Launch report: Cupra Born, a sporty BEV from an emerging brand
14 January 2022
For many years, Cupra was SEAT’s performance off-shoot, standing for sporty styling and performance. Parent company Volkswagen (VW) Group decided to create a standalone brand from the marque in 2018, and it has now launched its first battery-electric vehicle (BEV), the Born.
Cupra is already working hard on enhancing its electric image, participating in this year’s Extreme E, an off-road racing series dedicated to BEVs. The Born is, therefore, an important model for the emerging marque, giving it a foothold in the electric consumer market.
Based on VW Group’s formidable MEB platform, the Born can be considered a stablemate of the VW brand’s ID.3. Cupra takes the styling of its medium-sized electric hatchback to the next level, however, incorporating many sporty design cues both inside and out.
View the interactive Autovista Group dashboard, which benchmarks the Cupra Born in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain for more details. The launch report presents new prices, forecast RVs and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
On the outside, the car features a sleek and sporty profile, the front angled down with an aggressive finish through the narrowed headlights and what looks like a conventional bumper complete with grille. It could almost be mistaken for a standard internal-combustion engine (ICE) model at first glance, but a single electric motor drives the rear wheels, with consumers offered a choice of three batteries – 45kWh, 58kWh and 77kWh, providing a range from 211 miles to 335 miles. Boosting the battery is fast, with 125kW DC charging available.
The exterior design also features several copper accents, with trim running around the bumper and inserts on the wheels. This theme continues inside as well, with copper trim on the door panels, dashboard and centre console. This colour accentuation has become a stylish indicator of the Cupra brand. The interior also continues the sports feel, with bucket seats included in each model as standard.
Cupra has also packed out the standard equipment offering on the Born, with full LED headlamps, front parking sensors, heated steering wheel, wireless mobile phone charging and voice recognition integrated into each model sold. Material quality is high, and a floating 12-inch display clearly provides the driver with infotainment and navigation options when selected.
Comparisons are likely to be made to the VW ID.3, especially as both cars share the same platform. The VW brand is substantially more established, given that the ID.3 has been on the market longer. However, Cupra is hoping its aggressive styling, performance prowess and additional standard equipment will offer buyers more choice when perusing VW Group’s mid-size electric-hatchback options. This segment is likely to become more competitive over time, with vehicles from Renault, Toyota and the Stellantis Group set to be launched in the coming months. However, the Cupra Born can offer a competitive alternative to more established models, such as the Nissan Leaf, especially when it comes to range, performance and equipment.