Rochdale Observer - - TIME-TRIP -

NEVER fail to be amazed at just how much power mod­ern me­chan­i­cal magicians man­age to squeeze from ever-shrink­ing en­gines. A good case in point is this week’s test car - the re­vised for 2017 Seat Leon 1.4 FR - which can hit 62mph in a shade un­der eight sec­onds and go on to a top speed of 134, all with an en­gine size which not that long ago would have been con­sid­ered some­what weedy.

The SEAT/VW en­gi­neers now get 148bhp out of their 1.4 tur­bocharged petrol mo­tor and yet still achieve MPG fig­ures of al­most 60 on the com­bined cy­cle - some­thing which seems en­tirely pos­si­ble as I av­er­aged the high 50s dur­ing a weekend of spir­ited driv­ing in the beau­ti­ful Bri­tish Cotswolds (no doubt helped by the en­gine’s party trick - seam­lessly shut­ting down two cylin­ders when not re­quired).

And the sporty SEAT with its firm suspension, great steer­ing and will­ing en­gine was just the car to squirt along twisty coun­try B roads in glo­ri­ous sun­shine - and I es­pe­cially ap­pre­ci­ated its ex­cel­lent brakes when com­ing across road hog­ging trac­tors and other as­sorted agri­cul­tural ma­chin­ery.

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