SEAT has officially sold all 24 Leon Cupra Rs allocated for the UK despite its rather steep £34,995 asking price. This relative sales success doesn’t come as a shock though, considering other pricey limited run hot hatchbacks such as the Golf GTI Clubsport S proved to be a hit with buyers. SEAT hasn’t mentioned the chance of any more units being made available for the UK, but didn't deny the possibility of an expanded allocation when prices were first announced last year.
As a reminder the Cupra R utilises a subtly upgraded version of the standard Cupra’s 296bhp 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, raising power to 306bhp. Unlike other markets, SEAT only offered UK cars with a six-speed manual gearbox and not the optional DSG auto. SEAT is quoting a 5.8sec 0-62mph time, identical to the lesser powered Cupra 300.
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Like the Cupra 300, the Cupra R has adaptive dampers but in re-calibrated form to suit the greater amount of negative camber that SEAT engineers have dialled into the front axle. A limited-slip differential should help quell excessive wheel-spin and improve traction, while the exhaust system has been modified to provide an even fruitier note.
More substantial are the styling changes that build on the standard car’s sharp, neat lines with some dramatic upgrades. Most obvious are the new flared wheelarches, giving the Cupra R a more aggressive stance on the road.
The new arches are supplemented by a redesigned front bumper with larger intakes and carbonfibre detailing, while at the back a larger rear wing and carbonfibre trimmed diffuser set off new, round exhaust tips. Some very in-vogue copper detailing also features on the lower bumpers, badging and bespoke 19-inch wheels.
Available in black or dark grey, the Cupra R definitely has that little bit of extra visual punch to help distinguish it from lesser models. Carbonfibre and copper detailing are also prevalent in the interior too.
The Cupra R is loaded with luxury and convinence features that are optional on the standard car too, including high-grade sat nav, keyless entry and start, a reversing camera, front bucket seats and the winter package. Bundle these options together on a standard Curpa and you’ll only be a few hundred pounds off £35k, suddenly making the mechanical and styling upgrades seem like good value.