Seat today unveils the quickest and most powerful series production car it has ever made: the SEAT Leon Cupra 280. The Cupra 280 sits at the top of a five-strong family of brand new Cupra models that begins with the 265 PS Leon SC Cupra and ends with the five-door Cupra 280 DSG.
Every Leon Cupra completes the benchmark 0-62 mph sprint in less than six seconds, while all manual versions return exceptional 44.1 mpg average fuel consumption.
But the Leon Cupra is a car whose development was led by the pursuit of dynamic excellence. To that end, every Leon Cupra comes as standard with a mechanical front axle differential lock, a progressive steering system that sharpens the turn-in for improved agility, DCC dynamic chassis control to alter the suspension settings between sportier or more comfort-oriented, and two-stage deactivation of the electronic stability control (ESC) – including the ability to turn it off entirely.
These are on top of fundamental changes compared to the previous Leon Cupra: the new Leon is built on an all-new chassis, with a wider front track and fully independent suspension front and rear.
The Cupra 280, with optional DSG transmission, catapults from zero to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds, or 5.8 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox equipped; every Cupra model has a 155 mph limited top speed.
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.
Against this, the new Leon Cupra is astonishingly efficient. The average fuel consumption for both power variants is just 44.1 mpg with a manual gearbox equipped, and 42.2 mpg with DSG. This equates to CO2 figures of just 149 g/km and 155 g/km; by comparison the second generation Leon Cupra R with 265 PS emitted 190 g/km CO2.
The key fundamentals of the dynamics are low weight and a stiff structure. The systematic lightweight design of the new Leon family is evident in the Cupra: despite considerably improved equipment, the new generation weighs 55 kg less than its comparable predecessor.
The Cupra name has always been synonymous with outstanding dynamics, precise agility and amazing sporting character. In every way, the new Leon Cupra manages to set the bar a good deal higher than any of its predecessors. With DCC dynamic chassis control, a 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.
The new front end, with its large air intakes and full-LED headlamps, ensures a powerful look, as does 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 windows 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. The sports seats, in dark grey Alcantara finished with white stitching, are another interior highlight. Black full-leather upholstery, likewise with white stitching, is also available. 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, plus the Aerodynamic Pack, which comprises a 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.