Volkswagen’s Spain-based Seat division has updated the Leon Cupra, a factory-built hot rod closely related to the Golf R and the Audi S3.
The Cupra was designed for speed aficionados, so it makes sense that the most important updates for 2017 are found under the hood. It receives a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 300 horsepower at 280 pound-feet of torque, increases of 10 horses and 22 pound-feet of twist over the outgoing model. The revised turbo four makes the Leon Cupra the most powerful series-produced car Seat has ever built.
The ST-badged wagon variant of the Leon Cupra is now available with all-wheel drive. The system is exclusively paired with a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission. Additional technical details about the Leon hatchback haven’t been published yet, though it presumably carries on with front-wheel drive and a standard six-speed manual gearbox. Both body styles are now available with the Golf R’s dynamic chassis control (DCC) system.
SEAT is out to prove that it no longer builds de-contented Volkswagens, and it has added a long list of tech features to the Cupra to prove it. These include traffic jam assist, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and pedestrian protection. The cabin gets a wireless phone charger — a feature that’s still relatively rare in Europe — and a brand-new infotainment system displayed on an eight-inch touchscreen. Keyless entry and an electronic parking brake also come standard.
The 2017 Seat Leon Cupra is on sale now on the other side of the pond, and the first deliveries are scheduled for February. Seat has never sold a car in the United States and the Cupra is no exception, but the arrival of a 300-horsepower model likely indicates that an updated Golf R with a few extra horses under the hood is right around the corner.
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