The Leon was the first C-segment hatchback the company produced under the stewardship of Volkswagen, which mooted the idea that the Spanish manufacturer would become the group’s youthful, dynamic brand.
That puts the new Cupra very near the top of the front-wheel-drive hatchback pile, an area patrolled by the not inconsiderable muscle of the Ford Focus ST, Renault Mégane RS 265 and, most shove-worthy of all, the Vauxhall Astra VXR.
Today’s new Cupra enters the hot hatch fray with even more grunt than the last Cupra R (it had 261bhp), leaving room for a future Cupra R to go even bigger. But it’d need to have more power than the 306bhp Holland-only Leon Cupra 310 special edition of 2008 in order to be the hottest Leon ever.
The job here is to see whether the Cupra will fit right in among its current competitors, or receive a thorough shoeing. Read on to find out.