“Apart from being the sportiest, the most exclusive and the most powerful car produced by SEAT, the new CUPRA R represents a high point for SEAT in terms of its ability to make unique, exciting cars with the most advanced technology ready for the most demanding drivers”. said Dr. Matthias Rabe, executive vice-president of R&D at SEAT. “The brand’s experience in motor racing has been a key factor in the development of this car.”
In the interior, an exclusive serial numbered engraved on the console just in front of the gearstick, reminds that we are in a very limited edition. The bucket seats have copper stitching that also appears on the steering wheel. The last one and the gearstick are upholstered in Alcantara®. The copper colour also appears on the dashboard, the console and the air condition frames while the door panels are covered in with carbon optic foil.
Ready for action
The new Leon CUPRA R of course, comes with the latest and most advanced technology to satisfy the demands of the most exigent drivers. It is noticeable the attention to detail in the 8-inch colour screen, where a welcome message, exclusive to the CUPRA R, appears when the start button is pressed; completed by an emotional start of the powerful engine. As well as this, the exhaust sounds sportier, with more punch with occasional small backfires which will delight true sports car fans. The Start&Stop System can be momentarily switched off, if needed, when driving through tough urban traffic. Similarly, car behaviour can be adjusted according to the preferences of the lucky driver thanks to five Drive Profile modes; Comfort, Sport, Eco Individual and of course, the new CUPRA mode. This new driving mode elevates the driving experience to new heights; upon choosing the CUPRA mode in Drive Profile, the engine reacts immediately and the rev counter stabilises between 800 and 1000 rpm at idling. In the DSG version, the increased idling speed in the Sport and Cupra modes will result in an improvement in the start-up performance and the transmission performance.
The new SEAT Leon CUPRA R’s engine, with 6-speed manual transmission, comes with 310 PS, making it the most powerful SEAT road car in its history. In fact, that extra 10 horsepower is particularly noticeable at high revs. To be exact, this 310 PS is available between 5,800 and 6,500 rpm; in other words, its maximum power comes at 300 rpm higher than the rest of the Leon CUPRA family. To get the most out of such a brilliant machine, the Leon CUPRA R comes with its own specific electronically controlled shock absorbers, known as Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), and the VAQ self-locking differential. It’s characterised by its hydraulic function and electronic control. It’s also worth pointing out, that its function isn’t as passive as other systems that utilise ESP sensors to slow the inside wheel, when taking a bend and deliver more power to the exterior wheel. In this case, after analysing the grip of each tyre, the clutch’s disks open and close in order to deliver 100% torque to only one wheel. Its functioning is, of course, perfectly coordinated alongside the rest of the electronic assist systems and takes care of applying and withholding power, thus eliminating sudden jerks when exiting tight corners. This allows the brakes to be used less frequently, translating into fewer interruptions to power delivery. The driver will simply notice the complete disappearance of understeer and the excellent engine performance in any given situation.
To develop and refine the new SEAT Leon CUPRA R, its engineers have done their bit to achieve sportier and more exciting car behaviour in this exclusive and special model. And it comes, as no surprise, that SEAT Sport’s experience and triumphs in motor racing have been determining factors. For example, in order to improve cornering speed and handling performance, the track width is wider —1,593 and 1,530 mm for the front and rear axles respectively— and new uprights have been added to the front axle that modify the negative camber (2º); the rear negative camber is also at 2º. The adaptive suspension (Dynamic Chassis Control, or DCC for short) and its steering software has been adjusted to give it a sportier touch and also comes with Brembo brakes. There is also a new exhaust system, and in the 310 PS manual version, tougher engine and gearbox mounts. Michelin Sport CUP 2 tyres are also available as an optional extra.
The Brembo stoppers in the front, well known as performance options for the Leon CUPRA are standard in the CUPRA R with special black calipers. Compared to the standard brakes the diameter and thickness of the brake disc increases from 340x30 to 370x32 mm, giving safer and more effective braking.
Production of the SEAT Leon CUPRA R began in the second week of November and will go on sale at the end of the year.