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We spot SEAT's red-hot 170 kW Cupra

2006-03-14 06:37

The next Seat Leon Cupra spied during winter testing. All pictures copyright Automedia

John Oxley

Our overseas correspondent took pictures of the soon-to-be released car while it was undergoing winter testing, and the pictures are totally undisguised.

They show the "Cupra" nose, as found on the hot Ibiza Cupra, and the red brake calipers which have become the trademark for hot hatches, including the Cupra's "parts bin" donor, the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

There are also new alloy wheels, plus new tailgate treatment.

However, the best news is that insiders tell me the Cupra will get an uprated version of the GTI's engine, pushed to between 165 and 170 kW - matching the power output of the extra-hot Golf GTIs supplied to the Scorpions last June.

The Cupra is also expected to have an upgraded suspension and possibly bigger brakes than the current top version, the 147 kW 2.0 TFSI FR 6-speed manual - which is already pegged for SA release.

It is also likely the Cupra will get the twin-clutch DSG gearbox.

Is it coming to SA?

No-one is telling at the moment, but when questioned about it an overseas SEAT representative had a "definite twinkle in his eye" according to our informant.

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