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Red-hot Cupra is SEAT’S Leon king 

YOU can’t get too much of a good thing and that’s particularly true when it comes to SEAT’s Leon line-up.

I’ve already written about three of the models in the News and promised to let readers know what the latest high-performance arrival was like.

I’ve just sampled this Cupra version and discovered it is a real hot hatch that doesn’t fall short of reaching the wow factor.

The Leon Cupra is available with a powerful 2-litre turbo petrol engine in 265ps (261bhp) and 280ps (276bhp) guises.

It only comes in three-door SC form and manual with the lower powered unit but is available in manual or auto and three or five-door style with the 280.

SEAT says Cupra stands for power, performance and dynamics – and this latest offering has all of these in abundance.

The test car – a three-door SC 280 with DSG transmission – simply blasted off the blocks thanks to a zero to 62mph time of just 5.7 seconds.

Racing through this auto box, the Cupra’s not even close to breaking sweat when it reaches motorway speeds with the engine boasting a limited top speed of 155mph – SEAT’s most powerful series production car ever.

It responds immediately to your foot hitting the pedal with the super six-speed auto transmission working extremely well.

This is a front-wheel drive hatch that’s built to tackle corners at speed with its great agility and road grip.

Engineers have achieved this sports handling with state-of-the-art technology that includes a new front-axle differential lock and progressive steering.

And with four different driving modes – Cupra, sport, comfort and individual – you can change the suspension and throttle settings to suit.

I did sample the other settings during some driving in and around town and they showed this model could be a very comfortable car to live with.

But it was in Cupra mode that you really get the best out of it with the auto box operating in its sportiest shifting mode and a sound actuator bringing a real roar from the turbo engine.

You probably won’t get anywhere close to SEAT’s figures for fuel consumption but they say this DSG model is capable of achieving an average 44.1mpg.

The Cupra’s looks have been enhanced with large air intakes and LED headlamps, a rear skirt and two oval pipes plus a spoiler on the rear roof edge for the 280.

It also gets exclusive alloy wheels, 19-inch on 280, red brake callipers, tinted side and rear windows along with a couple of Cupra logos.

The interior enjoys a likewise sporting touch with its hugging sports seats, in dark grey Alcantara with white stitching, Cupra steering wheel, Cupra logos and Cupra-branded sills.

With prices starting at £25,690 rising to the top-of-the-range £28,530 test car, the Cupra is right up there challenging for the No1 hot hatch spot.

And there’s yet another Leon model on the way with the new X-Perience set to arrive in UK car showrooms in December.

This is a top-spec addition to its ST estate models and comes with permanent four-wheel drive.

The range kicks off at £24,385 with prices rising to £28,870.