SEAT builds a fast and ‘very happy’ Leon Cup Racer (w/VIDEO)

Described as ‘the ultimate embodiment of SEAT’s racing DNA’, the Leon Cup Racer is a 325bhp 2.0-litre race car designed for sprint and endurance competition, while a 1.6-litre version can be adapted for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).

With the aid of time-lapse photography, the video shows the Cup Racer being designed, built and tested on its way to next month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it will make an appearance on the hill climb.

Cars will be ready for the start of the 2014 motorsport season when SEAT’s first customer teams get their hands on a car.

“We have succeeded in making the new Leon much better than the old one, and now we will repeat this success on the race track,” declares Jaime Puig, Director of SEAT Sport.

Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 325bhp and 251lb-ft (340 Nm) of torque, the Leon Cup Racer’s development has been focussed entirely on the pursuit of quick lap times.

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Its track width is 400 mm greater than the production Leon’s, while its body kit has been designed for maximum efficiency, both aerodynamically and in terms of brake and engine cooling.

Stripped of the road car’s creature comforts, the race car includes a full roll cage, while its instrument panel uses a race-specific high resolution TFT display.

“With two versions for sprint and endurance racing, the Cup Racer is ideal for an extremely broad palette of racing series – from the ETTC to the VLN Endurance Cup on the Nurburgring,” says Jaime Puig. “We can also envisage further developing the Cup Racer to create a WTCC version with a 1.6-litre engine. After all, we have a great tradition to defend there.”

With a Renault Clio Cup costing around Euro 40,000 the SEAT Leon Cup Racer isn’t cheap – customers can order one now for Euro 70,000 with a six-speed DSG twin clutch automatic transmission, or Euro 95,000 for an endurance version including a sequential racing transmission and a mechanical differential lock. Pricing and availability of the 1.6-litre WTCC variant will be revealed later in the year.