2003 SEAT Leon Cupra R
The original Leon Cupra R has a uniquely handsome style that sets it apart not only from its competitors, but also from its VW Group cousins. The Leon shares architecture with several other models, like the Audi A3 and the VW Golf, and benefits from the corporate parts bin for engine and transmission components. All this sharing could be a black mark against the Leon Cupra R, if it didn’t stand on its own so well. It’s not just the unique SEAT styling, which from the sinister front fascia to the hot-hatch touches like the large alloy wheels, “R” badging, and the enormous exhaust tip, clearly communicate its sporting intentions. It’s also the Cupra R’s performance that distinguishes it, with a 225 horsepower 1.8-liter engine to drive the point home. So in many ways, the Leon Cupra R is the best of both worlds, a unique recombination of VW’s battle-tested performance parts wrapped in a sporty package—and that’s something no driver can help but appreciate.