PH FLEET: SEAT LEON CUPRA R
RacingPete welcomes a bright yellow addition to the PH car park
Well the brave new world has been around for a while, and as far as the front wheel drive power race goes, several manufacturers have put forward contenders. Recently Renault gave you the Megane 250 (250bhp), Volkswagen entered the fray with a Scirroco R (261bhp), and Ford trumped the lot with the Focus RS (300bhp).
Well, with all that excitement going on we could hardly ignore it, so say hello to the latest PH acquisition - and a relatively recent manufacturer entry to the 250bhp+ cadre - in the shape of a yellow SEAT Leon Cupra R.
This does slightly surprise me, but the truth is the XDS hasn't seem too over-rigorous as yet, and I haven't quite felt the need. There is a a flashing traction light trying to steal my attention regularly, but the system does remove some of the torque steer you would expect, without being too over-bearing.
This has meant the fitment of small speakers in the footwell of the car, pumping out electronic engine noises matching the revolutions of the engine. To be fair it is only really noticeable when you hold a gear at higher revs, but I am slightly worried that if I put Cher's vocoder-enhanced Believe on the stereo at the same time, a fake electronic sub-universe will be created. (Pete, you're losing it... Ed.)
On the outside, the SEAT has an element of Q-car-ness in spite of the lary paint job. The frontal changes are subtle over a bog standard Leon, but the rear features more visual expressions of the power that lies beneath the skin, with centrally mounted twin exhausts. (That I am told sound lovely from the outside.)
After a string of rear wheel drive cars, this is going to be quite a different experience, and predictabley I'm spending far less time coming out of junctions sideways. But I am looking forward to spending more time in the car, and when I finally get the iPod connector in the SEAT to actually recognise my electronic phone device, I shall doubtless feel compelled to add a few txt characters of my own to the tweetosphere. Thing's probably aren't so mad after all.