SEAT Leon Cupra revealed as fastest ever FWD car at Geneva

4 Mar, 2014 5:30pm Jonathan Burn

SEAT’s hottest ever hatch, the new Leon Cupra, smashes Nurburgring record for a front-drive car

Lap records at the Nurburgring are continuing to tumble, with SEAT announcing the new 278bhp Leon Cupra has smashed the record for the fastest front wheel drive production car to lap the ‘ring. With a time of 7 minutes and 58.4 seconds, the Leon Cupra is almost a whole 10 seconds quicker than the Renault Megane RS Trophy which previously held the record.

Behind the wheel was SEAT touring car champ Jordi Gene, who managed to average 96.3mph and hit a top speed of 150.4mph around the 12.4-mile track. The Leon Cupra which set the record was a production-spec model, fitted with the optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

The sub 8-minute lap for the Cupra means it posted a faster time than some high-performance models such as the Aston Martin DBS, Porsche Cayman S, Audi R8 V8 and RS4.

The new Leon Cupra is the most powerful production model the Spanish marque has ever produced. Under the bonnet sits a 278bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI engine, which, when twinned with the DSG gearbox does 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. 

The orange wing mirrors and alloys seen in the car in our pictures will be available on personalisation Colour Packs offered on the Cupra later this year. Buyers will be able to choose from Orange, Black and White colour packs.

The Cupra’s record as the fastest front-wheel drive car around the Nurburgring is already in jeopardy as Honda has its sights firmly fixed on the fastest FWD crown with the new Civic Type R. The new Type R won't arrive in showrooms until 2015 however, so it'll be an anxious wait for the Spanish marque. 

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Seat v Honda grudge match coming? Should be interesting.

It's NOT "a WHOLE 10 seconds faster" than previous FWD record holder, because Megane did a 8:07.97 lap in 2011.
Cupra's time is A LOT quicker, but don't degrade such a great accomplishment by false facts!
p.s. I'm only complaining the lame journalism, not the Seat's accomplishment!

No video of the run on youtube?

Seven minutes 58 seconds? I could go faster than that in a van!

renault just got down in all fours

Interestingly they've done this with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. A much better tyre than the Potenza RE050A tyres on the Megane 265 Trophy.

Nice comment!
Michelin PS Cup2 are SEMI-SLICKS, while Potenza RE050A are "normal" high performance summer tyres. The track difference is roughly (highly dependant on specific tyre, track and suspension setup) around 1s per 1min, which means the difference between cars is a lot less than 10sec.
Guess the Seat follows some other manufacturers in "stretching" the definition of the term "production car" by offering the semi-slick tyres as an option.

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