SEAT has announced that its most powerful production model ever – the Leon Cupra R – is to arrive in the UK with an on-the-road price of £34,995. Just 24 of the total 799 cars to be built will be available in the UK, with deliveries starting in January next year.

Originally unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the SEAT Leon Cupra R is based heavily on the Cupra 300 model and is intended to compete with high-end hot hatchbacks like the 316bhp Honda Civic Type R, 306bhp Volkswagen Golf R and 345bhp Ford Focus RS.

Performance

The new limited-run car boasts an uprated steering system, modified front camber angles (for sharper turn-in), larger Brembo brakes and a specially tuned exhaust. The car’s turbocharged 2.0-litre engine produces 306bhp and can be paired with either a manual or DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Unlike the closely related Volkswagen Golf R, however, the Cupra R is only available with front-wheel drive. Performance is predictably rapid; 0-62mph takes just 5.8 seconds and the Cupra R will carry on to a limited top speed of 155mph.

For comparison, the four-wheel-drive Focus RS and Golf R manage the 0-62mph sprint in 4.7 and 4.6 seconds respectively, while the front-wheel-drive Honda Civic Type R takes 5.7 seconds.

Styling, interior & equipment

As this is a limited-run car (just 799 will be built), SEAT has been able to indulge its wilder side with the Leon Cupra R. Carbon-fibre details adorn the exterior, including a rear spoiler, lower lip spoiler, side skirts and rear diffuser. In true hot-hatch form, extended wheelarches feature, along with more aggressive air intakes.

The Cupra R comes in two unique metallic paint finishes – Monsoon Grey or Midnight Black. Both are complemented by copper-coloured accents on the mirrors, badges and on the 19-inch alloy wheels to further emphasise the car’s limited-run status.

The copper theme continues inside the SEAT Cupra R, where the car’s dashboard, centre console and contrasting stitching all match its exterior detailing. The car gets Alcantara trim on its sports seats, as well as on the steering wheel and gearknob. And as has become the norm on high-performance hot hatches, each Cupra R will have a unique numbered plaque mounted inside.

SEAT hasn’t held back with standard equipment; the Cupra R gets keyless entry and go, wireless phone charging, heated front seats, headlight washers, a 10-speaker Beats sound system, an eight-inch infotainment screen with sat nav and a 10GB hard drive, a tiredness recognition system and a rear-view camera. All of the above is included as standard over the Leon Cupra 300.

Price and on-sale date

The SEAT Cupra R is available to order now, with prices starting at £34,995. Just 24 examples will be made available in the UK – so act quickly if you want one.

The future of Cupra

The Cupra R may be one of the last cars to carry the Cupra badge as we know it. As previously reported, SEAT recently trademarked a new Cupra logo and could launch standalone cars under this badge.



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