Cupra has been snapped testing a hotter version of the next-generation Seat Leon ST, likely with all-wheel drive and more than 220kW.
Up front, the Leon has an aggressive lower splitter and air intake, along with pinched headlights. The rear has a massive overhang, suggesting the Leon ST wagon will also be focused on delivering a capacious load bay in addition to aggressive performance in Cupra guise.
There are big wheels and bigger brakes than standard, and the calipers now wear the Cupra logo instead of Seat's mark. That's because Seat has spun Cupra off as a standalone performance brand.
Under the bonnet, expect to see a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine making more than 220kW. It'll be mated with an all-wheel drive system and a dual-clutch transmission. European media also reports the car will feature adaptive dampers, and some form of torque-managing front differential to put all that grunt to the road.
Whether a manual, front-wheel drive price leader will also join the range remains to be seen.
Despite Seat and Cupra remaining off the cards for the Australian market, the high-performance wagon could serve as a preview for what's to come from the next-generation Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R.
Some clues can be taken from the current Seat Leon Cupra R ST, which is essentially a reskinned version of the Volkswagen Golf R wagon.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine makes 220kW and 400Nm in 'standard' guise, with drive sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Buyers of the current model can also specify an ABT upgrade which bumps power to 272kW, and cuts the 0-100 claim from 4.9 seconds to 4.5 seconds.
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