Seat has revealed the UK price for what is arguably the most eagerly awaited hot hatch of 2007 – the new Leon Cupra. And at just £19,595 RRP on the road for 240 PS worth of energetic performance, it is set to create quite a stir when it arrives in the UK next March.

The new Cupra sits at the top of the Leon range, and will be offered with one very special engine, which is exclusive to Seat: a 2.0-litre turbocharged T FSI 16-valve petrol unit. Seat’s most powerful model to date, the new Leon Cupra can sprint from rest to 62 mph in 6.4 seconds, before hitting a maximum speed of 153mph – performance worthy of the Leon Touring Car, which helped Seat secure the BTCC Manufacturers’ Trophy 2006.

Like all Seat models, the new model offers great value for money, under the philosophy of ‘attainable sportiness’. Standard specification includes bixenon headlights with AFS (Adaptive Front lighting System), six airbags, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), dual zone climate control, MP3-compatible CD player with AUX IN for directly connecting, for example, an iPod, plus front and rear electric windows.

From outside, the new Cupra is distinguishable from other Leons through its Ebony black door pillars and mirrors, black chin spoiler, exclusive 18″ alloy wheels, single wide oval exhaust pipe, red sports brake callipers and the word ‘CUPRA’ across the tailgate, where ‘LEON’ would usually reside. On the road, the Cupra has a mean and purposeful stance, sitting 14 mm closer to the ground than a standard Leon. Inside too, Cupra touches abound, with an exclusive steering wheel, gearknob and dials, aluminium-covered pedals, dramatic wraparound bucket Seats, and black trim throughout.

The new 240 PS 2.0-litre T FSI engine has been considerably uprated compared with the Leon FR’s 200 PS version, on which it is based. Modifications include a larger turbocharger, reinforced pistons and engine block, strengthened connecting rods, a new ultra heat-resistant alloy for the cylinder head, plus larger injectors. The car even sounds sportier, thanks to a specially tuned exhaust system. Yet despite the Cupra’s extra dose of power, the efficiency of direct injection allows average fuel economy of 34 mpg.

The new Cupra complements the high performance FR models in the Leon range, which are available with 200 PS 2.0-litre T FSI petrol and 170 PS 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines. FR and Cupra will together account for over 40% of Leon sales in the UK next year, reinforcing Seat’s race-bred sporty image.