Forecourt Update: SEAT Leon ST CUPRA 280
SEAT Launches Its First Performance Estate
What Is it?
The SEAT Leon ST CUPRA 280 is the manufacturer's first high performance estate. It is a small family class vehicle – much like the Ford Focus Estate – and has five doors, five seats and a spacious boot. Cargo capacity is 587 litres rising to 1,470 with the rear seats folded flat.
Its top of the range status is emphasised by sporty styling that includes: tinted windows, red brake callipers, large air intakes, a rear skirt, oval tailpipes, and “CUPRA” only wheels.
What Are The Engine Options?
Power comes from a 2.0-litre, 280PS, turbocharged petrol engine. SEAT claims it “reacts spontaneously to every brush of the accelerator pedal and is deliciously high revving”.
When connected to 6-speed manual transmission, this 4-cylinder power plant propels motorists to 62mph in 6.1 seconds and averages 42.2mpg. Carbon emissions are 157g/km.
The engine can also be teamed with 6-speed auto transmission. This enables the driver to cruise in full-auto mode or select gears manually via paddles behind the wheel. In this form, it hits 62mph in 6 seconds, returns 42.8mpg and emits carbon the rate of 154g/km.
What Are The Trim Options?
ST CUPRA 280 is the trim. It incorporates the CUPRA Drive Profile system that enables the driver to fine-tune the handling to suit the conditions. Modes are: Comfort (relaxing cruising), Sport (more engaging), and CUPRA (ultimate handling at expense of comfort).
The CUPRA Drive Profile controls – among other things – the response of the Dynamic Chassis Control system and the Front Axel Differential Lock.
Dynamic Chassis Control stiffens and softens the suspension. Stiffer suspension optimises cornering whereas softer suspension ensures a more comfortable ride.
The Front Axel Differential Lock minimises under-steer which is when the front tyres lose traction on a corner and force the vehicle wide. It also reduces torque steer which is the phenomenon that – while accelerating hard in a powerful car – pulls it sharply to one side.
Anything Else I Need To Know?
Optional extras include the White Line, Black Line and Orange Line Packs. These colour the radiator grille surround, door mirrors, and parts of the two-tone aluminium wheels.
How Much Is It?
Prices start at £28,505 on the road.