RE: New Cupra Leon caught testing

RE: New Cupra Leon caught testing

Friday 7th June

New Cupra Leon caught testing

Cupra hasn't forgotten about hot hatches, you know - here's an early glimpse of the next one



For whatever reason, the current Leon Cupra doesn't seem to have captured the public's imagination like its predecessors. It has followed the same template - proven VW mechanicals, lots of power and not much money - yet seemingly without the success of its forebears. That this one was really good to drive, as well as being a handsome hot hatch, should have sealed the deal. But when did you last see one? 

With SEAT Cupra products bowing out with the current Leon Cupra R estate, the replacement will come under the new Cupra umbrella - currently offering the Ateca, and with the Formentor on the way. Get used to saying Cupra Leon, basically, and not Leon Cupra as during the past 20 years. And get used to seeing more copper accents, presumably.


The new model is due next year, and has recently been spotted testing both on the Nurburgring - where the outgoing car once held a lap record, don't forget - and the Alps. With a full debut a little way off, there's still a lot under wraps, though it's worth noting that the Nurburgring car features wheels that look a lot like the Performance Pack version of the existing model (plus its Brembo brakes). Nowadays it does seem that a C-segment hot hatch can't be launched without a Nurburgring record, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Cupra attempt to curry favour with enthusiasts through a bonkers time. It'll need to go a full 18 seconds faster than the last one just to match the Megane, though...

Otherwise there are a few styling touches seen in other SEATs, with a rear light bar similar to the Tarraco, and a couple of discreet Cupra touches - the twin exhausts and ever so slight spoilers most notably.

Alright, so it's difficult to get too excited at this precise the moment, the Cupra looking a lot like many other camouflaged hatchbacks seen on the 'ring. But there's reason to be optimistic; not only was the last Leon very good, the Ateca is a well resolved - if rather predictable - performance car and with freedom to work on a presumably more dynamic platform, this could be the car to get the hot Leon back in business.





Images: S. Baldauf/S.B. Medien

 

Author
Discussion

CacheMonet

Original Poster:

37 posts

28 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
Obviously it is quite hard to see the true shape of a car in camo, but it does seem that all new hatchbacks are almost identical in footprint (1 Series, Focus, i30, A Class, Cee'd). Has there been a change to safety standards or something that dictates design that I don't know about?

bloomen

2,491 posts

101 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
CacheMonet said:
Obviously it is quite hard to see the true shape of a car in camo, but it does seem that all new hatchbacks are almost identical in footprint (1 Series, Focus, i30, A Class, Cee'd). Has there been a change to safety standards or something that dictates design that I don't know about?
It is indeed very noticeable.

It seems weird that they'd converge in design all at once but I'm sure they'd all rather stand out so there must be something going on.

andrewparker

3,527 posts

129 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
Guessing it's going to look like a downscaled Tarraco, particularly the front. Seeing a lot of i30 too.

SevenR

223 posts

106 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
The older cars looked good, so people bought them. The new cars are just too plain for me.. And I think that's reflected in the sales too.
The Golf is already understated. The Seat should be much more down the Honda road I think.
If I was in the market for a hot hatch I wouldn't even consider the Seat cars.
Just my 2p worth.

djc206

5,113 posts

67 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
SevenR said:
The older cars looked good, so people bought them. The new cars are just too plain for me.. And I think that's reflected in the sales too.
The Golf is already understated. The Seat should be much more down the Honda road I think.
If I was in the market for a hot hatch I wouldn't even consider the Seat cars.
Just my 2p worth.
The only reason anyone does is that you can lease them for bugger all. My wife has one on a 1+23 for around £250. It’s a hell of a lot of car for that money. Very plain to look at though, I can’t imagine it’s ever turned a head.
Advertisement

DBRacingGod

518 posts

134 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
The estate version is better proportioned that the Golf R equivalent...but the hatch is just duller than ditchwater to look at, which is a real pity as it drives very nicely indeed.

Meridius

1,164 posts

94 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
The 2nd gen Leon Cupra was and still is a very nice looking car and clearly popular because of it. They should have held on to that sleek shape as where car design gets more homogeneous across marques they would have had a USP over competitors.

Water Fairy

2,881 posts

97 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
djc206 said:
SevenR said:
The older cars looked good, so people bought them. The new cars are just too plain for me.. And I think that's reflected in the sales too.
The Golf is already understated. The Seat should be much more down the Honda road I think.
If I was in the market for a hot hatch I wouldn't even consider the Seat cars.
Just my 2p worth.
The only reason anyone does is that you can lease them for bugger all. My wife has one on a 1+23 for around £250. It’s a hell of a lot of car for that money. Very plain to look at though, I can’t imagine it’s ever turned a head.
This ^

I've had both MK1 Cupra and MK2 FR (with btcc kit) and personally I think they looked great. The MK3 is just too generic.

Augustus Windsock

1,692 posts

97 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
Having owned numerous VAG models over the years, mostly Golf GTis and Octavia vRS’s, I recently stepped into a SEAT Leon.
Wasn’t expecting much, as the sales ‘experience’ wasn’t a patch on my last purchase from Skoda (note to SEAT; not even had a follow-up call since purchase 6mths ago).
Yes the plastics are a step down from the better VAG cars but I’m perfectly happy with the driving experience (despite being a weird guy that prefers the look of the last model Leon FR/Cupra).
It does what it says on the tin, no more, and no less, which to many won’t quite be enough. Not quite enough to sway them from a Golf, or S3, but for s quite alright, as I don’t drive everywhere at Warp Factor 6 on the limit of adhesion everywhere....

Olivera

3,371 posts

181 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
djc206 said:
The only reason anyone does is that you can lease them for bugger all. My wife has one on a 1+23 for around £250. It’s a hell of a lot of car for that money. Very plain to look at though, I can’t imagine it’s ever turned a head.
Agreed, the Mk3 Cupra is just so plain and nondescript. Especially as most of them have no side skirts, which looks rubbish.

Regarding the M2 Cupra - sorry but that was a horrendous munter of a shape.

andrewparker

3,527 posts

129 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
Further proof, were it needed, that the Cupra brand is a load of BS.

aka_kerrly

10,735 posts

152 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
andrewparker said:
Further proof, were it needed, that the Cupra brand is a load of BS.
That's a ridiculously strong opinion for a car no one here has driven or seen without its camouflage!!

blue al

97 posts

101 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
aka_kerrly said:
That's a ridiculously strong opinion for a car no one here has driven or seen without its camouflage!!
I quite like the look and lines of the current car, esp the wagon, so I'm not anti seat
This looks like a painted pig.... Perhaps As pretty as a Ford Scorpio ...

I'd say fair cop

AJB88

3,867 posts

113 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
Water Fairy said:
This ^

I've had both MK1 Cupra and MK2 FR (with btcc kit) and personally I think they looked great. The MK3 is just too generic.
I went MK2 FR TDI, MK2 LCR, MK3 280

Now have a MK1 FR+ (LCR body kit) as my daily

BraveSirRobin

824 posts

224 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
Our family loves Leons - between us we've had 3 Mark 1s, a Mark 2 & a Mark 3.
The Mark 3 might be a bit understated (even in Cupra form) - but what's wrong with that? Not everyone wants "look at me" spoilers and bodykits. I think you would see more Cupras around if there weren't so many Golf R leasing deals.

Does seem like the new Focus, Leon & 3-series are similar shapes. Meanwhile Mazda have taken inspiration from the Mark 1 Leon...

Edited by BraveSirRobin on Friday 7th June 22:13

Turn7

15,679 posts

163 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
No mention of the spinspeed or rinse cycle ?

andrewparker

3,527 posts

129 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
aka_kerrly said:
andrewparker said:
Further proof, were it needed, that the Cupra brand is a load of BS.
That's a ridiculously strong opinion for a car no one here has driven or seen without its camouflage!!
That’s a fair point, I am perhaps being unfair. I just hoped that Cupra might be something more exciting than tarting up Seats next models.

ChrisNic

384 posts

88 months

Saturday 8th June
quotequote all
I’ve had a Mk1 León with a boot (Toledo) a Mk2 FR TFSI and now a Mk 3 FR 184 (Golf GTD in drag) which run alongside a Mk3 Focus RS.

My wife hates the Leon as it’s ‘boring’ and it’s fair to say that the RS is far faster in every situation, but I enjoy driving it. Compared to the RS it feels lighter on its feet and is more adjustable on the throttle.

Mike1990

666 posts

73 months

Saturday 8th June
quotequote all
Still waiting for a Cupra Ibiza....

But something about the Mk3 Leon’s, FR/Cupra’s i Just can’t get excited over. I do appreciate they are genuinely good cars though!

Maybe the Mk4 Leon will change that.

FoxtrotOscar1

395 posts

51 months

Saturday 8th June
quotequote all
So basically the new Focus, A Class and Leon are some sort of triplet? They look very similar