SEAT is making its hot hatchback even hotter by giving it a meaty 300 horsepower and an all-paw wagon sibling.

VW’s Spanish division unveiled the facelifted Leon range about a month ago, but without showing the cherry on top. That’s because the Cupra is coming early next year and will bring along more than just the very subtle cosmetic tweaks and technology updates implemented on the lesser trims. Auto Express has it on good authority from SEAT itself the mid-cycle refresh for the Leon Cupra will dial the four-cylinder 2.0 TSI engine to a healthy a 300 horsepower (224 kilowatts), representing a minor 10-hp bump in output over the existing Leon Cupra 290 pictured above. Chances are the latter will become the base version and replace the current Leon Cupra 280, with the new 300-hp version to serve as the flagship model.

But perhaps more interesting is the addition of an all-wheel drive Leon Cupra version. Apparently, only the more practical ST wagon body style will benefit from the AWD treatment and it will effectively become the SEAT equivalent of the Volkswagen Golf R Variant. However, that will only be true if the model from Wolfsburg won’t receive the rumored bump in output to 310-320 hp with the imminent facelift.

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It is believed the all-paw arrangement of the Leon Cupra ST facelift will be tweaked to better cater the sportier model and as such it will be different than what the rugged Leon X-Perience has. As you would imagine, the grippier high-performance wagon will be the most expensive Leon model ever, but even so it will still undercut the aforementioned VW Golf R Variant facelift.

Rumor has it the facelifted Leon Cupra will bow in February, with sales to kick off several months later. 2017 will be a very busy year for SEAT as not only will it launch the all-new Ibiza (without an ST version), but it will also introduce the Arosa subcompact crossover based on the fifth generation of its supermini.

Source: Auto Express

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