It was once a cornerstone of any serious hot hatch: that instant kick in the back of a brawny motor shifting a flimsy car, but it tends to elude heavier modern metal like the Clio 200, despite their lofty power outputs. This SEAT, however, nails it. Over 200lb ft of torque, available without lag, sees to that.
Revo Technik has given the Ibiza Cupra a subtle but thorough makeover. There’s the factory optional brake upgrade, Team Dynamics 18in wheels, KW Variant One coilovers and a Revo cat-back exhaust. There’s also a new leather interior and a gloss black roof, rear diffuser and door mirrors.
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It’s all nicely done, but the primary focus of the project is to demonstrate Revo’s Stage One ECU upgrade. Despite its name, this particular car has peaked on the rollers at 221bhp in its fiercest setting (four driver-selectable maps are available to suit different fuel quality and climatic conditions) – that’s a 43bhp increase over the 1.4-litre twin-charger engine’s 178bhp output in the regular Cupra.
Beyond 3500rpm both power and torque climb steadily over the standard car, and without tailing off at high revs, too. On the road it’s pretty ballistic, stomping through the DSG gearbox’s ratios with far more whistling from the turbocharger, and the supercharger whining like a miniature chainsaw.
To be fair, the chassis mods are very much a work in progress for Revo, but while they improve body control and steering accuracy, the latter is still a disappointment overall and the ride is now uncomfortably firm.
Nevertheless, the prospect of the identically engined new VW Polo GTI running Revo’s software is a very appealing one.
|Engine||In-line 4-cyl, 1390cc, twin-charger|
|Max power||221bhp @ 6200rpm|
|Max torque||209lb ft @ 5200rpm|
|Top speed||145mph (est)|