SEAT to expand Cupra lineup

SEAT is planning an extension of its Cupra performance line-up, which could include new diesel-powered hot versions of its key models, according to a new report.

Speaking to Autocar magazine, SEAT’s chairman Jurgen Stackmann suggested that the Cupra brand will be likely to expand into the marque’s larger models, with the introduction of new diesel engines.

If the reports are to be believe, SEAT has plans to use the same 237bhp twin-turbo diesel engine that features in the most recent Volkswagen Passat for use in a possible Leon Cupra TDI model.

New diesel Cupra models in the works

Mr Stackmann said: “The idea of a high-performance diesel Cupra is not a bad one. The question is how we get to that and still make it affordable, because getting to Cupra levels of power and performance with a diesel can be quite expensive.

“The decision has to be based on it being accessible in its range and strong in performance and value. If we get to that, then yes, we should talk about a Cupra diesel.”

As well as on hatchback models like the Leon, Stackmann confirmed that SEAT would also extend the Cupra name to larger models, with the possibility of an FR race-inspired SUV or crossover.

He said: “Cupra on an SUV is not impossible. It’s not unthinkable. I can see it being probably more relevant than small high-performance cars in the future.

“It’s much more logical to have FR, with its mix of performance and comfort, but there is a niche in Europe that is more than FR and we have to explore that.”

This follows on from the news that a facelifted SEAT Ibiza Cupra is due to appear later this year, following in the wake of the refreshed Ibiza lineup that was unveiled earlier this month.

Facelifted Ibiza Cupra on its way

Currently, the existing Ibiza Cupra comes with a 178bhp turbocharged petrol engine with a steering-mounted paddle shift gearbox, which will reportedly continue on to the new model.

However, SEAT sources have said that the new Ibiza Cupra will also feature a six-speed manual gearbox, rivalling the Ford Fiesta ST and Vauxhall Corsa VXR for manual options.

It’s as of yet unknown exactly when the new Ibiza Cupra will arrive in dealerships, but more details are expected to be announced in the next few months.