The R is front-drive only and available with a six-speed manual gearbox – with the full beans – or a paddle-shift auto in which case the engine is detuned to 296bhp. Unlike its Leon ST Cupra brother, there’s no four-wheel drive or estate body option, so no repeat of the Nurburgring estate car record that the Leon Cupra ST 280 bagged in 2015.
First pictures show a restrained but purposeful new look with carbon-fibre details on the front and rear spoilers, side skirts and rear diffuser. The mirrors, badging, air intakes and wheels get a copper finish which with the optional matte body colour should ensure the new model stands out in the hot hatch crowd. Other body colours available are black and grey.
Changes to the dynamics of an already fine handling five-door centre on modified camber, adaptive suspension DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control), Brembo brakes and a new exhaust system. Inside, there are carbon-fibre trims and that copper-look finish again, along with Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob.
The other big Seat news at Frankfurt this year is the world premiere of its smallest SUV, the Arona.