Cupra Reveals Hotter Leon, is This the New GTI Underneath?

The new home of SEAT’s Cupra performance brand has just opened, and with it comes the first Cupra Leon. Which might just be our best look at the upcoming Golf GTI before that car is fully revealed at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

SEAT calls the super Cupra Leon the King of Leons, and while they’ve been roaming around, always looking down, this hot hatch and wagon will be a real fire-breathing sport compact. The Leon and Leon Sportstourer (SEAT for wagon) will come with three engine options, giving it up to 310 hp. It’ll also have some more fuel-sipping choices, with a base motor that’s also a plug-in hybrid.

While we won’t see the Cupra (or any other) Leon here, this car is closely related to the next-gen Golf. Which means that we could see any or even all of the powertrains arriving in North America under the hood of the VW.

The base one is a 1.4L turbo-four that gets 37 miles of electric range thanks to its battery and electric motor. Total power is 242 hp and 295 lb-ft, a healthy increase over the current GTI’s 228. Next up is a 2.0L turbo-four making the same 242 hp and a slightly lower 273 lb-ft of torque. That one might be the one we see here, rather than the hybrid.

At the top of the range is the sex is on fire 295 hp version of the 2.0T, though for the Sportstourer only, a 306 hp version of that engine is also available. All of the Cupra Leons are going to come with a DSG box, so don’t bother looking for that third pedal.

Making the super Cupra turn is an adaptive chassis control that’s tuned for the quicker version as well as new springs that lower it about an inch up front and slightly less in the rear. The top 306 hp Sportstourer gets all-wheel drive, which makes that another feature that could be a maybe for the new GTI, though is likely going to stay R only.

The new Cupra Leon will be shown off in Geneva, where we’ll also see the new GTI in full for the first time.