Meet Seat's First Performance Estate!

BY Azfar Hashim

Seat's Leon ST Cupra 280 promises both practicality and fun - we think it's crazy sexy and want one!

Seat has begun a new chapter with its iconic Cupra sub-brand through the unveiling of its first ever high performance estate, the Leon ST Cupra. Combining effortless performance with style and spaciousness in spades, the latest addition to the Leon stable boasts a load space of up to 1,470-litres and can shift from nought to 100 km/h in just 6.0 seconds – only 0.2 seconds slower than its five-door sibling.

For the UK, the ST Cupra’s 2.0 TSI engine with dual injection and variable camshaft timing will be tuned to 280 bhp. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), front differential lock, progressive steering, Cupra Drive Profile and standard-fit full-LED headlights are further examples of its state-of-the-art technologies. Making it even more intriguing is the availability of the ‘Sub8 Performance Pack’ on ST Cupra - the optional pack includes larger Brembo brake callipers, specially-designed 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels in either black or orange and body-coloured side skirts. Not forgetting semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

The all-new power unit with a responsive turbocharger is packed full with hi-tech — in the dual-injection system, the gasoline direct injection is complemented under partial load by manifold injection. Its optimum set-up reduces fuel consumption and particulate emissions. Cylinder fill is always in the optimum range — the camshafts are adjustable, with the valve lift system regulating opening on the exhaust side. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head and is part of the innovative thermo management system. An improved coating and alloy for the aluminium pistons and the bearings keeps friction to a minimum. The Cupra efficiency package also includes the start/stop system and brake energy regeneration.

With Dynamic Chassis Control, front-axle differential lock and progressive steering all fitted as standard, it achieves considerably faster laps on the track than its already impressive predecessor. At the same time, it is significantly more relaxed to drive, with a surprisingly refined level of comfort even on long motorway journeys. Safe and reliable deceleration comes courtesy of the Cupra-specific, high-performance brake system, recognisable by its red callipers.

The new front-axle differential lock significantly improves the traction and handling of this front-wheel-drive car. The system uses a multi-plate package that is hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled. The maximum locking force is 1,600 Nm and, in extreme cases, 100 per cent of the drive can be sent to one wheel. The differential lock is integrated into all the handling systems like ESP and EDS. It not only improves the traction, but also eliminates torque steer. Furthermore, its sensitive control has no negative impact on steering feel.

Also standard equipment, are the full-LED headlamps and the LED rear lights. Alongside their distinctive design, LED headlamps have many further benefits — they illuminate the road ahead at a colour temperature of 5,300 Kelvin. Because this is very similar to daylight, it places very little strain on the eyes.

The look of the Leon ST Cupra can be enhanced with the optional White Line, Black Line and Orange Line packs. The surrounds of the radiator grille and door mirrors and parts of the two-tone aluminium wheels are painted in the respective colour — with the Orange Line standing for Cup Racer orange.