The Volkswagen Golf R is a fantastic hatchback to drive. But if the price is a bit too much for you (and you live in Europe), the SEAT Leon Cupra is a decent option at a more affordable price.
Now under the standalone Cupra brand, the high-powered Leon is a go-to car for enthusiasts. But even the third-generation model has what it takes to surprise us, especially in the hands of a capable tuner. Just take this SEAT Lean Cupra 280 in this video for example, which does an incredible top speed on an infinite section of the German Autobahn, courtesy of AutoTopNL.
In base form, the Leon Cupra 280, introduced in 2014, produces 276 horsepower (206 kilowatts) and 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI engine. However, the unit used in this top speed is tuned for a crazy 513 hp (383 kW) and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque.
Setup levels are not detailed in the video above, except for those performed by KolbenKraft, a German aftermarket/tuning company. With these upgrades, the hatchback’s top speed has been updated from 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) to 186 mph (300 km/h). By comparison, the Mk8 VW Golf R 20 Years Edition, which is the most powerful production Golf in history, is electronically limited to 168 mph (270 km/h).
The video above shows a tuned Leon Cupra trying to reach that limit; the hatchback is quick on its feet, accelerating hard whenever it can.
After several attempts (the Autobahn is very busy), AutoTopNL recorded a successful run, effectively maximizing the tuned Leon Cupra speedometer. In fact, we think it’s over 300 and we wouldn’t be surprised if it did, given that the speedo can’t show a reading.