Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Cupra Leon 2022: Australia to get four variants with plug-in hybrid confirmed


Cupra will launch the Leon hatchback with four trim levels for 2022

In stark contrast to the single-variant Cupra Ateca small SUV detailed earlier in the month, Cupra Australia has announced that the marque’s Leon hot hatch will be released in Australia with a four-trim offensive.

Set to launch in Australia in July this year, the Cupra Ateca is a front-wheel drive hot hatch based around turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engines in different sizes and states of tune, while a plug-in hybrid powertrain has been confirmed for Australia.

“There is no entry level variant as such,” said Jeff Shafer, Cupra Australia head of product and planning. “We’ve equipped all Leons with such a level of standard equipment that no-one will feel short changed in any version.”

Cupra Leon 2022 charging port
The Cupra Leon will be offered with a plug-in hybrid variant at launch

Pricing has not been released today, and will instead land between now and the release of the Leon, Ateca small SUV and Formentor midsize SUV in July.

Leon V is a 140kW entry point

The Leon range kicks off with the V starter-kit – though it’s a fairly well-equipped way to begin. 

Under the bonnet is the Volkswagen Group EA888 turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine, producing 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque, connected to the front wheels via a seven-speed wet-clutch DSG automatic transmission.

The V wears 18-inch wheels in black and silver and benefits from the same ‘progressive’ steering rack as hot hatches like the Golf GTI. Front and rear lighting is LED in nature, while metallic paint is standard in five colours: Nevada white, magnetic tech, urban silver, midnight black, and asphalt blue.

Cupra Leon 2022 rear end shot
VZx gains quad exhaust setup and 221kW

Inside, the Leon V includes cloth-upholstered bucket seats and black headlining – whie leather covers the steering wheel that houses paddle shifters, ahead of a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.

Sizing for the central touchscreen has not yet been provided, but satellite navigation is included – as is wireless and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Four USB-C ports are fitted to the car. There is no digital radio at first though Cupra hopes to release this feature on later builds.

Keyless entry and start will allow the front doors and boot to be opened with a touch of the palm while three-zone climate control, illuminated scuff plates, and aluminium pedals are all fitted as standard.

Cupra Leon 2022 interior
The Cupra Leon interior is very driver focused with the screens facing the one in charge

On the safety front, the Leon V includes AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with door-opening exit warning, driver fatigue detection, and a reversing camera – plus parking sensors.

Three options will be available for the Leon V: premium paint in desire red or graphene grey, a standalone electric sunroof, and a leather and sound package that bundles leather seating, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, memory mirrors, copper stitching for the dashboard, and a nine-speaker Beats premium stereo.

Leon VZ turns up the heat to 180kW

From the V, the second-tier Leon VZ grabs the Golf GTI and Skoda Octavia RS tune of the EA888 2.0-litre engine, sending power and torque up to 180kW/370Nm (+40kW/50Nm on the Leon V).

The VZ also picks up 19-inch wheels and shares the same option packages as the Leon V – meaning it’s something of a purist’s special as standard, sporting manual cloth seats unless you tick the leather box.

Cupra Leon 2022 front wheel
Wheels on the Leon can go up to 19-inch on the higher grades

Plug-in hybrid Leon VZe packs electrified punch

The Leon VZ specification is also available as a plug-in hybrid, which wears Leon VZe badges. There is a significant engine change: rather than use a 2.0-litre engine, the VZe sidesteps to a more efficient 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder producing 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque.

Enter the electric motor, which makes 85kW/300Nm on its own – providing the VZe with total system outputs of 180kW/400Nm – matching the power output of the VZe while matching the flagship VZx on torque.

The plug-in hybrid drops one cog, utilising a six-speed wet-clutch DSG automatic transmission, while the batteries take up space where the space-saver spare of the other variants would normally be found: this car has a tyre repair kit.

Cupra Leon 2022 front 3/4 static
The Cupra Leon is a pretty good looking thing, we reckon

That packaging constraint also eliminates the Beats stereo from the leather and sound package, but all other option pack features are present – an electric sunroof can also be optioned.

Leon VZx nabs 221kW, quad exhaust, blue interior

Sitting at the head of the Leon range is the hot VZx grade that restores the 2.0-litre engine and turns up the wick to 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque – matching Cupra’s Ateca but also group vehicles like the Audi SQ2.

The VZx rides on larger 19-inch wheels finished in black and copper, while picking up other visual cues like side skirts and quad exhaust outlets. Brembo brakes are optional, though these are too large to maintain a space-saver spare: their selection replaces this with a tyre repair kit.

Cupra Ateca VZx 2022 grey rear end
The Cupra Leon’s big brother, the Ateca, will come to Australia, too

Inside, VZx owners will sit atop petrol blue leather bucket seats, with heating in the front and power adjustment and memory for the driver. A ‘supersports’ leather steering wheel is fitted with satellite drive-mode buttons and heating.

Metallic paint remains standard on the VZx while picking up a unique petrol blue hue. An electric sunroof is also optional.