Dr. Herbert Diess (CEO Volkswagen Group) tests the new CUPRA Leon

VW CEO recommends areas for improvement including that the steering needs tightening up and in CUPRA mode the car should downshift more often.

The Volkswagen Group’s media team have released a video of the new CUPRA Leon (Phev) pre-production model being driven by the group’s CEO, Dr. Herbert Diess, presumably for the first time.

This is the first time we have heard the car from the inside. It sounds quite throaty but bearing in mind this is the PHEV it is likely to be the sound actuator (fake engine sound) we are hearing.

Interestingly he comments that the steering needs tightening up and in CUPRA mode the car should downshift more often, also that the brakes could be more aggressive. Finally, he says the seats could do with more lateral support. It will be interesting to see if the CUPRA team take this feedback on board this late in the final stages of development.

He also says it is sharper, more precise, agile than the Golf GTI.

At the end of the video he gives his feedback to Wayne Griffiths, CUPRA’s CEO, you can imagine it’s a key moment for him with the boss marking his homework! He tells Wayne CUPRA mode could do with “more ruckus”.

We can also see the car in front for the first time the 5 door (PHEV) in another colour than the matt grey (Magnetic Tech Matte). This is the same metallic grey colour the CUPRA Leon ST has been shown in (Graphene Grey). The car has the petrol engine wheels on not the PHEV wheels, again probably due to being a prototype.

CUPRA have still not shown any pictures of the 5-door hatch petrol version of the CUPRA Leon which is frustrating, especially as the PHEV isn’t meant to be due until next year, sometime after the hatch.

CUPRA Leon PHEV on the road


Active Member
Apr 10, 2019
Interesting that the group CEO is saying it's sharper, more precise and agile than the Golf GTI. I'm guessing this means it's priced above a Golf GTi as they are very key areas to a hot hatch.
Any car that gets a childish giggle when you floor it gets my thumbs up. That's the best part of owning a hot hatch, letting that inner child loose.
  • Like
Reactions: Syphon


Active Member
May 12, 2013
Shame he didn't have anything to say about the all-digital controls. Quite how that setup made it through design validation and into mass production is beyond me.


Active Member
May 12, 2013
They always need more Ruckus... I've told this to Waynes face as well.

Limit run of 25 CUPRA Leon R, with roll cages etc thats what we want.
Dunno, I think in numbers that small they'd all be sold to VIPs and people with connections rather than genuine enthusiasts.

It could be available as an option though.. a track focussed version... sort of like an everyman's GT2 RS. I think that might garner some interest... again though, they'd need to fix the touchscreen interface first.


Friend to SEAT UK & Cupra Racing
Aug 16, 2007
East London E1-E2-E13
Touchscreen is fine IMHO just a change that people need to ve get used to. Its no different than having a Tesla.

I've been driving around with it for days and seems fine.
Dec 31, 2012
not sure wonder they kept the MK3 Cupra font for the badge? The new MK4 Leon is quite arty/swanky (Which I like though some mind find it a bit fussy).

Also I think because the New cupra logo is copper I'd wanna have the Cupra letters in copper too (OCD about colour -coordination)
  • Like
Reactions: Syphon