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More power for new SEAT Leon Cupra 290

This is the SEAT Leon Cupra 290, the most powerful car in the range - with 286bhp

The SEAT Leon Cupra is one of our favourite hot hatchbacks - and now it's set to get even better with a few upgrades. The Cupra 290 has received a 10bhp boost over the 280 model, increasing power to 286bhp.

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The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is shared with the Golf GTI and the Skoda Octavia vRS, and it can propel the car from 0.62mph in just 5.8 seconds when fitted with a manual gearbox. The optional six-speed DSG automatic takes a tenth of a second off this time. Top speed has been electronically limited to 155mph.

Elsewhere, SEAT has essentially given the Leon Cupra the Performance Pack from the Golf GTI - which means bigger brakes and a clever electronic limited-slip differential, which can send 100 per cent of the power to one wheel if needed. It's integrated into all the electronic handling aids, and SEAT claim it will reduce torque steer.

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Adaptive dampers are standard, with Comfort, Sport, and Cupra modes. These are customisable so the keen driver can tailor it to their preferred driving style. A variable steering rack also quickens responses when driving fast, while reducing the amount of arm-twirling when parking.

Inside, the SEAT Leon Cupra is well equpped, with sat-nav, ambient lighting, and Alcantara sports seats. Sharp-looking LED headlights are standard and so are 19-inch alloy wheels.

As well as the three and five-door hatchback models, there's a 'Sports Tourer' estate - and the Leon Cupra returns 42.2mpg with a manual gearbox.

Thanks to low customer demand, SEAT has stopped UK sales of the lower-powered, 265 models - so the only Leon Cupras available in the UK are now the 280 and this new 290.

Frankfurt Motor Show 2015 SEAT press conference

Did the SEAT Leon Cupra need a power upgrade? Let us know what you think in the comments below...

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