FANS OF compact cars with eye-watering performance have had much to celebrate of late, as Ford recently announced that the revered RS badge will return to the Focus next year, Honda is readying its Civic Type-R and Audi will launch a new RS 3 in the coming months. Now Seat has announced it will offer an Ultimate Sub8 performance pack for its Leon SC Cupra 280 hot hatch.
The package costs £4,200 and recreates the specification of the Seat Leon that became the first front-wheel-drive machine to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in less than eight minutes. It brings the total price to £31,410 for a model with a manual gearbox or £32,725 for the automatic DSG version.
Every Sub8 model is built to order, and customers parting with the extra cash will receive 30mm larger brakes with Brembo callipers, body-coloured side skirts, multi-spoke lightweight alloys in black or orange and a number of weight reduction measures plus the option of semi-slick Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres for an additional £460.
The race-ready diet means climate control is replaced by a simple heating and cooling system, the hi-fi features four speakers rather than eight, rear air vents and a centre console armrest have been removed and storage boxes under the front seats have been dispatched.
Despite the car’s track-day intentions, equipment levels remain impressive, with cruise control, rear parking sensors, touchscreen sat nav and a tyre pressure monitor all offered as standard.
The rear seats also remain in place, which is more than can be said of the potent Leon’s closest rival, the Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R, which costs up to £7,000 more and shuns many of the practical niceties offered by the Seat.
However, if these things matter to you, Renault did reclaim the Nürburgring record for a hot hatch, lapping the Nordschleife in 7min 54.36sec – four seconds faster than the Cupra 280’s time of 7min 58.40sec.