Cupra Leon ST hybrid estate: details and pictures

Plug-in hybrid version of the Cupra Leon ST estate pictured testing at the Nurburgring ahead of 2021 debut

Cupra – the performance brand spun off from parent company SEAT – will launch a hot version of the new Leon ST estate next year, with a plug-in hybrid powertrain set to feature.

The new model has been pictured testing at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, with heavy camouflage concealing the aggressive exterior design changes that are expected to adorn Cupra’s tuned model.

Based on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, the Cupra Leon ST estate will have the same dimensions as SEAT’s variant. However, it’s likely to adopt stiffer anti-roll bars, larger brakes and a sportier suspension in order to boost performance.

A new grille features at the front, while the design of the blacked-out alloy wheels could make the vehicle more efficient.

Meanwhile, a set of quad exhausts can be seen at the rear of the test mule, with a tailgate spoiler and a deeper rear diffuser helping with aerodynamics.

Underneath, the Cupra Leon ST will be powered by a version of the plug-in hybrid powertrain first previewed on the Cupra Formentor concept. A 1.4-litre engine will join forces with an electric motor to produce 245bhp, with power sent through a dual-clutch, automatic gearbox.

The size of the battery is unknown, however the Formentor concept was said to be capable of 30 miles of electric-only driving on a single charge. Given its sleeker profile, we’d expect the Leon to surpass that estimate.

The car is set to be launched in late 2020, ahead of the first customer deliveries in 2021. A production version of the Formentor should appear next year, with a production version of the all-electric Cupra Tavascan concept also in the pipeline.