SEAT Leon Cupra
is a very good hot hatch. Despite the
'ring lap saga
, the lack of lairy colours and a
host of talented rivals
, the Leon remains one of the best of the current crop. It's just SEAT hasn't done a great job of promoting it and this latest release won't help the cynics. Therefore it should be said from the off the Cupra remains great, despite this bizarre new 'update'.
Spotted the new badge, right?
So this is the new SEAT Leon Cupra 290. Yep, a whole 10hp up on before. Come on! SEAT will tell you the torque peak of 258lb ft is now available across a broader range (1,700-5,800rpm rather than 1,750-5,600rpm) and that a retuned exhaust system also features but this seems like a change for the sake of it.
Unsurprisingly the important stats are identical, meaning 5.8 seconds to 62mph, 42.2mpg and 156g/km. The optional DSG improves those numbers fractionally.
The Cupra has never been the most outlandish hot hatch and it will take a very keen eye to spot the differences from 280 to 290. There's more chrome (or high-gloss black) inside plus a boot badge that says 290 instead of 280. And, er, that's it.
The bewildering selection of Sub8 Performance Packs are still available, as is the estate Cupra. UK prices have not been released just yet but surely there can't be a significant change from the £27,910 a three-door manual 280 currently costs. Those that can make do with 280hp can find used ones in the classifieds at less than £25K. All very nice. But can we please just have a yellow Cupra R SEAT? We don't care about 'ring times, we just want a fast and good value Leon Cupra. Make it happen!