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Just how good is the Civic Type R?

Honda Civic Type R

The all-new Honda Civic Type R had an extremely long development cycle. It’s now been launched and has to go about living up to the hype Honda has generated.

Here Steve Sutcliffe from Auto Express takes the Type R to the tight Llandow Circuit in Wales to see how it compared with the Seat Leon Cupra 280 and the Renault Megane RS275 Trophy.

That’s all well and good, nobody would be surprised if the Type R was the quickest of that trio. But what if the Audi RS3 and BMW M3 are added to the list?

[Thanks to John for the tip]

Seat Video

Australia is the best country in the world, except…

Dale Lomas with his new Seat Leon ST Cupra 280

Australia is one of the best countries in the world to live. If not the best. But there are two things we can’t do and that’s buy a fast Seat wagon and we can’t drive our own cars around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Yes, I’m sure that second part can be done, but not without a lot of red tape, a lot of hassle and, importantly, a lot of money.

Dale Lomas from Bridge to Gantry just bought himself a new car—a Seat Leon ST Cupra 280 estate—and on day one of ownership he ducked around to his favourite local road for a run. Bastard!

Oh yeah, that Harry’s Lap Timer setup seems pretty cool too, even advising of a yellow flag via the mobile phone app.

Settle in and enjoy the lap.

Audi Seat Volkswagen

Turbo dramas for Volkswagen Group EA888 engine?

Volkswagen Mk7 Golf R

The current trend from Euro car makers to create big power out of 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder engines could be showing the first real signs of stress. Last week we brought you news of a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG on fire in Sydney and now there’s reports of turbo dramas affecting the latest range of Volkswagen Group hot hatches.

While the cause of the fire in that A45 AMG is yet to be established, getting 265kW from a 2.0 litre with such high boost has raised many eyebrows for those considering long-term reliability. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but a quick look at relevant forums will show there’s plenty of A45 owners with issues of varying types.

Similarly, the latest EA888 engine from the Volkswagen Group which is tuned to produce up to 221kW and used in the Audi S3, Seat Lean Cupra 280 and Volkswagen Golf R is attracting a number of complaints, mostly to do with turbo failure.

According to an article published by Motor Authority the part number of the faulty turbo is 06K 145 702 N which they report is made by IHI Turbo. The relevant engine codes are CJXB and CJXC.

Motor Authority’s investigations point to a production fault for turbos made between April and May 2014, where there is a fault with the manifold sealing surface. Outside of this date range some owners of 2013 S3s are also reporting similar problems.

It’s been suggested Audi will be fitting a new turbo design for future S3s and has in turn delayed the launch of the TTS until the problem has been satisfactorily resolved.

Which begs the question, is the Mercedes v Volkswagen four-cylinder war one that is really worth winning?

[Source: Motor Authority | Thanks to Wayne for the tip]

Seat Video Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf R v Seat Leon Cupra 280

Volkswagen Golf R v Seat Leon Cupra 280

Take two Volkswagen Group products to the track, in this case the Golf R and the Leon Cupra 280, thrash them about and see if you can come to a conclusion as to which is best.

The circuit in question is the tight and twisty Cadwell Park and Autocar scribe Steve Sutcliffe is telling the story. The Golf has a bit more power but thanks to its 4motion all-wheel drive system has a bit more weight than the Leon. Both cars share a 6-speed DSG. Remember, the Leon Cupra 280, for a brief moment, held the FWD lap record at the Nürburgring.

What do you think will happen next?

[Thanks to Mark for the tip]

Motor Shows Seat Video

Geneva 2014: Seat Leon Cupra 280

Seat Leon Cupra 280

Seat has launched its Leon Cupra 280 at the Geneva Motor Show and in doing so has officially confirmed its claim on the unofficial front-wheel drive lap record at the Nürburgring.

Of the record setting lap Seat says the Leon Cupra 280 was fitted with an optional Performance Pack, which includes uprated Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. Former Seat WTCC driver Jordi Gene handled the driving duties around the Nordschleife on a dry day with ambient temp of 10°C.

Interestingly the Seat UK press release also states the car used was fitted with a DSG transmission, but on the video published by Top Gear you can clearly see Gene changing gears with what appears to be a manual transmission.

The Leon Cupra 280 is powered by a 2.0 litre TSI four cylinder engine producing, as its name suggests, 280PS (206kW). It’s also available in a detuned state with 195kW on offer. Both tunes offer 350Nm of torque.

If this is all sounding a little familiar that’s fair enough, the engine is also found in Volkswagen and Audi models. Unlike its stablemates the Leon is not available with an optional all-wheel drive system.


Seat Leon Cupra 280 breaks Ring 8-min barrier

Seat Leon Cupra 280

The Seat Leon Cupra 280—essentially a detuned Audi S3/Golf R—has set a new Nürburgring benchmark for a front-wheel drive production car. The official announcement is being saved for the Geneva Motor Show, but Top Gear has the scoop for now.

As you can see the lap time is 7:58:44, which is pretty bloody quick, obviously. It also cuts almost 10 seconds off the previous best, set by the Renault Megane RS 265 back in 2011.

Seat recorded the lap time late last year with factory touring car driver Jordi Gene at the wheel. His Cupra 280 was fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox and super sticky (optional) Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tyres.

[Source: Top Gear]