2014 Seat Leon Cupra and Cupra 280 make their debut

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 8, 2014

Seat unveiled today not one, but two Cupra versions for the new Leone coupe and hatchback. Both versions are powered by a 2.0-liter TSI developing 265 hp on the Leon SC Cupra and 280 hp on the Cupra 280, offered in coupe and hatchback versions. According to the Spanish carmaker, the 2014 Seat Leon SC Cupra hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds and needs 5.8 seconds to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) on the Cupra 280 equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and 5.7 seconds on the models using the DSG automatic transmission.

The 350 Nm maximum torque of both versions spreads from just 1,750 rpm all the way up to 5,300 rpm, guaranteeing impressive pulling power and overtaking flexibility.

All the models have a top speed electronically limited at 155 mph or 250 km/h. Seat says that the Leon Cupra has a fuel consumption of 6.4 l/100 km (44.1 mpg UK), while the Leon Cupra 280 had a fuel consumption of 6.7 l/100 km or 42.2 mpg UK. The new front-axle differential lock significantly improves the traction and handling of this front-wheel drive car.

The system uses a multi-plate package that is hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled. Comparing it with the previous model, the new Cupra is 55 kg lighter. Regarding the design, we find a new body kit consisting of a new front bumper with larger air intakes, a new rear air diffuser, a rear roof spoiler and a new rear bumper with integrated air diffuser and twin exhaust as well as 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Cupra 280 comes with 19-inch alloy wheels and can be distinguished by a rear spoiler, black exterior and interior trim. Pricing starts at £25,690 for the Seat Leon SC Cupra, while the SC Cupra 280 is priced at £26,940. The SC Cupra 280 DSG costs £28,225. For the four-door version Cupra 280, Seat wants £27,240, while the Cupra 280 DSG is priced at £28,525.

Press Release

2014 Seat Leon Cupra

Fascinating dynamics, state-of-the-art technology, stunning design matched with compelling efficiency and perfect everyday usability - the new Seat Leon Cupra embodies the SEAT brand values in the best possible way. With up to 206 kW / 280 PS, the new Cupra is not only the clear top model in the very successful Leon family, it is also the brand's most powerful series-production car. And the fastest - the drive and the chassis of the Leon Cupra guarantee precision driving fun of the highest order. With its extensive equipment and excellent quality, the new Cupra offers exceptionally good value-for-money. Right from the start, the Leon Cupra will be offered as a five-door and as the Leon SC Cupra Sport Coupé with three doors.

"With the new Leon Cupra, the SEAT brand is once more taking a major leap forward. The Cupra is a refined, high-performance car that combines its expressive dynamics with relaxed long-distance comfort and a compelling, high-quality feel," says Jürgen Stackmann, CEO of SEAT S.A. "Driving fun and great design comes with every Leon, but the new Cupra displays SEAT expertise in a whole new dimension. We are proud of this new brand icon and certain of its success."

A concentrated package of hi-tech guarantees the enormous performance of the new Cupra. At the top is the all-new 2.0 TSI engine with dual injection and variable camshaft timing. Depending on the version, it delivers an output of 195 kW / 265 PS or 206 kW / 280 PS. The DCC dynamic chassis control, the front differential lock, the progressive steering, the Cupra Drive Profile and the standard-fit full-LED headlamps are further examples of its state-of-the-art technologies.

"The new Leon Cupra is pure SEAT - emotion and performance, design and dynamics combine to deliver driving fun kilometre after kilometre. State-of-the-art technology is evident in its enormous precision, but also in its compelling efficiency", stresses Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice President of SEAT S.A. for Research and Development. "The new Cupra is a sports car for every day; it feels just as much at home on the race track as it does on the long haul."

With the new Seat Leon Cupra, a success story is moving onto the next level. The first generation was launched in 1996 with the Ibiza, since when the dynamic Cupra models have developed to become the icons of the SEAT brand. Now Cupra comes as a 3-door Leon for the first time.

The Drive - top performance included

Cupra stands for power, performance, dynamics - and the new Leon Cupra fulfils all these promises perfectly. The Cupra 280 with optional DSG transmission, the brand's top model catapults from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds, and in 5.8 seconds with the manual gearbox (Leon SC). The regulated top speed of 250 km/h is a matter of course. The maximum torque of 350 Newton metres across the wide range of 1,750 to 5,300 rpm guarantees impressive pulling power in every situation. And the Cupra with 195 kW / 265 PS and a maximum torque of 350 Newton metres is no more than a fraction slower. Its acceleration time stands at 5.9 seconds with manual transmission and 5.8 seconds with DSG (Leon SC).

Against this, the new Leon Cupra is astonishingly efficient. The average fuel consumption for both power variants is just 6.4 litres with DSG (Leon 5D: 6.6) and 6.6 litres with the manual gearbox. This equates to CO2 figures of just 149 and 154 grams. And, compared with its predecessor, it means a reduction in emissions of 41 grams.

Hi-tech engine components

As a true sports engine, the 2.0 TSI reacts spontaneously to every movement of the gas pedal and is deliciously high revving - paired with a rich and refined sound that is aided and modulated by a sound actuator. The all-new power unit with its exceptionally responsive turbocharger is packed full with hi-tech and groundbreaking features - in the dual-injection system, the gasoline direct injection is complemented under partial load by manifold injection. Its optimum set-up reduces fuel consumption and particulate emissions. Cylinder fill is always in the optimum range - the camshafts are adjustable, with the valve lift system regulating opening on the exhaust side. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head and is part of the intelligent thermal management system. A new kind of coating on the aluminium pistons and the bearings keeps friction to a minimum. The Cupra efficiency package also includes the start/stop system and brake energy regeneration.

The Chassis - hi-tech for precision and dynamics

Cupra has always been synonymous with outstanding dynamics, precise agility and amazing sporting character. The new Leon Cupra, however, manages to set the bar a good deal higher - in every dimension. With the DCC dynamic chassis control, front-axle differential lock and progressive steering all fitted as standard, the new Leon Cupra achieves considerably faster laps on the track than its already impressive predecessor. At the same time, it is significantly more relaxed to drive, with a surprisingly refined level of comfort even on long motorway journeys. Safe and reliable deceleration comes courtesy of the Cupra-specific, high-performance brake system, recognisable by its red callipers.

DCC dynamic chassis control

The key fundamentals of the dynamics are low weight and a stiff structure. The systematic lightweight design of the new Leon family is also evident on the Cupra. Despite considerably improved equipment, the new generation weighs 55 kilograms less than its comparable predecessor. The new generation of the DCC dynamic chassis control developed specifically for the Cupra is even more sensitive and responsive, adapting the chassis characteristics to the prevailing conditions in a matter of milliseconds. The same applies to the driver's preferences - the Cupra Drive Profile permits extensive individualisation of the ride.

Front-axle differential lock

The new front-axle differential lock significantly improves the traction and handling of this front-wheel drive car. The system uses a multi-plate package that is hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled. The maximum locking force is 1,600 Newton metres and, in extreme cases, 100 percent of the drive can be sent to one wheel. The differential lock is integrated into all the handling systems like ESP and EDS. It improves not only the traction, but also eliminates torque steer. Furthermore, its sensitive control has no negative impact on steering feel.

Progressive steering

Also included as standard equipment, the progressive steering improves the agile handling of the new Leon Cupra. The driver experiences a precise and relaxed steering feel, less steering movement is required, reducing the number of grip changes, especially in cornering or parking manoeuvres. The steering in the new Leon Cupra works with a progressive ratio through variable toothing on the rack.

The ESP handling system has been further developed specifically for the Cupra and enables a very sporty driving style with full retention of safety functionality. For extremely dynamic use, such as on a race track, it can also be deactivated in two stages - the first stage deactivates the traction control and puts the ESP into sport mode, permitting greater yaw angles. The second stage deactivates the ESP completely.

Cupra Drive Profile

The Cupra Drive Profile enables the characteristics of the new Leon Cupra to be adapted across a very wide range to meet the individual preferences of the driver. Alongside the Comfort and Sport modes, the Cupra mode was, of course, a focal point for the engineers in Martorell. Throttle response is particularly sensitive in this setting, while the DSG operates in its sportiest shifting mode and the sound actuator supports the full tone of the turbocharged engine. DCC dynamic chassis control, progressive steering and the front-axle differential lock also operate at their sportiest settings.

The Design - emotional and powerful

Emotional design is a great strength of the Leon family. For the new Cupra, this has been developed one step further. The new front end with its large air intakes and full-LED headlamps ensures a powerful look, as do the rear skirt with its diffuser effect and the two oval end pipes. The alloy wheels are exclusive to the Cupra, while the red brake callipers and tinted side and rear windshields underscore its individuality.

The focus of the interior is on the Cupra sports steering wheel in its own unique design complete with shifting paddles for the optional DSG transmission, as well as the top sports seats in dark grey Alcantara finished with white stitching. Black full-leather upholstery, likewise with white stitching, is also available. For extreme lateral grip, there are optional bucket seats. The pedals and entry sills are made from aluminium.

The Cupra 280 is visually differentiated by its unique 19-inch wheels with a titanium paint finish, the Aerodynamic Pack with the spoiler on the rear roof edge, Cupra lettering on the brake callipers and black exterior mirror housings. The trim elements in the cockpit of this top sporty variant are a deep glossy black (or, alternatively, classic chrome).

The Equipment - exclusive and individual

The Seat Leon Cupra also states its position as the top model in the SEAT range through the progressive steering, dynamic chassis control, front-axle differential lock, Cupra Drive Profile and high-performance brake system with 18-inch wheels (Cupra 280: 19-inch).

Also standard equipment, are the full-LED headlamps and the LED rear lights. Alongside their distinctive design, LED headlamps have many further benefits - they illuminate the road ahead at a colour temperature of 5,300 Kelvin. Because this is very similar to daylight, it places very little strain on the eyes. When it comes to efficiency, the LEDs consume minimal energy - dipped beam, for instance, draws just 20 watts per unit.

The top sports seats in Alcantara, the Cupra steering wheel and the Media System Plus with a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen are all among the standard interior features in addition to the extensive base equipment of the Leon FR. One particular feature in the Cupra interior is the ambient lighting. LEDs in the door panels emphasize the contours of the interior design and add to the premium feel of the passenger compartment. At the same time, the ambient lighting offers occupants improved orientation and an even greater sense of spaciousness. The colour of the LEDs can be adapted via the Cupra Drive Profile - they glow red in Cupra mode, with the standard setting being white.

Topics: seat, seat leon, cupra

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