THE SEAT Leon Cupra is a car with a cult following and now its army of fans have something even more special to wet their whistle.
Enter the Leon Cupra 300, the quickest production car SEAT has made and as the name suggest it packs a whopping 300ps.
It can also be had with ultra-grippy all-wheel-drive for the first time, although that's available only on the estate version.
Mated to a six-speed DSG semi-automatic transmission it's good for 0 to 60 in a blistering 4.9 seconds - hot in anyone's book and one of the fastest estates around.
But while the latest Cupra has smashed into the 300ps zone it's also broken the Â£30,000 barrier with the three model line up now starting from Â£30,155 for the three-door Leon Cupra SC.
As the flagship of the new Leon range, the Cupra 300 is the Spanish car maker's alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R, the Ford Focus RS and Honda's current Civic Type R.
And as ever it's true hot stuff, splendid fun to drive and it remains keenly priced compared to the others.
New features include an eight-inch touchscreen, a very handy auto-hold function for the electronic parking brake which activates as soon as the car comes to rest and multi-coloured ambient lighting for the cockpit.
Outside, the Leon Cupra 300 has been given some contemporary styling tweaks and it looks very much the sporty option sitting on 19-inch alloys with red brake callipers nicely prominent.
Sat nav, a full array of smartphone hook ups and a wireless charging pad are among the convenience features while driving aids include a multi-mode chassis control system to get the best from the dynamics.
On the road new 300ps turbo engine is a feisty performer. Most noticeable is more mid-range clout and not necessarily the additional 10ps compared to the previous Cupra 290.
Sport mode artificially enhances the exhaust note for some added fun and the stability controls can be switched off completely - something which will appeal to the purists.
The four-wheel-drive Haldex set up fitted to the Leon ST Cupra estate - Â£34,485 with the DSG box - sees an end to any torque steer which can still be experienced on the front-wheel-drive versions and the car feels delightfully well planted although heavier on the steering.
It performs in splendid fashion and the added traction inspires sure-footedness when put through its paces.
SEAT claims an official fuel return of 39.2mpg for the new 4Drive model with emissions of 164g/km but the best we could average was 28 to the gallon.
In three-door two-wheel-drive SC body style and with a six-speed manual transmission we managed to see 35.3mpg over a similar drive and that was closer to the official 40.9mpg rating (158g/km).
While not quite as quick as the ST with the DSG box - the manual Leon Cupra SC has a 0 to 60 time of 5.7 seconds - the hatch felt much more agile when put through its paces, more in keeping to that of the earlier Cupras from the last decade.
However, with technology and safety devices such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and automatic emergency braking the Leon Cupra of 2017 has certainly come of age.
With Cupra thrills now available on all three Leon body styles - three and five door and estate - and more power and traction than ever before, its fanbase has never had it so good.