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Peugeot 308 GTi THP 270 vs. Seat Leon Cupra 280

Achim Hartmann
Peugeot 308 GTi THP 270 vs. Seat Leon Cupra 280
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I Sometime on the beautiful part of the comparison drive, which leads over small streets with lots of ups and downs and numerous curves and serpentines, colleague Peter and I turn into a parking lot - car swap. And then we think about which car would come here or even be faster. We cannot think of many. The really strong sports cars or GTs are simply too big, too heavy. Before the bends you would have so much tension on the chain that you would have great difficulty slowing down the load again - helicopter in the living room. A line from a Woody Allen film comes to mind, groaning happily after hot lovemaking: 'Seldom had so much fun without laughing.'

Yes, the new Peugeot 308 GTi and the Seat Leon Cupra 280 are driving machines, little racers that can humiliate real sports cars on the track. The nice thing about it: You can't tell by looking at them - well, almost not. The Peugeot 308 GTi even wears chrome decorations around the windows and in the grill, as if it were the elegant luxury edition of the series. And the Seat Leon Cupra? Very cleanly styled, inconspicuous even at the rear. No roof spoiler, just two exhaust tailpipes - like the Peugeot 308 GTi. And behind the 19-inch models (in both series), large brake discs flash out. Otherwise: No power posing. There is as much power slumbering under both accelerators as in a Porsche 911 in the mid-1990s. The fact that it is actually there is shown at the exit of the town, if you want to check it out, just like that.

Peugeot 308 GTi gives the bully

It's really hard to find how the two turbos start at 50 km /h. Restrained, but emphatically in aisles four, five and even six, with a tendency towards the brute from one to three. The Seat Leon Cupra - at the start of 2016 with 290 hp for 33,620 euros (four-door) - pulls a little less in the steering wheel when fully deployed than the Peugeot 308 GTI, whose 272 hp get off to a snappy, impetuous start. The smaller displacement - 1.6 instead of 2.0 liters - really does not play a role under heavy loads. This engine knocks out the power as if it were all about - and stranded with annoying stuttering just before 7,000 in the rev limiter, which snaps shut without warning. Shift lights somewhere in this cockpit, which puts the main instruments high above the reduced steering wheel, would be really helpful.

The Seat Leon Cupra is not quite as explosive, but the bottom line is just as dramaticCome on. 6.4 seconds to 100 km /h - by the way, very grip-friendly, also realized shortly after the start because of the differential lock installed in the Peugeot 308 GTI - he also manages. And as you continue to load the gears, which in the Peugeot can be changed on slightly longer, not so precisely defined paths, the two separate only fractions of a second.

These acts of strength can be experienced in different ways: The Seat Leon Cupra comes as serene veteran who knows that everyday life is not just about fumes. It is much better insulated and therefore quieter than the Peugeot 308 GTI at high speeds, hisses and rustles and does not hammer too loudly through the area at full throttle. The Peugeot rattles more heavily and poisonously and occasionally affords small irregularities in the throttle response under partial load at low speed. Full throttle or nothing - everything in between is of course taken care of, but is basically just waiting. The brake fits into the picture: the measured deceleration values ​​are better than those of the Seat Leon Cupra, but the system is not so receptive to subtle nuances: shortly after the pressure point it becomes toxic v-A_-headline__article - beta '> Consistently sporty - the Peugeot 308 GTi

The Peugeot 308 GTI also springs so clearly structured: Taut to the point of occasional intransigence. Where the Seat Leon Cupra shows long-distance qualities in comfort mode with its standard adaptive damper, the 308 stumbles stiffly over transverse joints. He reports every bump on the motorway to the tightly gripping sports seats, the headrests of which press the lower edge into the neck. The fact that a massage function is available as an option does not undo this and it somehow appears to be attached to this natural born racer.

But all of this is forgotten on country roads. Because here the music plays with switching, braking, steering. If waves are involved and shake up the 308 pilots a bit, the steering, which is almost spontaneously responsive, even occasionally thwarts his efforts to achieve a clean line. The Peugeot 308 GTI is very focused on smooth asphalt slopes, and consequently it shows the slightly more sedate Seat in the evasive tests at significantly more than 140 km /h.

But like the Seat Leon Cupra, who processes all the desired lines with high precision and a little less excitement, is driving fun. No matter how tight the curve is: here and there, simply turning in more forcefully is enough to get around the corner. The Peugeot 308 GTI helps a little more when lifting the lift with a more protruding rear end, but before you can take advantage of this on public roads, you are actually beyond good and bad.

Seat Leon scores with everyday criteria

But the two of them can also do everyday life, with four doors and four seats, as they are. Well done and only occasionally puffing up the exhaust, they master itDuty exercises as indifferent as their dies of the model series brothers. There is more space for long legs in the rear seat than in the second row of the Peugeot 308 GTI, and the Seat Leon Cupra can also load more and this is made easier with a lower loading sill. It is also easier to use because Peugeot has banned almost all buttons from the interior and even asks to type on the touchscreen, which reacts regularly with a delay, if only the desired temperature is to be changed. Then, as when looking at the counter-moving pointers on the speedometer and tachometer, the meaningful questions arise: What is this about? Who can explain that? The designers of the 308 are more likely than the Peugeot technicians.

But those are peanuts when the turbo hisses and spits. The well-made Peugeot 308 GTI, which is extremely entertaining when kept appropriately, is a successful addition to the group of front-wheel drive compact cars within sight of the 300-hp line. More comfort and safety assistance would be nice, see Seat. The fact that he doesn't care about the greatest possible balance and shows a clear edge when it comes to sportiness is courageous and gratifying. Well humped, Leo!


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