Hot-Hatch Battle: VW Golf R Vs. Seat Leon Cupra 280

Two of the most potent hatchbacks on Earth come head to head.

The VW Golf R and Seat Leon Cupra 280 are two of the most powerful hatchbacks in the world right now. The former is set to hit US showrooms early next year, and when it does it will be the most powerful Golf ever sold in the country. Based on the seventh-gen Golf, the new Golf R comes packing a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 290 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The carmaker claims a 5.3-second 0-62 mph time with the stick-shift, and 4.9 seconds with the DSG. The Seat Leon Cupra 280, however, won’t be coming stateside. Which makes us sad.

It too boasts a 2.0-liter turbo four, rated at 276 hp, giving it a 5.7-sec 0-60 mph time and a top speed of 155 mph. It also holds the Nurburgring lap record for front-wheel cars, so is arguably the fastest FWD car on the planet. So how do these pocket rockets size up? Autocar’s Steve Sutcliffe investigates.

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