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It’s been a while..but I have fond memories of my Cupra

Discussion in 'Leon Mk3 (2012-2020)' started by Madhatter, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Madhatter

    Madhatter Active Member

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    This is a great site but I’ve not been on here the last few years due to family problems and health problems, but it’s all good now. Sadly, I said goodbye to my Cupra today. I will miss her, what a feckin brilliant but slightly flawed car!

    I first posted on here back in 2014, when I was regretting purchasing a bmw 125d. At the time it felt like a reasonable performance / economy compromise. But I’m a petrolhead at heart and the relationship was destined to fail. It turned out to be an incredibly disappointing car.

    I was craving a petrol engine and a rev limit over 5k, and I was won over by the congratulatory reviews of the Cupra 280 and silly Nordschleife times [​IMG] And the advice from you guys. Test drive ensued and I was sold. Golf R, S3, Megan’s 265 and M135i all tested. Even tried an RS3 (340 bhp I think), which despite being very spritely off the line, felt too cumbersome and no quicker than the others on the move. On a roll M135i was very impressive and defo quickest of the lot in a line but the bloody bouncy suspension unnerved me. Too much engine for the chassis is my lingering memory and went to pieces in quick direction changes, unlike the Cupra.

    The Cupra was a big step up in performance from the 125d in every respect. In 3 years of ownership it never failed to put a ridiculous and slightly perplexed grin on my face. Not that it needed it, but I fitted a JB4 for shits and giggles. Pointless from a standstill of course, but over 50 made a noticeable kick in the back that the stock car is missing imho. I have to thank “CupraBelfast” for his advice here. Cheers fella and I hope you’re keeping well!. The Cupra was driven as it should be on most occasions where safe, and not once did it run out of talent, and not once did it have any issues in 50k miles. It had a supernatural ability to stay on the road and seemed to thrive on provocation in corners with its LSD. I also liked the rather pedestrian looks and the fact few people knew what it was, until they saw its arse end disappearing into the distance.

    So when the lease came to an end I was going to get another Cupra, but on a whim I thought I’d try the newer B58 engine out in an M240i. I don’t know what they have done exactly but the m240i blew me away, especially in manual flappy paddle mode. It feels so much stronger than the x135i engine throughout the entire rev range, and would blow my JB4’d Cupra into the long grass, in a straight line anyway, by quite a margin. These are knocking out way more horsepower than BM claim, I’ve absolutely no doubt about it. My Dad reckons it’s quicker and livelier than his 500hp Jag XFR. The suspension tuning Isn’t perfect but I’m not tracking the car, so it is far more capable than my skills will ever need to be on the road. This far, I’d say the Cupra is more confidence inspiring in tight corners, but I haven’t had chance to really challenge the new car in corners yet. No doubt I’d be in a hedge looking rather embarrassed in this weather, with Cupra drivers laughing as they pass!

    I also looked at the civic type r online and thought feck no to the dodgy Saxo bodykit styling. I have tried the Focus RS, felt quite assured and planted in the corners, but it felt a fair bit slower than even the stock Cupra and quite anodyne in comparison. Quite disappointing and at 40 I’d feel like a twart driving one.

    So I picked up a shiny blue 67 reg m240i with all the options at the weekend. All the boring stuff like Harmon Kardon, heated seats and digital dash. Stuff I couldn’t care less about tbh, but nice to have I guess for passengers.

    No adaptive suspension and I’m pleased with the damping on standard passive suspension. The rear has a tendency to bounce on some surfaces on a straight, but very rarely. I think the Cupra suspension is more uncomfortable, but probably a slightly more focused chasis when you’re REALLY on it. But not much in it from what I have experienced so far. The BM feels more neutrally balanced in corners though which evens it out somewhat, with less understeer.

    I was worried the BM would lose out to the Cupra and other supposedly ‘more focused’ hot hatches/sport saloon/coupes. I had a great drive back from Yorkshire over the Snake Pass after picking the car up. It was a great chance to get to know the ZF8 gearbox and chassis. I soon found the manual sport setting and my god it is brilliant. I don’t feel anywhere near knowing the limits of the car yet and don’t really want to in this inclement weather, but I would say it can take corners as well as the Cupra in the wet. Slower in but much faster out, and much more fun!

    The sound at start up is insane. It has standard exhaust.Actually embarrassingly loud! On the move it’s bloody intoxicating. Something the Cupra was always missing.

    Performace wise, well we all know these cars are both pretty rapid, but I wasn’t expecting the 240i to be as quick as this. I was expecting a slight step up from the Cupra 290, which we know pushes over 300 stock, but no, this is a very large step up in every respect! The Cupra pulls hard above 4K revs, but this thing pulls with ferocity throughout the Rev range and in almost any gear. I was shocked when I planted the right foot at 70ish on the motorway and the rear tyres spun up in the dry, with fairly warm tyres!

    I can’t wait for warmer weather and some good roads. It makes me a little sad to think that small cars like this with bonkers 6 cyl engines are going to be a thing of the past soon. I’m so glad I went with my heart and sampled this combination of ‘small’ car big engine before it all goes 4 pot, hybrid, electric sterility.

    The Cupra is a fantastic car and I wish I could afford to keep both. I hope all you guys are enjoying your new 300/ 290’s (I know you will be)or whatever they are called now... I’ll never forget that car and miss it already. If Cupra can produce a 350+hp special then I can see myself coming back.

    Safe motoring all
     
  2. Legojon

    Legojon I only wanted a remap
    Moderator

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    Thanks for the write up. An interesting read. As your on the way out your allowed to post up a couple of pics of your M2 so we call all have a snoop round. :D
    Makes me sad too the way cars are going. But that's emission restrictions for you. Enjoy and drop back in on us from time to time.
     
  3. Brimfull

    Brimfull Active Member

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    Good write up, a mentioned post some pics of your bmw
     
  4. surrealjam

    surrealjam Active Member

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    Interesting write up. I have a friend who has a 240i and it is indeed quite a mental piece of kit - he has the sports exhaust on it and quite frankly the car is worth it for the hilarious noises it makes. A bit surprised by the comment above though - I thought the ride on the Cupra in comfort mode was more forgiving than the standard 240i set up. Unless the fact mine is a Cupra ST (and facelift) makes a difference.
     
  5. Seastormer

    Seastormer Cupra 280/CBF1000

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    Enjoyed your write up, and still have my 280, as I have to yet find something that is new, but still as good as the 280 in everything it does, and has 3 doors.
     
  6. Maypack

    Maypack Ambassador for Cumberland Sausage

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    For 3 door and non Copper you want to be looking at a 300SC. After that I don’t think you’ll find a 3 door as the VAG group has stopped making then.
     
  7. Snowman

    Snowman Active Member

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    Interesting write up!

    Im about to do the opposite swap, from a M140 to a 300 4wd Cupra.
    Im tired of the lack of quality in the beemer even though you are paying out of your nose for it, combined with that everything is optional...

    I will go and test drive a Copra 4wd next weekend and i hope it does some sort of sound..
    As you said the M140s sound is amazing, mine has decat and M-perf exhaust and it is wow...
     
  8. Cupra Belfast

    Cupra Belfast Active Member

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    Thanks for the mention man. If you do come back to the fold, doing the things on the thread on sorting traction will make the JB4 power a bit more useful off the line. Only in the wet do you need to be overly cautious, otherwise it's off like a stabbed rat. Take care and perhaps see you when the MK4 comes out?
     

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