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Next Seat Leon Cupra could get 261bhp 2.0-litre engine

Next Seat Leon Cupra could get 261bhp 2.0-litre engine

Spanish hot hatch to go toe-to-toe with high-performance rivals

A Seat engineer has told Autocar that the next generation of Seat Leon Cupra may get a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with as much as 261bhp.

This means that the new Spanish hot hatch will go toe-to-toe with more performance-orientated competitors like the Ford Focus ST, the Vauxhall Astra VXR and the Renault Mégane Renaultsport 265.

It also means that the new Cupra will leapfrog other upcoming MQB-based alternatives like the new Volkswagen Golf GTI, be it either in standard 217bhp or ‘Performance Package’ 227bhp form.

To appeal to a wider audience, Seat will offer it in both three and five-door body styles. An estate version may follow, offering an alternative to the Focus ST estate.

In order to boost traction, a neccessity when transmitting 261bhp through the front wheels, the new Cupra will benefit from a mechanical limited-slip differential.

The Cupra’s new power figure also represents a significant hike in output over the previous generation, which was powered by a 236bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

With the old model being capable of 0-60mph in 6.2sec, it’s reasonable to assume that the next-generation Cupra’s additional 25bhp will, in conjunction with other improvements, aid the new car in completing the benchmark sprint in around six seconds flat.

That extra power also means the new Cupra’s output will match that of the previous range-topping Cupra R. Besides indicating that the new Cupra may use a development of the R’s engine, it also suggests that the next R model will offer even more power.

The new Cupra is expected to be revealed in late 2013 or early 2014, with more details being released closer to the car’s launch.

There’s no official line on pricing but it’s rumoured that the Cupra will cost around as much as the next Golf GTI, so expect a price tag in the region of £26,000 for the three-door version.

Seat’s Design Chief, Alejandro Mesonero, said “The new Cupra is already more than a current Cupra R.”