What is it?
The Cupra Formentor really hits a mark but this Cupra Leon, wearing bronze badges and no Seat branding, is a different matter. I’m not sure yet whether that’s down to this car’s powertrain, or whether the wider Cupra Leon line up will share this car’s characteristics.
This test car is a performance plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant, with 242bhp and 295lb ft, featuring a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol mated to an electric motor. With a 12.8kWh battery it has a pure electric range of 31 miles, and you can set the minimum level it’ll discharge to, in case you want to save some juice for a zero-emissions zone. The drive units both sit under the bonnet and it’s front-wheel drive.
Also front-drive, incidentally, will be 242bhp and 296bhp 2.0-litre turbo pure petrol units. And then the 2.0-litre 306bhp engine and four-wheel drive system as tested in the Formentor will also be available in the Cupra Leon, but in estate version only rather than in this hatchback.
What’s it like?
The Cupra Leon sits 25mm lower at the front and 20mm lower at the rear than the regular Seat Leon, for a lower centre of gravity. There are struts at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, and big 370mm brake discs behind 19in rims and 235/35 R19 Goodyear Eagle F1s. All quite sporty.