The naughtier Leon shows its colors

The 2021 Cupra Leon is the performance version of SEAT’s Leon compact hatchback. Just like the regular Leon, it is offered as a wagon under the Sportstourer moniker.

The Cupra Leon, be it the hatchback or the estate, can be had with a plug-in hybrid powertrain geared for performance as well as a bunch of exterior and interior styling cues to set it apart from its more pedestrian-looking peer. Here is all you need to know about the Cupra Leon.

Cupra Leon – Powertrain

2021 Cupra Leon Exterior
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The first Leon to carry the Cupra badge is nicknamed The King of Leons by its very own makers so it is only natural to delve deep into what that entails exactly. eHybrid is the name chosen by Cupra to designate the Leon that mixes petrol power with electricity.

The setup combines a 1.4-liter TSI engine (110 kW/150 PS/ 148 horsepower) with an electric motor (85 kW/115 PS/ 114 horsepower) an a 13-kWh battery pack of the Li-ion variety. All in all, the system is good for 180 kW/245 PS/ 241 horsepower, which makes the Cupra Leon dance on the border between hot hatch and warm hatch. Torque comes in at 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet).

Performance-wise, the Cupra Leon eHybrid needs 6.7 seconds to clear the 0-100 kph (62 mph) sprint on to a top speed of 225 kph (140 mph).

2021 Cupra Leon Exterior
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Cupra says the eHybrid-badged Leon can travel for about 55-60 kilometers (34-37 miles) as a pure EV, relying solely on the energy stored in the battery as measured in the WLTP cycle.

Engine 1.4-liter TSI engine + electric motor
Gasoline power 148 HP
Electric power 114 HP
Combined power 241 HP
Combined torque 295 Lb-FT
0-100 kph (62 mph) 6.7 seconds
Top Speed 225 km/h (140 mph)
Electric range 55-60 kilometers (34-37 miles)
2021 Cupra Leon Exterior
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Three petrol engines are also on offer. They are all two-liter, four-cylinder turbo mills massaged to produce various outputs:

Engine Horsepower Torque
two-liter, four-cylinder turbo 180 kW/245 PS/ 241 horsepower 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet)
two-liter, four-cylinder turbo 221 kW/300 PS/ 296 horsepower 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet)
two-liter, four-cylinder turbo 228 kW/310 PS/ 306 horsepower 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet)

The latter is available only in the Sportstourer estate, couple with all-wheel drive (called 4Drive in Cupra literature).

Regardless of what petrol engine you pick, however, the only transmission option is a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch unit.

Cupra Leon – Design

left right

You will be able to tell apart the Cupra Leon from a regular Seat Leon courtesy of new side skirts, the Cupra logo slapped onto the front, black-trimmed grille, as well as new colors (Magnetic Tech Matt and Petrol Blue Matt stand out from the bunch) and 19-inch wheel designs.

On the inside, the Cupra Leon mixes bucket seats with a redesigned steering wheel and VW Group’s Digital Cockpit instrument cluster. The multimedia system gets a 10-inch screen mounted on the center console and overall, the cabin is devoid of buttons and adorned with dark aluminum and copper stitching.

2021 Cupra Leon Interior
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Those who want to still take the kids to school in the Cupra Leon or go for that extra-long road trip with the family should know that the hatchback offers 380 liters of cargo space (270 liters for the eHybrid), while the estate ups the ante with 620 liters (470 liters for the eHybrid).

Cupra Leon – Rivals

VW Golf GTI

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI is Faster On the Track Than the MK7 Golf GTI Performance Exterior
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The Golf GTI is an established name in the European hot hatch/warm hatch scene. The current one packs a 2-liter TSI turbo-four good for 180 kW/245 PS/ 241 horsepower and 370 Newton-meters of torque (273 pound-feet). Power is the same as in the entry-level gasoline unit of the Cupra Leon with 30 Newton-meters (22.3 pound-feet) less. The Golf GTI starts at €36,555 in Germany.

Read our full review on the VW Golf GTI

Honda Civic Type R

2017 - 2020 Honda Civic Type R
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Honda’s Civic Type R packs a 2-liter VTEC turbo engine that cranks out 235 kW/320 PS/ 315 horsepower and 400 Newton-meters of torque. Resources are sent to the rear axle via a six-speed slick-shifting gearbox fitted with a rev-matching feature. It is also worth noting that the Civic Type R’s exterior design makes every rival look like a puppy. Prices start from €38,550 in Germany.

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Type R

Renault Megane RS

2018 Renault Megane R.S.
- image 779906

Another pedigree hot hatch on the Old Continent, the Renault Megane RS draws its strength from a 1.8-liter, direct-injected and turbocharged gasoline engine. The unit is rated at 205 kW/280 PS/ 275 horsepower and 390 Newton-meters (288 pound-feet) of torque. Prices for the German market start at €40,900.

Read our full review on the Renault Megane RS

Cupra Leon – Price and Availability

2021 Cupra Leon Exterior
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In Germany, the Cupra Leon starts at €38,795 (hatchback) and €40,095 (Sportstourer). Orders are already open on the Cupra official website.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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