One of the most revered names in hot hatchdom, Cupra R, is back with a bang at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 12th.
SEP 04th 2017
Could the Leon Cupra R be the most hardcore hot hatch at Frankfurt?
A hot R version has been missing from Seat’s Leon Cupra range for a while now but that’s changed with the pre-show unveiling of the Spanish firm’s long-awaited new performance hero.
With 306bhp (310ps) it’s Seat’s most powerful model since the last time it made a Cupra R 310, but that was a special model available in some markets only.
One thing for sure, it is likely to be Seat’s most exclusive new model. Production is limited to 799 cars, available at the end of 2017. There’s no price yet.
At 306bhp, the Leon Cupra R gets a remapped version of the 2.0-litre TSI turbo engine hiked to offer 10bhp more than the regular Leon Cupra. There are no performance figures as yet but the last, second-gen Cupra R with 261bhp was credited with 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds. To compete in the hot hatch front row it needs to get the best part of a second out of that.
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.
Join our motorsport community
Get closer to motorsport at Goodwood! Join the GRRC Fellowship to be first in the queue for event tickets, to attend the GRRC-only Members' Meeting and to enjoy year-round, exclusive benefits.