Skip advert
Advertisement

SEAT Leon Cupra 280 smashes FWD Ring record: Geneva 2014

SEAT has confirmed a new front-wheel drive lap record at the Ring, with its Leon Cupra 280. Details and video here

SEAT has set a new benchmark for the hot hatch world with its new Leon Cupra 280, being the first manufacturer to dip below the eight-minute mark with a front-driven road-car at the Nurburgring. The announcement was made during the 2014 Geneva motor show.

Piloted by SEAT racing driver Jordi Gene, the 276bhp Leon crossed the line in 7.58.4 – a staggering nine seconds quicker than previous titleholder, the Renaultsport Megane 265 Trophy – making it the fastest front-wheel drive production road-car to ever visit the ‘green hell’. The car used Brembo high-performance brakes and 19-inch alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, all available with Seat’s Performance Pack option.

Advertisement - Article continues below

As SEAT’s most powerful production car, the 5.7secs to 62mph Leon Cupra 280 utilises the same 2.0-litre TFSI engine found in Volkswagen’s Golf and Audi’s S3, but in the Spanish hatch’s case it drives the front wheels via a six-speed manual or optional dual-clutch DSG semi-auto ‘box. The lap record holding car utilised the faster changing DSG system, which worked with the impressive Haldex locking-differential found across the Volkswagen Group to place its power down on the twisting stretches of forest laden Nurburgring.

When we drove the Cupra 280 the traction created by the diff was nothing short of astounding, though we did think the car lacked the fun and involvement of the previous record holding Megane 265 Trophy.

That being said, the numbers speak for themselves; an average speed of 98mph and top speed of 150mph through the Tiergarten section means SEAT’s Leon Cupra 280 is truly the front-wheel drive king of the Nurburgring. But with Honda’s Type-R Turbo on the horizon and room for an R26.R style Renaultsport 265, how long is it before SEAT’s impressive lap-time is beaten?

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

BMW i4 eDrive35 review: does less equal more?
BMW i4 eDrive35 – front
Reviews

BMW i4 eDrive35 review: does less equal more?

BMW’s cheapest i4 gets a smaller battery, less power and a £50,755 price tag – is it a worthy alternative to a Polestar 2?
12 Apr 2024
Italy bans Alfa Romeo Milano name, so now it’s Alfa Romeo Junior
Alfa Romeo Junior/Milano
News

Italy bans Alfa Romeo Milano name, so now it’s Alfa Romeo Junior

Just a few days after the Milano's reveal, Alfa Romeo has been forced to change the car’s name entirely
15 Apr 2024
BMW M5 (F90) Fast Fleet test – 9 months with the 592bhp four-door
evo Fast Fleet BMW M5 F90
Long term tests

BMW M5 (F90) Fast Fleet test – 9 months with the 592bhp four-door

It may have been faster, more powerful and more complex that any M5 before, but the 592bhp F90 also managed to channel the spirit of some of its more …
12 Apr 2024