The Cupra R is also lowered and incorporates SEAT's Agile Chassis Concept, which essentially uses new suspension mounts to allow a tiny amount of flex on the rear wheels to kill off understeer.
It also has extra body kit, with a deep front spoiler, sideskirts and rear mounted spoiler. What really finishes it off are the 18-inch alloys. Fantastic spiky gunmetal grey wheels allow a good view of the bright red Brembo brake calipers – the only car in this sector to have these fitted.
And SEAT has fitted a lot of equipment as standard. The Cupra gets a six-speed gearbox, aluminium pedals, climate control and an eight- speaker, six-disc CD player.
It also has plenty of electronics in an attempt to keep it locked to the Tarmac. All Cupras come with anti-lock brakes and emergency brake assist, electronic stability programme, traction control and electronic differential.
But the price is where SEAT believes it will really win business. At £16,995, it is £1,000 more expensive than the Civic Type R, but has much more kit on it.
Seat expects to sell 750 a year, so it is a halo car really, with user-choosers expected to be a popular market. With a CO2 rating of 211g/km, it sits in the 24% of list price band for benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax purposes. Inside is much as expected from any Seat, or VW group car of this size – very black with the odd spark of red stitching.
Everything is black except for the dials. Stern and sporting would be the theme. Splashes of colour are for wimps.
Model: SEAT Leon Cupra R
Engine (cc): 1,781
Power (bhp/rpm): 210/5,800
Torque (lb-ft/rpm): 199/2,100
Max speed (mph): 147
0-62mph (sec): 7.2
Comb fuel economy (mpg): 32.1
CO2 emissions (g/km): 211
Transmission: 6-sp man
Fuel tank capacity (l/gal): 55/12
Service interval (miles): 20,000
On sale: late summer
Price (OTR): £16,995