SEAT Leon FR+ Supercopa

New SEAT Leon FR+ Supercopa special edition celebrates Spanish hot hatchback's motorsport pedigree

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The Supercopa is a brilliant hot hatch to take on a long drive, with responsive steering, excellent power and great traction. Its practicality and the benefits of the diesel’s running costs and standard kit make it a good all-rounder, despite its age. Yet the fussy looks will turn conservatives off, while the ride is too firm around town compared to its rivals.

The SEAT Leon FR+ Supercopa 2.0 TDI CR is named after SEAT’s one-make racing series, and it's the new flagship Leon. It's based on the standard FR+, but the Supercopa adds new front and rear bumpers, a more pronounced tailgate spoiler, 18-inch BBS alloys and a longer list of standard kit, too.

Available in both petrol and diesel forms, the diesel is in essence a VW Golf GTD for extraverts: its aggressive styling won't please everyone, but the Leon isn't short on character, evident through the vertical wipers, front-quarter windows and the hidden rear door handles. The larger wheels give the Supercopa an even racier look.

Inside, the sports seats look great and offer a firm but comfortable driving position, while the perforated leather steering wheel has a quality feel. The surfaces can’t match rivals for quality, and those seats, combined with the stiff suspension, will be too harsh for some. Yet to the Leon’s credit the ride gets better with speed; it fidgets around town, but on a country B-road, the firm suspension super-sharp steering and strong brakes mean the Supercopa comes into its own.

It’s a joy to drive, as the 168bhp 2.0 TDI diesel delivers a strong 350Nm of torque from just 1,750rpm and the smooth-shifting six-speed manual makes it easy to use all of this power. It’s even more fun to drive than its 8.2-second 0-62mph time suggests, thanks in part to the new exhaust system. The diesel has a sporty soundtrack under load, yet it's still quiet and civil when cruising on the motorway.

Standard equipment includes a front electronic diff lock, as will as ESP and EBA, helping the Leon’s excellent cornering capabilities. Inside, there’s SEAT’s 2.2 Media System as standard, which includes Bluetooth, sat-nav and a DAB radio. Front, side and curtain airbags add to the safety credentials, while economy of 55.4mpg and 134g/km emissions mean running costs won't break the bank.

There are only a few signs that this car was launched back in 2005: while efficiency gurus will love the diesel, there’s no start/stop, for example. Yet that doesn’t detract for the Supercopa’s ability as an extremely capable, fun car to drive with practicality, quality and fun-factor in spades. The SEAT Leon FR+ Supercopa 2.0 TDI CR on sale now from £22,530, which is £750 more than the standard FR+.

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