2021 Cupra Leon Spied at 'Ring, Could Have Mild-Hybrid 2-Liter

11 November 2019 - autoevolution

2021 Cupra Leon Spied at 'Ring, Could Have Mild-Hybrid 2-Liter

We've just barely caught a few glimpses of the 2021 Golf GTI, but the new Cupra Leon has been spotted out and about several times already.

This video is our best insight yet into what powers the beast.

This is quite a controversial little subject, as the boss of the Cupra brand went on the record saying that a hot new Leon would come out in 2020 with a 245 horsepower hybrid engine. Straight away, that's a significant reduction in power, which is unusual for the performance car world.

Ferraris, Porsches, and Lambos all get increasingly more power. Of course, Cupra can't take advantage of the boutique automaker laws, so it now needs to meet certain emissions targets.

The most obvious powertrain has already been shown. It's a 1.4-liter turbo with a large electric motor and battery pack which together form a plug-in system. It's already been confirmed for the Golf, but also previewed by the Skoda Vision RS and Cupra's Formentor concept.

But this prototype doesn't sound like a 1.4-liter would plus the dual exhaust tips would be overkill on a PHEV like that. So we believe Cupra is using a relatively new system, based on a 2-liter which it will share with the next Golf GTI. Like nearly all Golf models, this will take advantage of a mild-hybrid architecture that stores recuperated brake energy in a battery under the seat.

If we're correct, the 245 horsepower Cupra Leon will be slower than its predecessors but still easy to modify. Also, the wagon version has been seen with twice the number of exhaust tips and an AWD system, so 300 horsepower is still possible.

Outside of die-hard fans, people aren't too interested in Cupras, but we think the interior of the new model will change that. It's going to have dual screens, cooler tech and possibly even colored Alcantara.

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