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2020 CUPRA e-Racer

2020 CUPRA e-Racer

Cupra joins new ETCR electric series with beefed-up Leon EV

The 2020 Cupra e-Racer is an all-electric race car built by Seat’s high-performance division. The race-spec hatchback is based on the latest-generation Leon, despite not having the nameplate in its official name. Built for the PURE ETCR championship, a race series designed specifically for electric touring cars, the 2020 Cupra e-Racer was unveiled alongside the 2020 Cupra Leon Competicion.

The latter takes part in the standard ETCC series for gasoline-powered cars. The Pure ETCR series will debut in 2020 with just four rounds, two of them included in the WTCC series. Cupra will compete against entries from Hyundai and Alfa Romeo. Let’s find out more about the 2020 Cupra e-Racer in the review below.

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2020 Seat Leon

2020 Seat Leon

The Spanish-built hatchback looks hotter than ever!

The 2020 Seat Leon is the fourth-generation version of the Spanish hatchback and wagon. Built on the same MQB Evo platform as the Volkswagen Golf Mk8, the 2020 Leon is essentially a Golf with a different body and a slightly different interior. But for what it’s worth, the Leon looks notably sportier on the outside and the cabin isn’t far below the premium-like interior of the Golf. Power options are also shared with the Golf, so you can choose between gasoline, diesel, mild hybrid, and plug-in hybrid options. Let’s find out more about the new 2020 Leon hatchback and wagon in the review below.

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2017 Seat Leon Cupra Evo 17

2017 Seat Leon Cupra Evo 17

Taking the TCR design to a new level

Although overshadowed by the Volkswagen Golf, its platform sibling, sales-wise, the Seat Leon has been the more powerful race car in various series around the world. The TCR is one of them, having been set up after Seat designed the Leon Cup Racer, also the car that was used as a template for aerodynamic regulations. The increasingly popular series is still dominated by the Leon, which received an update in 2017.

Renamed the Leon Cupra Evo 17, the Spanish race car is more aggressive than ever. The hatchback sports bigger wheel arches, just like the Volkswagen Golf GTI TRC, a massive rear wing, and the copper highlights we’ve seen on recently unveiled Cupra road models. The Leon will continue to race in the TCR International Series, where it will face competition from Audi, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Opel, Volkswagen, and many more carmakers.

Continue reading to learn more about the Seat Leon Cup Racer Evo 17.

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2018 Seat Leon CUPRA R ST

2018 Seat Leon CUPRA R ST

A better-looking alternative to the Volkswagen Golf R Estate

Unveiled in 2012, the latest-generation Seat Leon was updated in 2017 and gained the most extreme Cupra package to date for the 2018 model year. Less than a year has passed, and the Spanish firm gave the same treatment to the ST station wagon model. Introduced at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March, the Leon Cupra R ST is identical to its hatchback sibling, but benefits from a larger trunk, which makes it a full-fledged competitor for the Volkswagen Golf R Estate.

The compact wagon arrived with a rather awkward timing, just as Seat turned the Cupra into a stand-alone brand. Starting this year, the company’s high-performance models will no longer have a "Seat" badge, but their own logos, although they will still use the nameplate. However, it turns out that some Seat cars will still wear "Cupra" identification, including this new station wagon. Whether this will go on only until the current models are discontinued is not yet known, but if you want both the "Seat" and "Cupra" badges on your car, you’d better hurry.

Continue reading to learn more about the Seat Leon CUPRA R ST.

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2018 Seat Leon Cupra R

2018 Seat Leon Cupra R

Spanish automaker makes its presence felt in the hot hatch segment

The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is just around the corner and we’re already getting a steady stream of cars that will be in attendance at the event. One car that has our attention is a hot hatchback from an automaker that normally doesn’t get its share of the spotlight. Prepare yourselves as Seat is looking to take Frankfurt by storm with the new Leon Cupra R, the automaker’s most powerful road car in history.

The Leon Cupra R will be joined by the likes of the Ibiza and the Leon Cupra Evo 17 in Frankfurt, but make no mistake, the Cupra R will be the highlight of Seat’s booth, in large part because of its status as a limited edition model and its significance for the company moving forward. Remember, Seat recently filed trademark applications for a Cupra sub-brand, seemingly separating the model from the entire Seat family in hopes of turning it into a performance sub-brand. I can’t help but wonder then if the Leon Cupra R is more than just a limited edition hot hatch, but a preview of sorts of what we can expect from the Cupra sub-brand in the event that its separation from Seat does happen. For now, though, our attention should be on the Frankfurt-bound Leon Cupra R. With its credentials, the hot hatch has at least earned its place as one of the most exciting cars to hit the upcoming motor show.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Seat Leon Cupra R.

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2017 Seat Leon CUPRA 300

2017 Seat Leon CUPRA 300

The Cupra comes to the party with more power and torque on tap!

The Seat Leon has been on the market for nearly 20 years and has evolved dramatically in the time. The third-gen model rolled onto the market in 2012, and for 2017, it was time for a much-needed facelift. With that facelift came an updated exterior, new exterior lighting units with LED strips, and a wider grille that now features a chrome surround to go with new wheel designs and some new color options. Inside, the facelifted model benefits from a new center console, an electric parking brake, and the addition of some new soundproofing for a quieter cabin. There was also the addition of a new infotainment system. There was a brand new three-cylinder engine added to the engine lineup, but what we’re really here to talk about is the new Leon Cupra 300, which as you probably guessed now has 300 PS on tap – an improvement of 10 PS over the outgoing model. Torque has increased by 30 Nm on the 300, and the estate version even gets all-wheel drive. Nice!

It should be noted that when Seat put together the facelift for the Leon, it was actually quite surprising to see the amount of work that went into it. Normally, the brand’s facelifts – as with anything from the VW umbrella – are very mild with just enough to let you say “Hey, there’s something different there.” But, the facelift was quite extensive. Be that as it may, there isn’t really much of a difference on the outside between the standard model on the Cupra, but there’s plenty of other stuff to talk about, so let’s go over what comes standard on the new Cupra, and why the new Cupra is worth your consideration.

Continue reading to learn more about the Seat Leon CUPRA 300.

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2017 Seat Leon

2017 Seat Leon

Facelift adds sporty exterior features and loads of new technology and safety equipment

The latest-generation Leon came to be in 2012, some 14 years after Seat launched the nameplate. The third-gen car brought many improvements over its predecessor, being significantly lighter and incorporating more technology. The exterior was also redesigned with sportiness in mind, while the interior gained better materials and a more upscale look. Sharing its platform with the Volkswagen Golf and the Audi A3, the Leon also borrowed its drivetrain from its German counterparts. In 2016, the third-generation model received its mid-cycle facelift.

Although facelifts operated by the Volkswagen Group aren’t exactly comprehensive, the revised Leon arrived with many new exterior features, as well as a significant amount of new technologies in the infotainment and safety departments. The hatchback also gained a couple of new engine options, which make it a more versatile car compared to its main rivals, including the Golf it is based on. Like the outgoing model, the refreshed Leon will be offered in three body styles: the five-door hatchback, three-door hatchback (Sports Coupe), and the five-door station wagon (Sports Tourer).

The facelifted Leon will hit showrooms in early 2017, about the same time Volkswagen is expected to start selling the revised Golf. The Spanish hatch will face massive competition in Europe from the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i30, and Kia Cee’d, among other nameplates. Find out how it compared with its most important competitors in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Seat Leon.

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2016 Seat Leon Cross Sport

2016 Seat Leon Cross Sport

Struggling to make a profit for quite a few years now, Seat is in the middle of a massive makeover that includes new products for the brand’s entry in previously unexplored segments. Having launched both a new hot-hatch and performance estate under the Cupra 280 badge, as well as the 2014 Seat Leon X-Perience, a competitor for the 2013 Audi A4 Allroad and 2014 Skoda Octavia Scout, Seat is now preparing the launch of its first SUV, due to arrive in 2016. Meanwhile, the Spanish automaker unveiled the Leon Cross Sport concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

A hybrid between the newly introduced Leon Cupra 290 and the Leon X-Perience, the Cross Sport concept is a high-riding hot-hatch the folks over at Seat describe as "a performance athlete in high-tech trekking shoes." There’s no word as to whether it will spawn a production car, but we hope so.

Either way, the Cross Sport concept is likely Seat’s way of raising awareness about the company’s future, which will include at least a couple of crossovers by the end of the decade.

Updated 09/22/2015: We’ve added a series of new photos we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find them in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to learn more about the Seat Leon Cross Sport.

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2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290

2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290

Seat’s Leon Cupra line has been making a lot of waves since the Cupra 280 seemingly came out of nowhere to set the lap time record for a front-wheel-drive production car at the Nurburgring in 2014. That record has since been claimed by the 2016 Honda Civic Type R, but Seat still proved something more important than a record lap time. It showed the world that it can compete with the best hot hatchbacks in the business. The success of the 280 is also a big reason why Seat seemingly fast-tracked the launch of its successor, the Leon Cupra 290.

Boasting all the standard features of the 280 and adding some notable upgrades on the engine and handling fronts, the Leon Cupra 290 aims to take the popularity of its predecessor to new heights, renewing Seat’s goal of hot-hatch dominance with an engine output that now eclipses that of the 2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Cup-S, a similar hot-hatch that will share the stage with the Leon Cupra 290 at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

It’s only fitting that the Leon Cupra 290 will make its debut opposite the Megane RS 275 Cup-S in the same event. After all, it was their predecessors — the 2015 Seat Leon SC Cupra 280 and the 2014 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy — that battled for the lap record that now belongs to the Civic Type R. The Leon Cupra 290 looks up to it, as does the Megane RS 275 Cup-S.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290.

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2015 Seat Leon ST Cupra 280

2015 Seat Leon ST Cupra 280

In 2014, Seat stunned the hot hatch market with the Leon SC Cupra 280, a 276-horsepower three-door that lapped the Nurburgring track in 7 minutes and 58.4 seconds, becoming the fastest front-wheel-drive production car on the German track. Although its record was quickly blown to pieces by the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R, the Cupra 280 remained one of the hottest hatches released for the 2014 model year. In January 2015, less than a year since the Leon SC Cupra 280 set its record at the ’Ring, Seat introduced a wagon version to add more practicality to its halo hatch.

Equipped with the very same features inside and out, as well as an equally powerful turbocharged engine under the hood, the Leon ST Cupra 280 offers six-second 0-to-60 sprints and storage room of up to 52 cubic-feet. The Spanish wagon arrives just in time for the Volkswagen Golf R Variant, with which it shares numerous components , but, unlike its German sibling, it won’t cross the pond to the United States. Be that as it may, the ST Cupra 280 is a wagon worth looking into, which is what we’ll do after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Seat Leon ST Cupra 280.

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2014 Seat Leon Cupra 280 Sub8 Performance Pack

2014 Seat Leon Cupra 280 Sub8 Performance Pack

It’s a real shame Seat doesn’t offer its vehicles in North America. We’re aware the U.S. doesn’t need the Leon hatch and station wagon — essentially re-bodied versions of the Volkswagen Golf — but we wouldn’t mind driving or having the possibility of buying the Leon SC Cupra 280. With 280 ponies and 258 pound-feet of twist at its disposal, this Spanish-built hatch is one hot machine. So hot that it became the first front-wheel-drive car to lap the Nurburgring in under eight minutes.

Will we get it in here? Hell no! As much as we’d love for that to happen, it makes no sense for Seat to ship its models across the pond. Making things even more frustrating beyond the fact that Europeans get to toss it around, is that the British market has just gained a performance option for the hot hatch. Dubbed "Sub8 Performance Pack," the bundle adds a massive brake improvement to the Leon SC Cupra 280, while a set of new high-performance tires enhance the hatch’s track capability even further. Oh, the agony!

Click past the jump to read more about the Seat Leon Cupra 280 Sub8 Performance Pack

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2014 Seat Leon X-Perience

2014 Seat Leon X-Perience

Originally introduced in 1998 as a small family hatchback, the Seat Leon quickly grew into a family that included many iterations and a host of gasoline and diesel engines. The newest member of the lineup, the Leon ST, joined the ranks for the 2013 model year, shortly after Seat introduced the third-generation model. Only one year later, the Spanish manufacturer expanded the Leon family once again by adding the X-Perience model, an all-wheel-drive wagon sporting crossover-like visuals and an increased ride height.

Brought to life to bridge the gap between the Leon ST and Seat’s upcoming SUV — rumored to share the MQB platform with the Volkswagen Tiguan — the Leon X-Perience represents the company’s first venture into the niche. The raised wagon comes to tackle the likes of the Audi A4 Allroad quattro and Skoda Octavia Scout, all of which are crammed under the Volkswagen Group.

Naturally, the X-Perience won’t be much of a threat to the Audi A4, which serves a different audience in terms of pricing and amenities. However, the Leon X-Perience is a wagon most families shouldn’t ignore.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Seat Leon X-Perience.

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2014 Seat Leon SC Cupra 280

2014 Seat Leon SC Cupra 280

While the North American market is prepping for the upcoming 2014 Detroit Auto Show, in European people are focusing on the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, which is set to open its doors later in March. Seat is one of many automakers heading to Switzerland, and it till bring one of the most powerful Leon’s ever: the new Leon SC Cupra 280.

As you probably have guessed it, the name says it all, as it will be a sports coupe with no less than 280 horsepower — get it, SC 280! This output will come from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine combined with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Along with this powerful engine, the new Leon SC Cupra 280 will also be equipped with a sport suspension, a limited-slip differential, a set of 19-inch alloy wheels and a high-performance brake system. Seat will also install a sporty aerodynamic package and liven up the interior a little.

On the British market prices for the new Leon SC Cupra 280 will start from £26,940 - or about $44k at the current exchange rates.

Updated 01/08/2014: This review was updated with the official details, images and prices.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Seat Leon SC Cupra 280.

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