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XCAR: Seat Leon Cupra: Hothead Hatchback
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XCAR: Seat Leon Cupra: Hothead Hatchback

6:41 /

The Seat Leon is one of XCAR's favourite hatchbacks. How is it when raised to Cupra level?

[MUSIC] It takes a fair bit to annoy common factors; you have to really push them, get up all over them with all irritate them to get them into change their ways as a result of your actions. Fiat managed to knock Renault because the new Land Cooper managed to beat the Megane's 265 around the Nürburgring. And it managed to do it so convincingly that Renault upped the power on the Megane, to go and get his record back. But less about the French. Let's go south. [MUSIC] The Seat Leon is a great car. We know that and the 180 horsepower diesel well that should be enough for most, it's powerful enough and it's certainly economical but for some it simply won't be. So how about adding an extra hundred horses on there, and making the fuel a little more [UNKNOWN]. Well then you get the [UNKNOWN]. [MUSIC] Here's a bit of a range breakdown for you. There are two power outputs to choose from. The 265 or the 280. They come with a number of gearboxes and with three doors or 5. Confusing. Yes, but not so bad you'll be cross eyed figuring it all out. Now I'm leaving me. I know you're really interested in the most powerful one. This one, the 280. Here's. The numbers. Nought to 62 takes 5.7 seconds with a DSG gearbox. It's top speed is 155 miles an hour. You'll never actually be able to use that in the real world but, it's 2 liter turbocharged engine doesn't only push out 280 horsepower, but also 257 pound foot which means. It should be pretty brisk in gear. Power wise, it's running a little short compared to its VW group stable mates, the VW gulf R and the [UNKNOWN] S3. But, it's also cheaper than the pair, so. There's no massive issue there. It also means that there's room in the range for a more powerful Cupra R model. How does 320 brakes, sound? That'd be, pretty sweet. [MUSIC] Unlike its VW group cousins the Coupra isn't all wheel drive. No, this is front wheel drive. But, to keep the power in check [UNKNOWN] fitted a proper mechanical differential. No more XDS electronic trick or anything like that. Say I wanted to build a car that could take on another [INAUDIBLE]. And win. Which it did, sort of, you see there's a few rumours flying around the cooper that took on the Green Hell wasn't quite standard but still. It's a bit quick. So, just how good is this thing is it mind blowing fast is it fast enough to make me break out in some sort of senial gasmic smile. The Leon itself is brilliant. We got one as crew car and every drive in it is an utter, utter joy. In comfort mode, everything's okay because there's lots of toys trying to keep the car as level and balanced as possible. However, this is not a car you buy because you want. Wants something with a comfort mode [INAUDIBLE]. You buy this car for the cooper button. [MUSIC] It's got so much grip and it's rocket responding cooper mode is awesome. You put your foot down and all of a sudden it starts making a noise a little bit like one of the current formula one cars. It's two liter. Turbo-charged engine. Doesn't sound like super-hyper-fruity but it's a nice noise. It pleasantly pushes you along into the distance and it does so very quickly indeed. The old Leon Cupra R had 260-ish horse power. Awesomely-fast car but. The XDS electric [UNKNOWN] wasn't all that good at keeping the torque-steer in check. In this there is a little bit. They haven't eliminated it entirely. What they have done is great! But there are a few caveats to that. It does let you push it really really hard, but you do know that. Even though you're the one doing the pushing, the car's the one doing all of the work. There's lots of toys in here to make sure you' stay level. The power goes to the right wheel at the right time. You don't fall off the road in some horrible skiddy fireball. And so a little bit of me, even though. Having tremendous amounts of fun feels a little bit cheated because I felt as though while I was part of the process I wasn't quite as involved as I could be. But then again thats the state with most modern hot houses. In order to make the cooper just a little bit more jazzy just a little bit more racy. See. Since I've did a few [UNKNOWN] and black details and they painted this particular one, high volume yellow. High, means you catch it in certain lights, you see what the designers did to make such a pretty car in the first place. First place. When it first came out, it was [INAUDIBLE]. It was so much different from the A3 and the Golf and the [INAUDIBLE] really. It was a bit more daring, it was a bit more stylish and that's just been carried on with a slightly more sporty edge. This car was designed to make you feel good and that is precisely what it does. [MUSIC] So that's what it's like to actually pedal. But is it better not only than the Audi and VW hiccups? But the likes of the [UNKNOWN] Ford Focus X team, all that jazz? Well, that decision is entirely down to you but for me, the Cupra is kind of a brilliant mix of everything. It builds on the brilliance of the standard layon and then it has a little bit of that [INAUDIBLE] side in the astro [INAUDIBLE] and a little scoop of the character you get in a Ford Focus ST, and up against the Renner, well, we both know who's gonna win that race. If you're in the market for a whole hatch, you'd be a fool to overlook this thing. [MUSIC]

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