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Seat - 2003 Leon Cupra R
Seat - 2003 Leon Cupra R

Seat - 2003 Leon Cupra R

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Seat Leon Cupra R The SEAT León is a small family car built by the Spanish car manufacturer SEAT since 1999. It uses the Volkswagen A platform and shares other components with t... More »
Seat Leon Cupra R

The SEAT León is a small family car built by the Spanish car manufacturer SEAT since 1999. It uses the Volkswagen A platform and shares other components with the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3 and Škoda Octavia.

León Mk. I (1999-2005)

As SEAT's best selling car, the León Mk I was marketed as a sportier and cheaper variant of the VW Golf. The first-generation was the hatchback version of the SEAT Toledo. To reinforce the sporty image, the vehicle has aggressive looks and is equipped with firm suspension to improve handling. The more expensive versions are equipped with powerful engines.

Available engines range from 1.4 L and include two variants of the Volkswagen Group's 20 valve turbocharged 1.8 L powerplant, or a 2.8 L V6 delivering 204 PS (150 kW). The León Cupra has a 1.8 Turbo with 180 PS (132 kW), and the León Cupra R 225 PS (165 kW). A 150 PS (110 kW) version of VW's 1.9 TDI engine is also available, originally as a Cupra, but later downgraded to the FR (Formula Racing) version.

Some Leons are equipped with all wheel drive, which is based on the same Haldex differential as the VW Golf 4Motion. All engines over 130 PS (96 kW) have a standard manual 6-speed gearbox.

León Mk. II

The New León, based on VW Golf V platform, has a sharper exterior look with the wipers hidden and the external rear doors handles more integrated . Design was handled by Walter de'Silva, and the car uses the same design style that started with the SEAT Altea.

In spite of its sporty image, the engine range is more limited when compared with the Golf's. The base model on offer is the old 8-valve 1.6 L engine with 102 PS (75 kW). The sportier variants begin with the 150 PS (110 kW) 2.0 FSI and the popular 140 PS (103 kW) 2.0 TDI Diesel. Both are fitted with a standard 6-speed manual with the DSG semi-auto gearbox available as an option. A 185 PS (136 kW) variant of the 2.0 TFSI unique to the León was later introduced, but despite a low list price and rapid performance attracted only minimal attention and average reviews, so this was later taken off sale to make way for the sportier FR variants.

The first real sporty León within the new range is the León FR, was introduced in June 2006, when it finally received the 200 PS (147 kW) 2.0 TFSI engine from the Volkswagen Golf GTI, as well as a 170 PS (125 kW) variant of the 2.0 TDI unit featured in the Golf and Audi A3. While both models retained the 6-speed manual, only the petrol variant can be fitted with the DSG.

The range-topping model in the León range is to be the 2.0 TFSI Cupra model. Boasting 240 PS (177 kW) and a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds, this model will be the fastest SEAT ever. The Cupra comes with standard 18" 5 twin-spoke alloys, red brake callipers and rear twin-exhaust pipes to one side, to distinguish it from lesser models in the range, as well as new, unique paint finishes and heavily bolstered sport seats complete with the Cupra logo. Also standard are climate control for the front passengers and drilled-aluminium sports pedals.

SEAT León in motorsport

The first generation SEAT León Cupra R was the basis of a one-make trophy, the Supercopa SEAT León. It ran in Spain, UK, Germany and Turkey from 2003. The car was developed by SEAT Sport and power was raised to 250 PS (184 kW). An "International Masters" final, featuring the best four drivers from each national series, was introduced in October 2005, as a support race for the Spanish GT Championship's final round at Montmeló. A TDI-powered version has raced in the ECTS, an Italian-based endurance series for touring cars.

In 2005, SEAT introduced the second generation León in the World Touring Car Championship, to replace the previous Toledo. The car features several modifications, including a racing engine that can reach over 260 PS (over 190 kW), a Hewland sequential-shift gearbox (unrelated to the DSG), and an aerodynamic package for increased downforce (with its hatchback shape, the León is disavantaged against sedans). Minimum weight is 1140 kg (2510 lb) with driver. SEAT Sport, in partnership with Oreca, runs six cars in the WTCC, plus two others in the BTCC and another two in the Italian Superturismo.

In 2006, the Supercopa León was replaced by the new shape. The car is potentially faster than the WTCC version, as it features a turbocharged 2.0 L engine, with over 300 PS (over 220 kW), increased torque, the DSG gearbox, better aerodynamics (it includes the WTCC car's front and rear spoilers, plus a Venturi tunnel under the car, instead of a flat bottom), and 18 inch wheels, instead of the mandatory 17 inch wheels from the WTCC.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia.
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