There’s Seat Leon. Then there’s Leon Cupra, which produces 280 hp from a 2.0 liter TSI. And now there’s the the Cupra 290, boosting 10 hp more. Why? Because Seat said so!

What is wrong with 280 hp? Seat said is nothing wrong, only the newly tuned engine can do better in every aspect. Some of the new top-of-the-range qualities are the front differential lock, the dynamic chassis control and progressive steering. It’s been fitted a new, lighter exhaust, which helps the engine’s efficiency by being less restrictive. It produces a smaller back pressure, delivering in the same time a more thrilling sound: “a completely new sound”, as they say!

Yes, you’ll know it when you’ll see it (if you won’t hear it before): 19 inch titanium – painted wheels, red Cupra calipers, rear spoiler and black mirrors housings. All these wouldn’t be much without a capable powertrain: the 4 cylinders turbo engine sends its 350 Nm of torque through a manual or DSG gearbox to the front wheels. It’s available from 1700 rpm and stays at its peak until 5800 rpm, offering an exceptional drivability. It stops pulling at 250 km/h, but in the meantime is very economical, averaging an impressive 6.5 l/100 km (6.7l/100 km with manual gearbox). This mean 149 g/100km CO2. The most interesting feature of this direct-injection engine is the presence of an indirect injection system to complement the main one at partial load, reducing the fuel consumption. However, the direct injection works alone at startup and at high loads.

If you want to be over the top, there’s a Performance pack available, including a special wheels design, more grippy tires and Brembo brakes. However, this car is not a beast without comfort. Au contraire: it’s bundled with equipment like full LED headlamps, a last generation infotainment system, with Andriod and Apple smartphone connection and voice activation/reply. So what we have here is a real hot car, which combines pure dynamics with some of the latest comfort features available on the market. Olé!