Volkswagen and Skoda might have teased their new compact hot hatches, but it’s SEAT that fully reveals its new weapon by introducing the Cupra Leon. After three generations, the speedy Leon no longer bears the SEAT logo as it now transitions to the recently founded Cupra brand to join the high-performance Ateca and the forthcoming Formentor crossover.
Much like its SEAT-badged predecessors, the Cupra Leon is going to be available as a hatchback or a more practical wagon named Sportstourer. But unlike the previous fast Leons, the new one will be offered for the first time ever with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The PHEV variant will combine a turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor for a total output of 242 horsepower and 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet) of torque.
Available in both body styles, the electrified model will offer up to 37 miles (60 kilometers) of pure electric range based on the WLTP cycle. Once you run out of battery juice, a full recharge from a domestic plug will take six hours, but you can lower that time to only three and a half hours by using a Wallbox.
The same amount of horsepower but a slightly lower 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) will be available for the conventionally powered Leon featuring a 2.0-liter TSI engine. In hatchback form, this specification will be the most affordable way to get behind the wheel of a Cupra Leon, but you’ll be able to order one as a wagon as well should you need the extra cargo volume.
Interested in more oomph? Cupra will sell you a hotter Leon hatch or wagon with a meaty 296 hp and the same 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque as the plug-in hybrid. These front-wheel-drive versions have an electronic limited-slip differential to optimize power delivery to the wheels depending on the steering angle and other characteristics.