New 2021 Cupra Leon spied testing for the first time

The forthcoming Cupra Leon has been snapped undergoing development testing, ahead of its launch in 2021

These are the first images of the upcoming Cupra Leon. When it reaches the UK market in 2021, it will be one of the first hot hatchbacks to feature a performance-focused plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The spy shots reveal styling revisions for the Cupra-branded Leon will include a unique bodykit, dual exhaust system, a deeper rear diffuser and a larger rear wing. Under the heavy camouflage we can also expect to see a unique chassis and suspension setup along with a set of upgraded Brembo brakes.

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Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths, confirmed that the Leon will use the same powertrain first seen in the Cupra Formentor concept. It will comprise a 1.4-litre TSI engine with an electric motor and produce “up to 245bhp and less than 50g/km of CO2 emissions.”

However, Griffiths suggested that Cupra could push the Leon’s power output higher than the Spanish brand’s performance coupe-SUV, stating: “We have to look as well at performance hybrids. At the moment, the combined performance is good but we could do even more. There’s a lot of stuff we could look at – electric rear-axle drive, for example.”

Griffiths also explained that discussions are “ongoing” about an all-electric Cupra-branded model based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB architecture. “It would have to fit with Cupra values,” he said, “but in terms of acceleration at least, all-electric vehicles are already there.”

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