After Ford had an attractive power station wagon with the Focus ST tournament for a long time, the competition also followed suit. The youngest representative of the sporty station wagon comes from Spain. Required for the Leon Cupra ST Seat 32.560 euro. Its two-liter turbo four-cylinder engine delivers at least 195 kW / 265 PS - the sporty truck nibbles even serious athletes on the freeway and country road. However, about 90 percent of customers will opt for the more powerful version with 206 kW / 280 PS (from 33.860 euros), the marketing department of the VW subsidiary believes. For a surcharge of 1.700 euros, the Cupra rolls on with a six-stage dual clutch transmission. Chief Technology Officer Dr. Matthias Rabe raves about the sporty values of the station wagon - the limousine already shone with best times on the course (under eight minutes for a Nordschleife lap) - why should the practical version make it much worse?
First exits with the strong ST show what could already be guessed: If you like it as comfortable as possible, you are at the wrong address with the Spanish hot blood. It was, of course, the declared aim that the tightly coordinated station wagon should be fun in the curve. Together with the chic-looking 18 tax collectors, this intention ensures that duct covers and other short-wave faults can be clearly detected. As expected, the southerners dry up what bumps the road has to offer.
But he can do long distance. He mimics the sporty gentlemen on the autobahn and, despite being wiry, doesn't bother his passengers excessively with shaking orgies - at the right speed and active cruise control, the fastest Leon becomes a relaxed kilometer-eater. If you want to let it rip - no problem, the Cupra purposefully runs into the 250 km / h limitation.
If you want to avoid the sounds of electronic storage media or radio, you still get your money's worth. The sound designers created a fine timbre, and so the sophisticated two-liter sniffs depending on the speed from tender to wild - therefore it leaves no doubt acoustically that the name "Cupra" (short for Cup Racing) stands for the athletes at Seat - that sounds really good, even if fans of old school may revile the use of the speaker as an aid.
Only 6,2 seconds (280 PS version smooth six seconds) is what the factory calls for the sprint from 0 to 100. It is obvious that, unlike the Golf counterpart, the Seat, which is driven with only one axle, likes to scrape with the front tires, especially in the lower speed range - the cross lock, which works with a multi-plate clutch, is of little use. But as soon as the rubber has found grip, the turbo clicks and pushes the occupants vigorously into the neatly dimensioned sports seats. Pronounced cheeks ensure good lateral support even with forced cornering, that's the way it should be.
During a quiet minute in city traffic, the view sweeps over the solidly manufactured consoles. You can find the characteristics of Volkswagen affiliation. The design of the multifunctional screen including proximity sensor is also available for the Golf and Octavia, for example. If the hand slides near the monitor, an expanded control panel appears. It was to be expected that the Leon could also be delivered with the assistance systems known from the parent company, which not least include an autonomous braking system and active lane departure warning system. But apart from a presumed relationship of some keys, the efforts of the interior designers for independence have borne fruit - the inexperienced buyer does not necessarily notice that the Wolfsburg-based company also has their fingers on Seat.
For this, the designers make no secret of the Cupra existence and leave corresponding fragrance marks in the form of white numbers on black dials as well as the Cupra flags. Cupra lettering on the upholstery generates at least curiosity among the unsuspecting. Potent tailpipes including the diffuser can confidently be understood as a warning to other ambitious road users.
If you actually have in mind to get the fastest lap time of racing driver Jordi Genes with the fast transporter, you should definitely order the performance pack. Then there are special Brembo brakes, weight-optimized rims and high-performance tires. The available bucket seats also make sense in this connection. Cost point: together almost 4.000 euros depending on the basic version.
Author: Patrick Broich / SP-X