ratings
  • 19” ‘Potenza’ silver alloy wheels with 235/35 tyres


  • Dual zone climate control
  • Height and reach adjustable specific multi-functional 3-spoke leather steering wheel with CUPRA logo
  • Specific leather gearknob with CUPRA logo
  • Sport seats with specific upholstery and CUPRA logo
  • Height adjustable driver and passenger seats
  • Storage drawer beneath driver seat
  • Aluminium pedals
  • Glove compartment light
  • Boot light
2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 321702


  • Front power anti-trap one-touch windows
  • Remote control central locking
  • CD radio + MP3 + eight speakers + MDI
  • Combined USB + Aux-in docking port
  • Electric heated folding door mirrors
  • Trip computer
  • Recommended gear indicator
  • Automatic lights on
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Power rear windows
  • Headlight beam adjustment from the inside

Furthermore, the complete standard equipment line-up found on the new SEAT León CUPRA R can be complemented with the Technology Plus package, including Bi-xenon headlights + AFS, daytime driving lights, SEAT Media System satellite navigation system, Bluetooth and front parking sensors + Optical Park System.

2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327735

The list of optional equipment includes:

  • Bluetooth telephone installation
  • SEAT Media System satellite navigation system + Bluetooth + additional Aux-in
  • Hill Hold Assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors (Integral Parking Pilot)
  • Front and rear parking sensors + Optical Park System (requires the SEAT Media System navigator)
  • Bi-xenon headlights + AFS + daytime driving lights
  • 19” ‘Potenza’ alloy wheels in white
  • Rear side thorax airbags
  • Leather sport seats
  • Heated washer nozzles + headlight washers
  • Electrically operated slide/tilt glass sunroof
  • Metallic paint
  • Emoción red paint
  • Custom colour paint
2010 Seat Leon Cupra R
- image 327765
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (449) posted on 09.15.2011

I love its pointed front smiley and also its design. The cars’ lines make it look like a perfect car but only on its exterior. The interior seems to relax either.

  (1332) posted on 03.21.2010

Black, red, white, blue, and silver; Viewers are getting bored about this line of colors. But the color of this one is really soothing. I bet the interior is more soothing.

  (612) posted on 01.25.2010

I really know nothing about cupra and how it performs, but i think it’s my third choice for hot hatches, first is Impreza, MazdaSpeed 3, Cupra and lastly is the Focus RS.

  (534) posted on 01.13.2010

hey sell it in Mexico and actually SEAT has proved to be very successful in there. You could always buy a brand new Cupra in Mexico and import it to the States, couldn’t that be possible? After all if you are concerned about the after sales support, your local VW/Audi dealer could help , the Cupra underneath is nothing else than a Rabbit/A3!

Car Finder: