The Seat Leon ST Cupra 280 has been unveiled, expanding the Volkswagen Group-owned company's performance sub-brand and in the process becoming its first high-performance wagon.
Teaming a 1470-litre load capacity with a claimed 6.0-second 0-100km/h time, the Seat Leon ST Cupra 280 follows on from the Leon Cupra 280 hot-hatch that surprised the world last March with a 7:58.44 lap of Germany's infamous Nurburgring.
Powered by the same 206kW/350Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre direct-injection four-cylinder employed in its hatchback sibling, the new Leon Cupra wagon is available with a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automatic transmission.
Highlighted by large front air intakes, LED headlights, black wing mirrors, a rear diffuser, a dual exhaust and Cupra-specific 19-inch alloy wheels, the Seat Leon ST Cupra 280 also features a mechanical limited-slip front differential and performance brakes with red calipers.
Ensuring the wagon maintains at least some of the hatch’s handling traits, Seat’s adjustable three-mode ‘Drive Profile’ – offering Comfort, Sport and Cupra modes – is carried over, affecting the car’s Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), Progressive steering system and front differential.
Though not pictured, inside is said to be home to a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, sports steering wheel, white-stitched sports seats finished in black Alcantara and aluminium pedals and sill plates. More extreme bucket seats are also optional.
Further options include semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres and a ‘Sub8 Performance Pack’ comprising larger Brembo brake calipers, alternative black or orange 19-inch wheels and body-coloured side skirts. For those interested in the other end of the scale, a Cupra efficiency pack adds engine start-stop and brake energy regeneration.
Due to launch in overseas markets in March 2015, Seat says thanks to its added versatility, the new Leon ST Cupra 280 is “the ideal everyday sports car".
Sadly for local buyers, the sporty estate is unlikely to ever reach local roads, despite Seat CEO Juergen Stackmann’s keenness to see the brand return to Australia as soon as 2016.