Seat Leon Cupra 280 debuts in the wake of a record lap time of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Most car launches are marked by champagne, a lengthy speech and some sort of big reveal event. Seat, however, decided to prove to the world it means business by throwing the Leon Cupra 280 around the Nürburgring in a record time.
The Seat Leon Cupra 280 now holds the record for the fastest front-wheel drive production car after lapping the Nürburgring in an impressive 7:58.4 minutes, bettering the previous record of 8:07.97 set by the Renault Megane RS Trophy in 2011.
Although technically every lap is different owing to the driver, weather conditions and many other factors, the Seat Leon Cupra 280 works out faster around the legendary 12.93 mile track than a Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 V-Spec, Dodge Viper SRT-10 and even a Porsche 911 Carrera S.
Seat touring car driver Jordi Gené (brother of ex-F1 and Ferrari test driver Marc Gené) was at the wheel during the lap, which saw the Seat Leon Cupra average a speed of 96.3mph up to a maximum of 150mph through the Tiergarten section of the track.
The Seat Leon Cupra 280 was fitted with a DSG gearbox and optional Performance Pack, which is unavailable in the UK but ‘an announcement will be made in due course’. The pack adds Brembo brakes, specially designed 19-inch alloy wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
Seat has eked 280PS (276bhp) out of the Cupra 280’s 2.0-litre TSI turbo engine. 0 to 62mph takes 5.7 seconds with the DSG gearbox in tow and the top speed is an electronically limited 155mph. Torque is a hefty 350Nm.
An impressive aspect of the Leon Cupra is not just how fast it can go around corners. Seat claims a sensible drive could yield as much as 44.1mpg, while only chugging out 155g/km of CO2 emissions. This is in part thanks to clever Stop/Start technology that keeps fuel from being wasted when in traffic.
“Our ultimate expression of the successful Leon formula is the all new Leon Cupra,” Seat president Jürgen Stackmann commented. “It is the fastest and the most powerful car we have ever built and yet is a comfortable family car. The Cupra is our new icon.”
Prices start from £27,240 for the Cupra 280 and £28,525 for the Cupra 280 DSG.
Want to see the lap in action? Scroll on down.