We’ve known for some time that SEAT was planning a hot SEAT Leon ST Cupra estate, but these pictures are our first look at it in the flesh. Designed to sit alongside five and three-door version of the Leon Cupra hatchback, the Leon Cupra ST will be a direct rival for the Ford Focus ST estate.
Clearly marking this prototype out as a Cupra are its large alloy wheels, red brake callipers, twin exhausts and deep front bumper front end. The ride height has also been lowered, with stiffer damper and spring rates for the suspension.
Under the bonnet, the 268bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from the Leon Cupra will be adopted - that makes it the most powerful estate in its class, with 20bhp and 50bhp more than the Ford Focus ST estate and Skoda Octavia vRS estate respectively.
Power will be sent via a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed DSG gearbox to the front wheels. All Cupra models will also be offered with a limited-slip differential for the first time, taken from the VW Golf GTI Performance Pack.
A more powerful four-wheel drive Cupra R model is also under development, with power expected to be around 298bhp. It’s unknown if the Leon ST will adorn the Cupra R moniker.
The spy images indicate an almost showroom ready model, so we can expect the Leon ST Cupra to be launched alongside the Leon Cupra hatchback in the middle of 2014. A debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March has also been rumoured with prices expected to start at around £25,000.