The Volkswagen Golf R is a fantastic hatchback to drive. But if its price tag is a bit too steep for you (and you live in Europe), the SEAT Leon Cupra is a viable option at a more affordable price tag.
Now under the standalone Cupra brand, the high-powered Leon is a car that enthusiasts check out. But even the third-generation model has what it takes to surprise us, especially in the hands of capable tuners. Just take this SEAT Lean Cupra 280 in this video for example, which did an amazing top-speed run on the unrestricted sections of the German Autobahn, courtesy of AutoTopNL.
In its base form, the Leon Cupra 280, which was introduced in 2014, made 276 bhp (206 kilowatts) and 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-metres) of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-litre TSI engine. However, this unit used in the top-speed run was tuned to a bonkers 513 bhp (383 kW) and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of twists.
The extent of the tuning wasn't detailed in the video above, except that it was done by KolbenKraft, a German aftermarket/tuning firm. With the upgrades, the hatchback's top speed has been updated from 155 miles per hour (250 kilometres per hour) to 186 mph (300 km/h). For 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) only.
The video above showed the tuned Leon Cupra trying to reach those limits; the hatchback was quick on its feet, accelerating hard whenever possible.
After several tries (the Autobahn was awfully busy), AutoTopNL recorded a successful run, effectively maxing out the tuned Leon Cupra's speedometer. In fact, we think it went over 300 and we won't be surprised if it actually did, given that the speedo couldn't show the reading.