New Cupra Leon e-Hybrid: It’s more fun as a station wagon

The Cupra Leon e-Hybrid is more fun as a station wagon

Cupra brings the Leon onto the market with up to 310 hp. Brand new: The Cupra Leon e-Hybrid with 245 hp. Does it keep what the performance promises on the racetrack?

Cupra steps on the gas! In the civil version, the Leon still had to give way to the Golf, now Cupra is allowed to Golf GTI ran. But the question of the correct name remains: Leon Cupra, Cupra Leon – what’s his name now? Very simple: So far there was the Seat Leon Cupra, from now on there is only the Cupra Leon. Five-door and sports tourers will be on the market in 2020, we’ve both already driven!

Sporty with a focus on everyday life

In the case of the station wagon with its longer rear overhang, tail swings are more predictable.

The test Leon are fully charged in front of the dynamic track. So: Cupra mode in, ESP off and give it to him. Surprisingly, the ST with its long rear overhang turns out to be a fun maker. Tail swings are announced earlier, but are more predictable and easier to capture. The five-door remains neutral longer, but then loses its composure all the more abruptly. Too bad: The ST was on Bridgestone, the five-door on Goodyear, so an exact comparison was not given. What both had in common, however, was a design-related, logical, but nevertheless violent understeer tendency. On the country road, the sonorous, not annoying, but only generated sports sound is pleasing. In the high-quality interior, Cupra shows a love of detail – for example in the steering wheel’s impact absorber, which is embossed with a 3D carbon look. The copper accents look really good, the menu navigation of the high-placed 10-inch display is too nested for us. The sports chairs could use more lateral support on the surface, the backrest holds the upper body well, if not in a vise position.

Electric car accessories

Siemens – Wallbox VersiCharge 4.6 kW

Price *: 784.76 euros

Heidelberg Wallbox Home Eco 11 kW

Price *: 494.99 euros

Wallbox24 portable wallbox 3.6 kW

Price *: 199.90 euros

EV OneStop Simple Universal Charger 7.2kW

Price *: 379.99 euros

Morec portable EV charging cable 3.6 kW

Price *: 245.99 euros

* Prices as of February 25, 2020

During the At launch starts, the front axle seems quite overwhelmed. Here the electronics do not optimally regulate the starting speed and allow too much slip. Nevertheless, we believe the specified 6.7 seconds to 100 km / h. The chassis pleases with a nice spread between comfort and sport, whereby even sport is not too hard – Overall, the focus tends towards everyday life. Apropos: If you don’t have a charging facility at home or nearby, you don’t need to think about a sports PHEV, because if the battery is empty, we are driving in a 150-hp compact with additional weight, not an athlete. The battery can be charged via the system settings while driving using recuperation, but that makes little sense for an athlete – we want to drive at full power, not with braked foam. The sense of the Cupra Leon e-Hybrid therefore depends on the use. Anyone who can charge gets a sporty, compact one and currently has a 6750 euro bonus plus reduced VAT.

Cupra Leon with typical copper accents

The Leon is immediately recognizable as a Cupra model, and that’s not just because of the copper-colored accents. Let’s start with the front: Of course, the Cupra has larger air intakes, as it should be for a sports model. In addition, the radiator grille and the exterior mirrors are made of dark chrome. In the profile of the 4.37 meter long Cupra Leon, the newly designed 19-inch rims, which are reminiscent of aero wheels, stand out. The Cupra has been lowered by 25 millimeters (VA) and 20 millimeters (HA) to match. The side skirts were pulled down lower.

At the rear, the Spaniards give the sports model the continuous strip of lights as standard, which costs extra for the normal Leon. There is also a subtle diffuser. Depending on the engine, the Cupra comes with different tailpipe designs. While the petrol engine starts with a round four-pipe exhaust, the new plug-in hybrid can be recognized by its copper-colored tailpipes, which are somewhat reminiscent of those of the 65 models from Mercedes-AMG. Positive: Cupra keeps its promise and brings the sports model without fake tailpipes.

For the first time there is a plug-in hybrid at Cupra

Cupra Leon becomes a plug-in hybrid

The copper tailpipes reveal the plug-in hybrid, the continuous strip of lights comes as standard.

We come to the different engines. For the first time, Cupra is offering a plug-in hybrid in series. The Leon Cupra e-Hybrid is available with the drive from the Golf 8 GTE. The 1.4 TSI is combined with a 115 PS electric motor with a 13 kWh battery, the system output is 245 PS and 400 Nm. The purely electric range should be 52 kilometers, the charging process should take three and a half hours with a wallbox. From this new path for Cupra, those responsible expect an increase in performance and “outstanding performance”. The plug-in can be recognized by the copper-colored tailpipes and the additional loading flap in the fender.

For those who don’t feel like plug-in hybrids, the Cupra Leon is also available with a gasoline engine. Five-door and sports tourers are available with either 245 hp and 370 Nm or 300 hp and 400 Nm. The full power of 310 hp is only available in a station wagon with the 4Drive all-wheel drive.

All engines are offered exclusively with DSG, there will be no manual transmission. But the Spaniards promise that the shift times of the DSG have been significantly improved. If you don’t want to do without all-wheel drive, you have to resort to the Cupra Leon Sportstourer, the five-door is still only available with front-wheel drive. With 4Drive, the Cupra Leon ST should sprint to 100 km / h in under five seconds. If that’s not enough: A Cupra Leon R with even more power is to come at a later date. It may even be the performance level of the next Golf R. Then the Cupra Leon R could produce 333 hp.

First seat rehearsal in the Cupra Leon

Cupra Leon also comes as a plug-in hybrid

The interior of the Cupra Leon makes a good impression in the first seat test!

Cupra has skilfully added a few sporty details to the Leon cockpit without exaggerating. Copper accents on the air vents and steering wheel are new. In addition, of course, the Cupra logo is prominently emblazoned on the steering wheel instead of the Seat logo. We know the start button on the steering wheel from sports cars like the Audi R8. On the left side of the steering wheel there is an additional button for Cupra mode. Where the start button is on the normal Leon, you can turn off the ESP on the Cupra. The steering wheel sits comfortably in the hand, but the paddles could be a bit bigger.

Especially for the Cupra version of the Leon, there is a sports view in the standard digital cockpit with a large central tachometer up to 8000 rpm (red area from around 6200 rpm). The conventional layout with two digital round instruments and a speedometer up to 300 km / h is just a click away.

Cupra Leon becomes a plug-in hybrid

Only Cupra has a start button in the steering wheel and new sports displays for the digital cockpit.

The Cupra Leon is equipped with sports seats ex works. The Spaniards speak full-bodied of sports bucket seats, although at first glance the seats look more like sports and not bucket seats, as we know them from Porsche, for example. Surprisingly, the seats offer significantly more lateral support than expected and are comfortable when you first sit down. Electric adjustment and leather cost a surcharge, and the seats come with a fabric / synthetic leather combination as standard. The appearance of the material is consistently good and leaves nothing to be desired. It still takes getting used to: the small shift-by-wire shift stub that doesn’t want to look really sporty.

Sports suspension and Brembo brakes

Cupra Leon becomes a plug-in hybrid

Sports seats are available at no extra charge, full leather costs extra. The copper accents are on the house.

The Cupra Leon comes with good standard equipment from the factory. The sports seats in “Cupra Tech”, LED headlights, the continuous strip of lights at the rear, keyless go and more are available at no extra charge. The sports suspension is equipped with MacPherson struts on the front axle and a multi-link rear axle and lowers the compact car by 25 millimeters and 20 millimeters respectively. The Brembo brake with 370 millimeter discs on the front axle and copper-colored brake calipers is also standard.

Customers are spoiled for choice when it comes to the rims (six different designs) and the exterior color. In addition to four metallic finishes, there are also two special colors (Desire Red and Graphene Gray) and two matt finishes (Magnetic Tech Matt and Petrol Blue Matt) to choose from.

Digital cockpit with new sport mode

The Cupra Leon takes over the connectivity almost completely from the Seat Leon, which according to its own statement is the brand’s first fully networked car. The centerpiece is the fully digital 10.25-inch instrument cluster, which is child’s play to operate using the right steering wheel buttons and which has a new sport mode in the Cupra. The infotainment display is now on the center console and always measures ten inches in the Cupra Leon. The full-link system with GPS, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarpPay is also available for the Cupra Leon. The system was developed entirely by Seat and worked perfectly in the first short test.

When it comes to voice control, the Spanish have stepped up. The driver in the Leon can control various vehicle functions, including the air conditioning, using voice commands. There is also a little gimmick: The activation word is: “¡Hola, hola!”

Cupra Leon with a good price-performance ratio

Cupra Leon five-door and Cupra Leon ST will both hit the market in the fourth quarter of 2020. The prices start including 16 percent VAT 37,817 euros for the five-door model. Until the end of 2020, buyers will also benefit from a subsidy of 6750 euros.

Conclusion from Jan Götze: Cupra continues to accelerate. Just in time for the brand’s second anniversary, the bestseller Leon is now being launched as a real Cupra. My first impression: A successful car that, for my taste, could have been designed a little more aggressively. To offer the Cupra Leon as a plug-in hybrid for the first time is clever.

The trip to the presentation of the Cupra Leon was supported by Cupra. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at

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