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Seat Leon ST Cupra, Ford Focus ST tournament: comparison

Seat Leon ST Cupra vs. Ford Focus Tournament ST
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L let us briefly list the attributes of the rational form of a dream car: plenty of power with reasonable consumption. Above-average cornering competence paired with long-distance suitability. Compact dimensions including space for transport eventualities. And of course it would have to be reasonably affordable. There is actually something like that: as a Seat Leon ST Cupra or Ford Focus Tournament ST.

Ford Turbo makes 250 hp

Ford is now offering the compact sports suit in a renovated form and as a diesel with 185 hp, but we are dedicating ourselves to the gasoline engine. Its four-cylinder turbo continues to generate 250 hp, but thanks to the standard start-stop system it should now consume six percent less than before. Ford specifies an average of 6.8 liters per 100 kilometers (Seat Leon ST Cupra: 6.7 l /100 km), which can only be achieved on Sunday trips. It tugs in the steering. Apart from that, its engine is simply too tempting to accelerate for fabulous fuel consumption to be achieved.

When accelerating, the basically banal four-cylinder bubbles almost like the much-loved five-cylinder of its predecessor - thanks to the sound design. And he pushes the relatively heavy Focus powerfully out of the speed limit. Because its non-adaptive chassis absorbs bumps well, people like to send the Focus ST over the country road. This includes pushing it out of the bends.

Seat Leon ST Cupra with 265 and 280 PS

But when it comes to power, it tugs a lot in the steering wheel - even though the technicians are just now want to have improved that by recalibrating the steering assistance design. With the Seat Leon ST Cupra this is more successful. It is now also available as a station wagon version, known as the ST, with 265 and 280 hp. At full throttle there is even more power on the front axle, but the steering is much less impressed.

What you notice here is more the work of the mechanical differential lock; it ensures that the Seat Leon ST Cupra can transfer more power to the road and that the inside wheel spins less. The Ford, on the other hand, has to get along with an electronic lock simulation by the ESP. In other words: Excess power burns up unnecessarily in the brake.

Incidentally, as part of the facelift, the chassis technicians also have the rear axle of the Focus STrevised. Your bearings are now tougher, as are the spring rates all around. The manufacturer is responding to criticism from buyers who have complained about a too lively rear end. So far, even slight changes in load have been enough to throw the hindquarters out of step. This configuration is quite fun when the ESP is switched off, but only on the racetrack. During the first drive on Spanish country roads, the extreme case with the retreaded chassis could not be checked due to the lack of a run-off zone. However, the Focus still turned significantly when the load changed.

Seat Leon ST Cupra with good handling

Incidentally, its massive exterior correlates with the driving impression: The Ford feels bigger and above all more sedate than the lighter Seat. It seems more nervous in a positive sense, reacts more alert and can be balanced more playfully through curves. But above all, the Seat Leon ST Cupra goes to work with much greater passion, so that the spark of enthusiasm practically jumps over to the driver by itself. Everything goes remarkably smoothly and naturally; no understeer, hardly any loss of traction - at full throttle it simply goes forward vehemently, also because the adaptive shock absorbers (standard) skilfully absorb bumps.

No matter how motivated the Focus whistles with the turbocharger and growls fervently - it can follow the Seat Leon ST Cupra with difficulty in the curve thicket. His pilot has to work noticeably more on the steering wheel to keep up. But he does it with the knowledge that his Focus tournament is clearly ahead of the Leon ST in one thing: the load volume. And that is ultimately the core competence of a station wagon - even if it is a sports model.

VW Golf R from March as station wagon

The upcoming VW Golf R as a Variant is expected to produce 300 hp - and thus accelerate the all-wheel drive sports van from zero to 100 km /h in 5.1 seconds (market launch in March). So far, the four-cylinder power Golf has only been available as a sedan; VW is now using other manufacturers as models who generate good sales with station wagon versions of compact sports cars.

For example, the subsidiary Skoda: The Octavia Combi RS is already in its third generation, with the turbocharged petrol engine here with 220 PS contented. Nevertheless, it makes the front-wheel drive car the fastest Skoda of all time with its top speed of 150 mph. However, the variant with the two-liter diesel engine, which generates 184 hp and 380 Nm, enjoys greater popularity.


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