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Seat Leon ST Cupra 280 boasts speed and practicality

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Performance cars have been big business in recent years, with even a number of family cars receiving super-powerful engines and tweaks for sharper handling.

The latest model to receive a sports car makeover is the Seat Leon ST Cupra 280 – the estate version of the Leon hatchback. Following in the footsteps of the related VW Golf R Estate, which offers even more power and four-wheel drive, this Leon could be the answer to parents who need plenty of space for their growing family, but don’t want to sacrifice on the driving thrills they enjoyed before their offspring came along.

The ST Cupra 280 – Seat’s first high-performance estate car – boasts all the space of the standard ST estate car at the back – with 1,470 litres of space on offer with the seats are folded down – while sprinting to 62mph in a rapid 6.0 seconds. The car is available with a six-speed manual gearbox or a slick-shifting ‘DSG’ automatic and features a strong 2.0-litre turbocharged engine under the bonnet, which pumps out no less than 276bhp.

Drivers can choose between several drive modes, which change the focus from responsive performance to comfort or economy. The interior offers supportive alcantara sports seats which hold those in the front tightly around corners.

Despite its turn of speed, the ST Cupra 280 returns a claimed combined economy figure of 42.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 157g/km when equipped with a manual gearbox, meaning annual car tax of £180 under current rules. The automatic is slightly more economical returning 42.8mpg, though it’s in the same tax band.

The keenest of drivers can also specify a ‘Sub8 Performance Pack’, which adds larger Brembo brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels in black or orange for £2,025 including VAT. Another £460 can get serious drivers semi-slick tyres for even greater grip levels.

Pricing and equipment are to be confirmed ahead of the car’s launch in March 2015.

Author: Christofer Lloyd

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