After several years of testing, the Cupra Ateca came out with the same 2.0 TSI as the Golf R. And although the initial reaction was that it's not special enough to be a halo for the fledgling Cupra brand, we saw it demolishing a Leon Cupra R in a drag race.
Despite it being an important addition to the performance car world, this is only the second drag race we've seen featuring the Cupra Ateca. Mat Watson from Carwow put it up against the Golf R, which unfairly has 10 horsepower more thanks to its 2017 or 2018 engine setup.
With the same engine, gearbox and Haldex AWD, the Cupra is obviously going to lose this race. So to even things out, Mat has an ECU tune from ABT installed, which gives the 2.0 TSI a total of 350 HP and 440 Nm. This mod is just enough to compensate for the added weight of the Ateca SUV, securing it a tiny lead in both the drag race and rolling race.
Call us old men, but we don't see the point here, not with the ABT mods, but with the Cupra Ateca itself. You put up with the extra fuel consumption and price of the Golf R because it's cooler than a normal hatchback. But that's not really the case with the hot Ateca, nor is it the sort of machine you want to fling at corners or endlessly listen to the exhaust.
For curb appeal and outright performance, a Leon ST Cupra with newly launched carbon accessories is superior.