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SEAT Leon Cupra R news - SEAT of power - 2009

Say hola to the most powerful Spaniard since, er, Franco: the Leon Cupra R.

It’s the most powerful car ever built by SEAT – and, in fact, is as powerful as the Leon touring car racer, putting out 261bhp from a two-litre turbo petrol engine, the same unit found in the Audi S3.

Unlike the four-wheel drive S3 – but like the upcoming Scirocco R, which will also be powered by the same engine – the Cupra R remains staunchly front wheel drive. SEAT has attempted to tame all that power through the use of an ‘XDS’ electronic system that mimics the function of a limited slip diff.

If you can keep it in a straight line, the Cupra R will hit 62mph in 6.1 seconds and top out at a limited 155mph. SEAT quotes combined fuel consumption of just under 35mpg.

Expect plenty of ‘Cupra’ and ‘R’ logos dotted over the interior and exterior, along with a liberal sprinkling of leather, aluminium and Alcantara in the cabin.

Prices should start at around £21,000 if and when it reaches the UK, meaning it should undercut the Scirocco R by several grand.

We’ll get a closer look at the Cupra R at the Frankfurt show next month.

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