The Seat brand Cupra has presented its first model with plug-in hybrid drive. The Cupra Leon eHybrid will be launched this year as a five-door model and as a station wagon version with the addition of a Sport Tourer. The technology comes from the VW Golf 8 eHybrid GTE.
With this, Seat is taking a similar step to its sister brand Škoda: the plug-in hybrids will become the top model in the series and will thus be launched under the respective performance label. In the new generation of the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Transverse Building Kit (MQB), two plug-in hybrids are possible, each with 150 and 180 kW system output respectively.
In the Golf 8 the two variants are marketed as eHybrid and eHybrid GTE. However, Škoda and Seat are offering their Octavia and Leon models only with the 150 kW PHEV. The Czechs market the 180-kW drive as the particularly dynamic Octavia RS iV, while Seat recently founded the entire Cupra sub-brand for its sports models, bringing the Leon with the 180-kW PHEV under this brand.
In addition to a slightly more aggressive front end with modified cooling inlets, Cupra also features the copper-coloured accents typical of the brand – both in the brand logo and in the aerodynamic wheels.
The PHEV drive combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an 85 kW electric motor. The battery has a capacity of 13 kWh and is designed to provide a purely electric WLTP range of up to 60 kilometers. The system is designed as a parallel hybrid – i.e. the electric motor sits between four cylinders on one side and the 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) on the other.
The tailgate is located on the driver’s side between the front wheel and the driver’s door. At a household socket, the charging process takes six hours, at a wallbox with 3.6 kW it takes another 3.5 hours.
The plug-in hybrid comes with 18-inch rims as standard, and the Cupra Leon is always supplied with full LED headlights. With its sports suspension, the Cupra Leon is around 20 millimetres lower than the Seat Leon, and the steering and brakes have also been made sportier. The choice of colours is somewhat limited: there is a red and grey paint, and two matt finishes in grey and blue. Cupra and Seat have not yet announced prices for the production model.
In the course of the presentation of the Leon PHEV, the Spanish company also presented the final version of the Cupra e-Racer. Cupra plans to compete in the PURE ETCR starting in 2021 with the all-electric race car – several show events are already planned for 2020. The ETCR racing cars have a standard 65 kWh battery and 500 kW drive.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.