As silly as it sounds, high-performance hot-hatches are now ranked by how quickly they can lap the Nurburgring’s legendary Nordschleife track. Yeah we know, very relevant to everyday driving, right? But that’s the way it is, and manufacturers are milking it for all they’re worth. Renault, for the longest time, and now VW-owned Spanish carmaker SEAT too.
A few months ago, SEAT shattered the long-standing lap record for a front-wheel drive car – previously held by the Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy, and before that the Megane R26.R – with its latest Leon Cupra 280. Not only that, it did it in under eight minutes (7 min 58.4 seconds) – the first one to do so with a FWD layout.
Nevermind that Renault came back with a vengeance and took the crown again shortly after (the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R recorded a 7 min 54.36 second-lap), SEAT is celebrating the unprecedented feat. Cue the appropriately-named SEAT Leon Cupra Sub8 Performance Pack, with all the go-faster additions used to achieve that lap time.
Part of the package are up-sized 370 mm (30 mm bigger) four-pot Brembo brakes, unique 19-inch wheels (in either orange or black) and extended side skirts. Semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are available as an option too (at half the price that Renault charges for the same items, as SEAT points out), as are combination Alcantara/leather bucket seats.
SEAT Leon Cupra