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Meet Seat's hardcore Leon Cupra 'Sub8'
Thought the Nürburgring hot hatch war had been won by Renault when its Megane Trophy-R eclipsed the Cupra R’s lap time? Seat reckons you should think again. The Spaniard’s front-drive lap record may have been whipped away by the Renault, but the battle doesn’t end there, apparently.
Seat has now added its ‘Ultimate Sub8 Performance Pack’ to the Cupra’s option list, and it celebrates the Leon being the first production front-drive car to lap the Nordschleife in under eight minutes. We imagine the sell would be less clunky had the Seat held onto its record, but nonetheless, its 7m58.4s puts it ahead of all manner of supercar laps of the past.
The fight has restarted thanks to Seat’s boasts about its value. Quite a feat when a Sub8-spec Leon tops £31,000, but the Spanish car maker is keen to point out that it’s around £7000 cheaper than a similarly optioned Renault.
There’s already a standard Sub8 pack available, bringing with it 30mm larger brakes, new side skirts and 19-inch alloy wheels, with optional orange hue. The Ultimate pack essentially ‘adds’ a host of weight reduction.
Yes, as is the way in the performance car universe, your £4200 option buys you less stuff. The air-con makes way for a simpler heating system, the stereo’s speaker-count is halved to four, while the Leon’s storage bins are thrown into presumably bigger bins.
Unlike the Renault, though, a stereo remains, as do rear seats. There’s even sat nav. The Leon’s 2-litre turbo engine is untouched, though, with 276bhp being directed through a rather effective front diff, that’s fine by us. Its 5.8-second 0-62mph time and 155mph top speed are more than ample for a hatchback.
The Leon Cupra also retains its option of manual or paddleshift six-speed gearboxes, as well as its Dynamic Chassis Control and toggle-able drive profile setup. The only options box to tick is for semi-slick track tyres, which are a reasonable £460.
Add the Ultimate Sub8 pack to a manual Leon Cupra and you’ll be paying £31,410. Though somewhat frustratingly, if you dashed straight to your local Seat dealer off the back of that lap time nearly a year ago, you can’t retro-fit it to your existing Cupra: it’s special factory order only, and available just on the three-door SC.
For consolation, the standard Sub8 pack - and therefore those Tangoed wheels - is half the price and available on the five-door and estate, too…