2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290 Performance

Maybe one of the most powerful hatchback cars is the new 2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290. Just as we all know, Seat is part of the VW group, meaning that they build all of their cars on the same platforms as those found in some VW models.

The Leon is basically a Golf with different clothes and even though it is not such a good seller as the Golf, it has a lot of fans in the World because it does look a lot sportier than the German built Golf. On top of that, it is also a lot crazier than it and in many cases, quite a bit more powerful. Their latest model is the 2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290 which is one of the most powerful front wheel drive cars in the World.

The Engine range and Performance

It is quite similar to the older Cupra but its engine is actually new despite being similar to the older one. Under the hood of the 2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290 there is a new 2 liter turbocharged inline 4 which is pretty much identical to the one found in the Golf R. This engine is capable of delivering up to 286 horsepower and more than 258 lb-ft of torque which is quite impressive, especially since the Leon is a front wheel drive car only.

This means it routes all that torque to the front wheels and while it may have been a problem in the past, the car uses a differential which sends as much as 100% of the torque to any given wheel. The engine is then mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox or to a DSG dual clutch automatic.


The performance levels are quite impressive for a front wheel drive car with a 0 to 62 MPH time of just 5.8 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 MPH. Coming to the driver’s aid there is a dynamic chassis control available on all models which tunes the suspension settings to the car can handle the road conditions perfectly.

The only real drawback of this setup is that the front wheel drive model, while highly capable on the street and on the track, it simply can not match a four wheel drive system and it will be less fun to drive during harsh weather conditions than a similarly powerful Golf R or Focus RS.

2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290
Type 2.0 TSI engine
Output 285 HP
Torque 258 LB-FT @ 1.700 – 5.800 RPM
Top Speed 155 MPH
0 to 60 mph 5.8 seconds manual (5.7 seconds DSG)
Transmission 6-speed manual standard (optional DSG)

Very aggressive design

The exterior has not been altered too much over that of the base Cupra car and in fact, the two are quite hard to tell apart. The body-kit is pretty much identical to the usual Cupra but the car is now available as an ST model in all markets. On top of that, the wheels are all new and there is a newly tuned exhaust system which should be a bit more aggressive than before.

Inside look

The interior of the 2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290 is also identical to the one before with the only real changes being that now, the 290 model comes with a bit more equipment in the base form. This means that the optional sport Recaro seats as well as the sport steering wheel are now standard and on top of that, the Cupra comes with a slightly different upholstery on all three body styles.

2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290 front view

2016 Seat Leon Cupra 290 Price and Release date

The price has not been announced just yet but there are rumors that this model would cost around 35,000 euro which is very close to the Golf R. Unlike the R though, the Leon Cupra will be available in normal form, SC which stands for Sport Coupe, the two door version of the car, as well as ST, which stands for Sport Touring, the estate version of the car.

The release date should be right around the start of 2016 for all three models and unlike what many people expected, these are not going to replace the old 260 models.

The biggest rivals are 2016 Volkswagen Golf R and 2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Cup-S.

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