SEAT Leon Cupra R - Frankfurt 2017


Perhaps it's a sad reflection on the current car market that, when an email from SEAT arrives announcing "the brand main highlights for Frankfurt motor show", a Leon Cupra R isn't the first thought. Or the second. Or, indeed, the third.

Where's the three-door SEAT?
Where's the three-door SEAT?
But here we are, a week from the show opening, with Cupra R back on the rump of a Leon for the first time this decade (yes, the previous version was available until 2012, but the last Cupra R was launched in 2009). Disappointingly it still isn't yellow, but it does boast some interesting upgrades over the regular Leon Cupra.

Power is up to a Golf R-equalling 310hp, or 300hp if you opt for the DSG. It keeps the front-wheel drive and VAQ 'diff' of the standard car. However, unlike the regular car, the Cupra R receives revised DCC dampers, more negative camber at the front, Brembo brakes and a new exhaust. The carbon trinkets are just that though, with no claimed aero or weight benefits.

It's grey, grey or black for the colour choice...
It's grey, grey or black for the colour choice...
As if just to rub in the fact that SEAT resolutely will not do any interesting colours at all now, the Cupra R will be offered in black or two shades of grey: Pyrenees or Matte. Inspiring.

SEAT says that 799 Leon Cupra Rs will be made, though there is no word yet on UK availability or pricing - that should follow soon. Do you think this car warrants the return of the Cupra R badge? Would you have one over a Civic Type R? What kind of Nurburgring lap time will be claimed for this Leon? Over to you!




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Comments (74) Join the discussion on the forum

  • joshleb 04 Sep 2017

    As good as it may well be, it just looks a bit meh...

    The old Cupra R's had a sense of purpose and you could tell by looking!

  • hondansx 04 Sep 2017

    Agreed. Looks crap. The Golf GTI isn't all that different, but somehow just looks much better.

  • chris285 04 Sep 2017

    All modern hatches look alike model wise i find, people want a sportier look so they all look very similar same with golf and audi and BMW and Merc etc

  • bobbo89 04 Sep 2017

    chris285 said:
    All modern hatches look alike model wise i find, people want a sportier look so they all look very similar same with golf and audi and BMW and Merc etc
    Yep, everything now comes with 18's and a sporty trim so it really is very difficult for manufacturers to make their 'hot' models stand out

  • David87 04 Sep 2017

    What is with the DSG having less power? None of the other clone-a-Golf MQBs seem to have the same handicap?

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