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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

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?

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/seat/202153/new-2020-seat-leon-revealed-the-golfs-catalan-cousin-gets-a-makeover
SEAT

New 2020 SEAT Leon revealed – the Golf’s Catalan cousin gets a makeover

28 Jan 2020
Visit/seat/leon-cupra/21015/all-new-2019-seat-leon-spied-ahead-of-reveal
SEAT Leon

2020 SEAT Leon teased before reveal later this month

14 Jan 2020
Visit/seat/leon
SEAT Leon hatchback

SEAT Leon review

15 Jul 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/renault/9499/renault-5-gt-turbo-review-history-prices-and-specs
Renault

Renault 5 GT Turbo – review, history, prices and specs

Not as wild and bonkers as the mid-engined Turbo, the Renault 5 GT Turbo was still a rather fine hot hatch
1 Apr 2020
Visit/saloons/202421/supersaloon-face-off-old-vs-new
Saloons

Supersaloon face-off: old vs new

From the first to the very latest, we take a dive into the history of the supersaloon
4 Apr 2020
Visit/bentley/202227/ps15m-bentley-bacalar-revealed-in-six-new-designs
Bentley

£1.5m Bentley Bacalar revealed in six new designs

Bentley’s exclusive Mulliner brand is returning to low-volume manufacturing with the striking Bacalar convertible
3 Apr 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019