Seat launches its fastest car ever

Seat Leon Cupra 280

If proof were needed that the performance wars once played out amongst manufacturers of premium executive saloons has filtered down into the world of hot hatches, the new 'Ultimate Sub8 Performance Pack' from Seat is it.

Available on the brand's Leon SC Cupra 280 hot hatchback, the performance pack is so named as it is the specification in which the car became the first ever front-wheel-drive production model to lap the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in under eight minutes. To put that into context, a Ferrari Enzo – an exclusive hypercar designed as the pinnacle of an F1 team's technology – takes 7mins 25 secs.

To set this astonishing record, the Performance Pack not only adds larger Brembo brakes for increased stopping power, it's also been put on a diet, with the centre console armrest rear air vents and under-seat storage boxes binned in the name of saving weight.

The car also benefits from extended body-coloured side skirts and 19-inch alloy wheels finished in black or orange. For those looking to maximise the performance of their Cupra, semi-slick Michelin tyres – the same used on the car's Nurburgring record run – are available for an additional £460.

In keeping with the stripped-back approach, customers will not be able to specify any options on 'Ultimate' cars, save for a choice of six-speed manual or DSG automatic transmissions. Cruise control, rear parking sensors, sat nav and DAB digital radio are included as standard.

This new Performance Pack comes as close rival Renault, which eventually beat Seat's Nurburgring record, releases its own hardcore Megane – called the 275 Trophy R – for £36,430.

The Ultimate Sub8 Performance Pack is available to order on the Leon SC Cupra now, and costs £4,200.