Cupra Leon E-Hybrid
Speed of Light
You can’t really see through at Seat anymore. The normal Leon has the Seat logo, while the hybrid version has a Cupra logo. You don’t have to understand that.
Anyone who looks at the clothes of the new Cupra Leon E-Hybrid will be more than impressed. The Leon is already one of the chicest models in the compact class, but as a plug-in hybrid it is even more impressive. The slightly modified front spoils the inclined eye and at the rear, four gold-coated tailpipes give the impression of a power of well over 300 hp. The background noise fits well, because depending on the driving program, the Leon blows its cheeks as if it were rioters like the Mercedes AMG A 45 or an Audi RS3 with a casual wink at the next traffic light and thundered into a parallel universe
The name E-Hybrid is just as confusing as the Cupra logo itself, because while the more powerful 245 PS hybrid variant of the VW Golf platform provider is called GTE and the weaker brother with its 150 kW / 204 PS is simply called Golf eHybrid, Like the VW Golf GTE, the Leon E-Hybrid has an output of 180 kW / 245 PS. Like the other models on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB modular transverse matrix, the Spanish plug-in hybrid is powered by a 1.4 liter turbo gasoline engine with an output of 110 kW / 150 PS. This is supported by an invisible electric motor installed on the six-speed dual clutch transmission, which provides a further maximum output of 85 kW / 115 PS. The combination of both drives results in an impressive total output of 180 kW / 245 PS and a lush 400 Nm.
But anyone who thinks that they are sitting in a twin brother of the VW Golf GTI, which by the way also has 180 kW / 245 PS in the base, is mistaken. The Cupra Leon E-Hybrid, which should actually be a completely normal Seat Leon PHEV, looks great, has a balanced chassis and is just fun, but with the combination of the two drives it is really not a real athlete. The roaring sound of the exhaust system in the Cupra driving mode and the humming hum when driving electrically do not change this either. This electrifying sound may suit spaceships like the Enterprise, a Millennium Falcon or the Comet of cartoon bard Captain Future; for a compact class model with 245 hp it’s something very much of a good thing. In the normal driving modes, it works better and the sound of the tailor is not so annoying. Good: the tightly tuned sports suspension, which also adapts to the situation via the selectable drive programs.
In any case, the performance fits without thinking about Star Wars and the speed of light. The Spaniard accelerates from a standing start in a decent 6.7 seconds, although it cannot override noticeable drive forces on the front axle, especially on wet roads. The top speed of 225 km / h is definitely sufficient, if not impressive for 245 hp and 400 Nm. This is where the comparatively small 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engine makes itself felt, which does not draw on the fullness of four combustion chambers as with 2.0-liter displacement. But the Cupra Leon E-Hybrid can not only whisper quietly, but also mimic the savings master. In purely electric mode, it manages at least 130 km / h or a range of 52 kilometers, which corresponds to a standard consumption of 15.1 kWh. The bottom line is that this is a combined average consumption of 1.3 liters of premium gasoline per 100 kilometers. The lithium-ion battery pack regains its strength in three and a half hours on a wallbox. Wayne Griffiths, Seat CEO: “The vehicle will help us convince even the most demanding enthusiasts of the brand, let Cupra continue to grow and make the model range accessible to an even wider audience.”
The cool look of the 4.40 meter long outer skin continues in the interior of the part-time electrician. The seats are perfectly contoured, the instruments are modern, a bit confusing and the central multifunctional screen with its diagonal of ten inches in the middle of the dashboard is not only chic, but extremely practical. The rear of the four-door is a bit cramped due to the class and so adults shouldn’t be expected to drive too long here. The load volume is a little tightly measured 270 liters. For all those who need significantly more space: there is also a Cupra Leon E-Hybrid as a sports tourer with similar performance, a sporty design and significantly more space in the rear and in the load compartment with its 470 liters.
The base price of the well-equipped Cupra Leon E-Hybrid is 37,816 euros, while the family-friendly combination version starts at 39,048 euros with identical equipment. With chic 19-inch copper-look models and matt exterior paintwork, heated leather seats, multifunction steering wheel, navigation system and various security details, the price can easily be pushed to the 45,000 euro mark. That’s a bit of a good thing for a compact class model, where only the current high subsidy justifies a purchase. But that’s still just under 3,000 euros less than the identically motorized VW Golf GTE – and the Seat that wants to be a Cupra looks much better. With whatever logo.