2017 SEAT LEON CUPRA 300: Image: Seat / Newspress
Motoring News, new models, sports cars, VW

Hotter Cupra: VW, are we missing something here?

  • Latest version of Seat’s iconic Leon Cupra
  • Most powerful Seat road car in the brand’s history
  • All-wheel-drive, DSG auto gearbox for ST
2017 SEAT LEON CUPRA 300: Image: Seat / Newspress
2017 SEAT LEON CUPRA 300: Image: Seat / Newspress

SPANISH automaker Seat has taken its sporty Leon Cupra to a higher level with the production of its 300 range which is due for launch in Europe in March 2017.

Seat – the Cupra in particular – had a brief, but welcome, period in South Africa some years ago and caused great consternation among buyers when the brand summarily quit the country not long afterwards. Parent VW ended imports and sales at the end of 2008, citing “non-viability”.

Many in the industry thought it was a mistake – though there was a theory among some that VW was scared of the effect the small performance cars would have on sales of its own hot Golfs. About 2600 Seats had been sold in SA since launch in June 2006.

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT POWER…

Anyway, here comes the most powerful Cupra yet built, as long as you live in Europe.

It’s not just about power either. Seat says the new Leon flagship, available in three bodystyles – SC, five-door, ST – also “offers a highly rewarding driving experience and the safest, most reliable, functional and advanced technology”.

Among its features are driver assistance systems such as (Seat’s capital letters) Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Pedestrian Protection, plus, Electric Parking Brake and Keyless Entry and Start).

A media entertainment system has a 20cm screen is the highlight of the new-generation, Seat says, and is the first Cupra with a connectivity hub that offers a smartphone wireless charger and a GSM antenna amplifier for areas with low signal coverage.

‘CONVINCING AND POWERFUL RESPONSE’

The newly uprated, 225kW, 2.0 TSI engine makes the Cupra Seat’s most powerful road car yet. Not only is the engine about seven kW more powerful but also its maximum torque has been increased from 350 to 380Nm (from 1800-5500rpm).

“With such a wide band,” Seat says, “the result is a convincing and powerful response from when the engine is barely ticking over all the way up to the rev limiter.”

Harking back to its roots with the 2000 launch of the Leon Cupra with all-wheel-drive, the Cupra 300 (named for its horsepower figure) will now also have a similar set-up – 4Drive traction on the ST allied with a double-clutch direct-shift autobox.

The car also has dynamic chassis control (DCC), a progressive steering system and an electronic self-locking differential – but wait, there’s more…

SPECS AND TECHS AT LAUNCH

“The dynamic qualities of the Cupra,” Seat says, “can be adusted by the driver through four modes: Comfort, Sport, Individual and Cupra – the last making the car the ultimate in hot-hatch performance.”

Prices and full specs and techs will be confirmed when order books open ahead of its March 2017 showroom launch. The Corner will try to bring them to you.

And to VW SA.

2017 SEAT LEON CUPRA 300: Image: Seat / Newspress
2017 SEAT LEON CUPRA 300: Image: Seat / Newspress

 

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