A new car brand launches a powerful sedan

A new car brand launches a powerful sedan

The new brand from the giant Volkswagen Group is making waves in Australia and this is one of its latest arrivals.

Here are five things you need to know about the Cupra Leon VZX.

You may not have heard of it

Cupra arrived in Australia last year as a Spanish spin-off from Volkswagen.

As with Audi and Skoda, the Australian branch of Cupra is literally under the same roof as Volkswagen. All four brands share much of the same hardware and technology, including the engine and transmission found under the hood of this pretty hot hatch.

While the Leon is mechanically similar to the Golf GTI, Cupra feels there are plenty of people willing to try something that stands out from the crowd.

Style is a strong point

The Cupra makes a great first impression, with taut lines and attractive proportions accentuated by eye-catching details. Copper-colored accents stand out, as do performance car additions such as quad exhaust pipes and gold-painted brake calipers, as well as the athletic stance of a high-performance hot hatch. It’s a similar case inside, where blue leather-trimmed sports seats with copper stitching meet high-tech digital displays.

Cupra does not require a big leap of faith

Ordinarily, new brands ask buyers to kick in with their money, hoping the hardware and customer service will measure up. But the mechanical parts here are a known quantity, as the Cupra is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has underpinned Volkswagen Group models for years. Tuned to produce 221kW and 400Nm – more power than the cheaper VW Golf GTI, but less than the more expensive Golf R – the Leon VZX is capable of 100km/h in 5.7 seconds. It has the same seven-speed dual-clutch automatic you find in a hot VW, and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential helps the front wheels deliver power to the ground. There’s no manual option and folks who insist on all-wheel drive should upgrade to the larger Cupra Ateca or Formentor SUVs.

The Leon is fun to drive

Sharper than a Golf GTI but easier to live with than track day specials, the Leon easily covers the daily commute and weekend blast. As with the best hot hatches, the Leon has several modes ranging from mild to wild, including a driver-focused setting that combines a pop and crackle from the exhaust with occasionally cheeky cornering angles. Precise steering and brake responses are welcome, though an over-reliance on touchscreens for basic cabin functionality can prove a daily frustration.

It just got cheaper

Originally launched for a hefty price tag of $61,490 plus on-road costs, the Leon has been slashed $1,500 from its price in January to make it $59,990 more on-road, or $63,990 in car. Optional extras such as matte paint ($2300), Brembo brakes ($3600) and a sunroof ($1800) don’t come cheap, though the five-year warranty with three years of free maintenance plays into it. his favor.

In any case, the Leon is loaded with equipment including a full suite of collision avoidance technologies, a digital instrument cluster and 10-inch center display, a nine-speaker Beats HiFi system and LED headlights. .