SEAT Leon Cupra: Spotted


Last week's news of the SEAT Leon Cupra R finding 24 UK buyers - two dozen! - served as a worthy reminder that the standard car is a thoroughly decent hot hatch. Even though you may still struggle to convince people of that.

Perhaps it's because there aren't yellow ones. Perhaps it's because of the whole Nurburgring fiasco. Perhaps it's because the Golf GTI is better than ever, as is so much of the competition. For whatever reason, the Mk3 Leon Cupra doesn't appear to have been the runaway hit of previous generations. When did you last see one?


And that's a shame really, because there's an awful lot going for the Leon. It's really fast, stylish, sharp to drive and well equipped. It must be a damn sight rarer than a Golf R, too. I ran one for a few months as a long-termer and it was fantastic, suiting every situation that could be thrown at it brilliantly well. In fact it was only on later driving the Ultimate Performance Pack that it became apparent a more focused Leon was perfectly usable as well.

Which brings us very neatly to this car. On the face of it this Leon Cupra is like many others, a 2014 manual 280 with five doors. Interestingly though, it's now less than £15k - £14,950, with 28,000 miles and a full SEAT service history - and, as a 64-plate car, it would have just ran out of warranty. Which means you can start modifying...

Now we're not talking anything ridiculous here, because £15k is still not a bargain and you don't want to compromise its everyday suitability. But with the Cupra improved so appealingly by SEAT's own Performance Pack, there's nothing to say you couldn't go about doing your own.


Look at what former PH contributor Dale did with his Cupra ST. A remap, new wheels and tyres and some Endless brake pads saw it capable of a 7:53 Bridge-to-Gantry lap, which is incredibly fast - although it should be said that some driver talent did contribute as well...

Point being that an even more enjoyable, more exciting and more capable hot hatch could be made fairly simply from this Leon Cupra. A Stage 1 Revo remap makes anything up to 370hp for £599, a set of Cup 2s on a 235/35 R19 wheel is £900 and those incredible Endless MA45B pads are on sale at £557+VAT. Just over £2,000, basically, which still makes it cheaper than this Golf GTD(!) with similar miles.

What you'll have is a car that's still tremendously subtle and won't attract any unwanted attention, while being great fun on both road and track. And even faster. Given how things seem to be, it'll be quite a rare spot too. Perhaps a Megane is yet more entertaining still and there are rivals which offer the security of all-wheel drive, but there are different strokes for different folks and the Leon has always been a very appealing alternative. With a few aftermarket tweaks some years down the line it could arguably be even more so.


SPECIFICATION - SEAT LEON CUPRA 280

Engine: 1,998cc, 4-cyl turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 280@5,700-6,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258@1,750-5,600rpm
MPG: 44.1
CO2: 149g/km
First registered: 2014
Mileage: 28,000 miles
Price new: £26,940
Price now: £14,950

See the original advert here

 

 

 

 

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Comments (49) Join the discussion on the forum

  • WCZ 09 Jan 2018

    unbelievable how dull these look inside and out

  • Msportman 09 Jan 2018

    I like it....under the radar a real sleeper until you look close.

    I like rarity....most thieves may walk by it unlike R's S3's et al

    Only thing as with the previous generation FWD cars including MK5 GTI and Edition 30 once mapped in rain soaked Britain they torque steer. I got to 365 in my Edition 30 and even with a Quaiffe Diff it was great in bone dry conditions especially on track with decent brakes but it was far from standard.

    Cheap R's with DSG are great all weather tools.....point to point in the wet even stock they're a weapon.

    Get it to APR's Stage 2 and for not a lot of money you'll see 400+ bhp & 450lbs .
    That and some decent brakes and it's not to be sniffed at for the money. An M2, M4 or C63 in the wet on a B road wouldn't know which way it went.....all for sub £20k....bit of a bargain really.

    Edited by Msportman on Tuesday 9th January 12:28

  • Msportman 09 Jan 2018

    I like it....under the radar a real sleeper until you look close.

    I like rarity....most thieves may walk by it unlike R's S3's et al

    Only thing as with the previous generation FWD cars including MK5 GTI and Edition 30 once mapped in rain soaked Britain they torque steer. I got to 365 in my Edition 30 and even with a Quaiffe Diff it was great in bone dry conditions especially on track with decent brakes but it was far from standard.

    Cheap R's with DSG are great all weather tools.....point to point in the wet even stock they're a weapon.

    Get it to APR's Stage 2 and for not a lot of money you'll see 400+ bhp & 450lbs .
    That and some decent brakes and it's not to be sniffed at for the money. An M2, M4 or C63 in the wet on a B road wouldn't know which way it went.....all for sub £20k....bit of a bargain really.

    Edited by Msportman on Tuesday 9th January 12:32

  • court 09 Jan 2018

    Would you take the year older £15k M135i instead? I think I would.

  • culpz 09 Jan 2018

    I think these look great. I quite like the inconspicuous look. It's hard to call them a bargain right now but it is alot of car for just under 15k. I'd have to have one with the DSG though and in any other colour than black.

    The thing that always puzzles me was the need for such big wheels. 19" alloys just seems like a bit of overkill for me. I think the alloy design though is great. This article should have been saved for the Cupra 260. They're very rare!

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