With the Cupra Ateca launched today and a Cupra Ibiza and Cupra Arona being teased, you might wonder where that leaves the hot version of the Leon. Is it due for a re-brand that’ll see its Seat badges binned? Apparently not.
Speaking at the launch of the new Cupra brand and the Cupra Ateca in Spain, Seat’s vice president for sales and marketing Wayne Griffiths confirmed that the Leon Cupra will remain a Seat. Giving it a re-brand would be “cheating” he said, as the intention is for solely Cupra-branded cars to be new vehicles. Simply swapping out the badges on an existing car isn’t exactly what the firm is aiming for.
Until the current Leon dies off, then, we’ll be in a curious position of having Seat-badged Cupras, and, er, Cupra-badged Cupras. Oh, and to confuse matters further, Seat’s Leon TCR customer motorsport car has been renamed, simply as Cupra TCR. The awkardness should end soon at least - with the third-generation Leon debuting in 2012, it’s not long for this world.
It’s very early days for Cupra in this new guise, so it’s hard to tell exactly how it’s going to pan out. But Griffiths is confident, citing Cupra’s ambitions to double sales within the next few years.
What it’ll also mean is we won’t have to wait for Cupra versions of Seats for quite so long. “[Cupra vehicles] could even come out before or just as [the base vehicle is released] if it fits with the brand…we want to be quicker,” Griffiths said.