DT Garage: Flexing my Abts in the Seat Leon Cupra R Estate 4Drive
I love a fast estate car... and they don't come much faster than this.
There’s just something really cool about a fast estate car.
I didn’t used to get the love for estate cars, until one day, I realised I passionately wanted to buy a Volvo P1800 ES… I’m not sure where it came from, but ever since that realisation, I keep falling for estates. If I could afford it (which I most definitely can’t – journalism doesn’t pay all that well, kids), I’d have a Porsche Panamera 4S Sport Turismo in a heartbeat… the new Volvo V90 is the absolute tits, the Peugeot 508 SW is a proper looker. I just get it now.
When I had the chance to get my hands around the (bloody beautiful) Alcantara steering wheel of the Seat Leon Cupra R ST 4Drive Abt for three months, obviously I jumped at the chance. It’s an estate car, it’s a fast estate car, and the spec matches my watch. What’s not to love?
So, Seat Leon Cupra R ST 4Drive Abt tuning fast Millennial spec carbon fibre grey rose gold is a bit of a mouthful (ok, I’ve exaggerated slightly), and it’s also a bit of a handful. In the absolute best way.
While it might not necessarily look like it could win a stand-off at the traffic lights, oh my, it most definitely can.
The ‘R’ bit of the very long name gets you some stylistic bits: the Alcantara steering wheel, seats, gear shift, real carbon-fibre, not real carbon-fibre, and those all important copper accents. Against the grey, they might not be to everyone’s taste, but being the basic bitch Millennial I am, I love them.
The ‘Abt’ bit is a £500 cost option that involves tuning company Abt Sportsline working its magic. Thanks to some fiddling on the car’s computer, ‘my’ Leon Cupra R has 440 Nm of torque compared to the 400 of the ‘standard’ one, and it’s got 350 horsepower compared to 300, resulting in a 0-62mph time of just 4.7 seconds. Apparently acceleration doesn’t stop until it hits the 160mph mark, but I haven’t tested that theory… There’s also some sporty suspension tweaking. Thankfully, all this is done with the blessing of Seat, so your warranty stays in place.
Fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, you’d maybe think to put the Seat Leon Cupra R etc.etc.etc. up against the Golf R Estate or Octavia vRS Estate, but it’s in another league, at least in the speed stakes.
I’ve driven a fair few VW Group cars with that (very good) 2.0-litre engine, and none have got close to matching the fun of the Seat. Holy cow it’s fast.
Occasionally I’ve wondered if it’s a bit too fast… but it’s so nice, reassuring almost, to know that power’s there when you need (ok fine, want) it.
As a motoring journalist of eight-ish years, there aren’t all that many cars I’d be willing to hand over my own money for. But, if I had the cash – and I’d need a fair bit, the car’s £38,475 – I think I’d do it for the Seat Leon Cupra R. It’s got under my skin a bit, and I can’t wait to spend the next couple of months finding out more about it. I’d have to be quick though, there are only 150 of these for sale in the UK.
In the meantime, I’ll be over here, training up my Abts to prepare for the fight when it comes to giving it back…