Seat Leon Cup Racer
SEAT is stating its unequivocal commitment to motorsport and to its customers racing teams at the legendary GTI meet in the Austrian region of Kärnten. The undeniable hero on the SEAT stand in the town of Reifnitz on the south bank of the Wörthersee is the new Leon Cup Racer. It already gives a very clear indication of what a SEAT touring car racer might look like, prepared for a wide range of racing series worldwide. The 330 hp / 243 kW Leon Cup Racer forms the basis for the development work and test drives to be undertaken over the coming months.
The Cup Racer will be joined on the SEAT stand by five more, extremely fiery and individually equipped versions of the Ibiza and Leon models, as well as an extensive programme for fans of the Spanish brand. At this year’s GTI meet – the 32nd held so far – organisers are once again reckoning with well over 100,000 visitors over the four show days.
“Motorsport is deeply anchored in our brand; SEAT has more than 40 years of racing history and, with the Leon Cup Racer, we are now writing the next chapter for our highly motivated customer teams. The Cup Racer is not a show model, but the first test car for our development work,” says Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT Executive Vice-President for Research and Development. “The new generation of the SEAT Leon provides a compelling basis; its sporty qualities are highly acclaimed by customers and motoring journalists alike. With the racing version, we are building on from the great sporty success of recent years.”
The Cup Racer, which is based on the five-door Leon and painted in metallic matte grey with orange accents, cuts a visually stunning figure. It’s incredibly powerful stance on 18-inch racing wheels comes from a track that is no less than 40 centimetres wider than that of the series-production model.
The new front end is laid out for optimum aerodynamic efficiency and maximum airflow to the engine and brake system; while the mighty wheel arches with their openings on the trailing edge aid the cooling effect on the four-piston brake system. The sills are heavily flared and, together with the front spoiler, the smooth under body, the rear diffuser and the two-phase roof spoiler mounted on a support, achieve maximum down force for high-speed cornering.
Yet, even in the Cup Racer, the design DNA of the Leon remains fully intact: the distinctive full-LED headlamps with the highly individual signature of their daytime running lights have been carried over from the series-production model, as have the LED rear lights. The roofline contour is also the same as on the series-production model, just like the characteristic lines and precise blisters of the side view.
The interior of the Leon Cup Racer is also ready for the track. Systematic weight reduction and a carefully minimalist approach define the inside of the car, which is protected by a high-strength roll cage. The bucket seat with HANS head-protection system also offers optimum safety. It is upholstered with specially developed leather that is exceptionally good at regulating moisture. The base form of the series-production cockpit is retained, although the race car’s driver information and controls are concentrated firmly on the multi-function steering wheel and the high-resolution TFT display behind it, ensuring that the driver always maintains maximum control over his racing machine.
The mighty drive in the Leon Cup Racer is supplied by a two-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine. It boasts a maximum output of 330 hp / 243 kW and maximum torque of 350 Newton metres. Power transmission to the front axle is handled by a 6-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox controlled from the steering wheel and an electronically controlled differential lock. A special variant of the Cup Racer for endurance racing can be equipped with a sequential racing transmission with a shift lever on the centre console and a mechanical differential lock.
A preliminary price for the Leon Cup Racer has already been defined – the version with DSG transmission will cost €70,000 (excl. VAT), while the endurance version with a sequential transmission and mechanical differential lock is priced at €95,000 (also excl. VAT).
“We expect to be able to offer the Leon Cup Racer to our customer teams as early as the 2014 season. With the two versions for sprint and endurance racing, the Cup Racer is ideal for an extremely broad palette of racing series – from the ETTC to the VLN Endurance Cup on the Nürburgring,” says Jaime Puig, Head of SEAT Sport and responsible for the brand’s motorsport activities. “We can also envisage further developing the Cup Racer to create a WTCC version with a 1.6-litre engine. After all, we have a great tradition to defend there.”
Source: Seat Press