Auto Tech

The last-generation SEAT Leon wasn't quite a superhero...

So there's a new SEAT Leon in town now. It's all angular, pointy, and "better than ever," and so on. However, last year we took out the old (then current) Leon Supercopa -- a special edition of the Leon FR+ hot hatch.

Now playing: Watch this: Seat Leon Supacopa

I always thought the FR+ Leons were the best of the "hot" Leons. They offered the perfect balance of chassis and power -- the normal FR cars were a touch underpowered, more "mum spec" if you will. The Cupra R? Well, 250+ bhp is great and all that, but it felt like it was too much for the car. Don't get me wrong, I loved the rush of speed, the induction noise (even though it was slightly artificial -- tsk tsk), and the ridiculousness of its body kit. It was a bit like a rich cake though. Amazing at first, then a bit much for a long while afterward.

The Supercopa, then, was more like a refreshing cheesecake. More manageable but special enough to keep you coming back for more and more until you're left clutching your stomach muttering something about being able to "see through time."

Its looks are one thing, but its 168-bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine is something else. Not only is it remarkably smooth, but the torque it delivered was borderline addictive. Twin that with SEAT's rather lovely twin-clutch DSG gearbox and you find yourself braking and changing down to grab a precious few seconds of addictive acceleration before leveling out at the limit and guiltily feeling for the big pedal once again.

Thanks to an electronic XDS differential, the Supercopa is rather polite when things get a little more, erm, rapid. You can hurl it about to your heart's content and not worry too much about ending up in a tree. You'll even crack more than one sly grin after getting away with something you didn't think you should have.

Sadly, we found that the Supercopa didn't live up to the "Super" bit of its name, as we found out in the video above.

Engine 2.0-litre diesel
Power 168 bhp
Torque 258 lb. ft.
0-62 mph 8.2 seconds
Top speed    133 mph (optional)