New Cupra Leon caught testing


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

 

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Comments (24) Join the discussion on the forum

  • CacheMonet 07 Jun 2019

    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 07 Jun 2019

    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 07 Jun 2019

    Guessing it's going to look like a downscaled Tarraco, particularly the front. Seeing a lot of i30 too.

  • SevenR 07 Jun 2019

    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 07 Jun 2019

    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.

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