SEAT León Cupra R Suspension Bushes

The 2002 - 2005 SEAT León Cupra R has a similar design front suspension setup to the .:R32, using the same modified lower control arm assembly and close ratio steering rack. The top strut mounting attachment is similar in design as well. However, the SEAT León Cupra R came equipped with significantly stiffer "silent-block" rubber bushings installed in some of the front suspension components. (By the way, the Cupra R rear suspension also had upgraded bushings, however, they are not applicable to the 4-motion chassis). SEAT used the term "Agile Chassis Concept" for their revised suspension settings in the Cupra R. (see below for more information)

Please note: Installation of these items requires specialised equipment and the removal of the suspension struts and lower control arms.
Consult the workshop manual for specific information on fitment of these items.

Top Strut Mount

Due to the rarity of the old genuine VW Motorsport top mounts, the Cupra R top mounts are a very viable alternative. I have personally had tested the Durometer of the rubber used in the Cupra R top mount and obtained a reading of 80, compared to 50 - 55 for the stock VW top mount (the stock rubber is so soft its difficult to get an accurate reading!). I also tested a used "VW Motorsport" top mount and obtained a similar reading to the Cupra R rubber (Durometer 80).

Cupra R top mount:

Lower Control Arm Pivot Bush

The front A-arm Lower Control Arm Pivot Bush is also upgraded on the Cupra R. Physically identical looking, but the rubber used in the Cupra R bush is definitely harder around the centre metal piece using the "fingernail" test. I attempted to obtain a Durometer reading however the steel insert of the bush will not allow the Durometer to get an accurate reading. A figure of at least 70 was observed but was not conclusive.

As you can see bushes appear identical visually. VW on left, Cupra R on right:

Lower Control Arm Rear Bush

The Cupra R uses the exact same solid rubber rear bush on the front A-arm as fitted to the stock .:R32, so there is no OEM upgrade available. If you are replacing the front pivot bush as above, it would certainly be worth renewing this rear one at the same time whilst you have the opportunity.

Parts List

1ML 412 331         SEAT León Cupra R Top Strut Mount

1ML 407 182         SEAT León Cupra R Lower Control Arm Pivot Bush

8N0 407 181 B       Lower Control Arm Rear Bush (stock VW replacement)

Please note, the Cupra R upgraded parts are only available through a SEAT dealer (or on-line vendor), as they are not fitted to any other VAG vehicles.

SEAT Agile Chassis Concept

Jointly developed by the SEAT Technical Centre and SEAT Sport for the León Cupra R, the Agile Chassis with Dynamic Steering Response (DSR) is based on a combination of relatively soft coil springs with stiffer damping and sturdier "silent-block" suspension bushes. This is matched by high grip tyres with greater resistance to roll oversteer and a "quick" steering rack providing faster responses, greater feel and driver feedback. Central to the agile chassis is the adoption of revised and lowered wishbone geometry with a new subframe at the front which is mounted to the chassis using "silent-block" bushes. A thinner front anti-roll bar is anchored directly onto the spring/damper assembly to minimise interference caused by the vertical movement of the suspension. The subframe assembly adds greater torsional stiffness to the car's body shell. Revised spring and damper rates and the adoption of "silent-block" mounts at the rear enhance the small degree of passive rear wheel steering already built into the chassis to enhance precision and rapid response to direction changes.

As an .:R32 owner, you will be pleased to know that we already have the uprated "quick" steering rack, uprated front A-arm rear bush and the uprated subframe mounts mentioned in the above description. The installation of the Cupra R top strut mounts and the front pivot bush in the Lower Control Arm on the .:R32 gives you all the OEM upgrades available for the front suspension assembly. Incidently, the Cupra R was also fitted with the Audi S3 Lower Stress Brace.

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