New 2021 Cupra Born spotted testing

Cupra’s first fully electric car undergoes winter testing ahead of launch in May

  • Sharper styling and copper touches
  • Bigger 82kWh battery with up to 310 miles
  • Set to reach showrooms in 2021

Cupra has released official shots of the Cupra Born, its first pure electric car, testing on ice near the Arctic Circle.

Due to be revealed in final production form in May, the Cupra Born will be one of the first electric hot hatchbacks on the market, and is part of Cupra’s expanding electrification plans. Based on the same platform as the Volkswagen ID.3, the Cupra Born will have a larger battery and more power.

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According to Cupra, its engineers have spent two years and almost 19,000 miles putting the Born through its paces in a winter development programme, where temperatures often reach -30°C. These tests are primarily designed to stress the limits of the car’s adaptive dampers and electronic control systems, as well as test the performance and handling.

The Cupra Born looks almost identical to the SEAT El-Born concept that was revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, featuring a short bonnet, inverted radiator grille and tailgate spoiler. The teaser images would suggest that the sporty styling expectations set late last year by the Cupra-badged El-Born have been met.

Performance

While the maximum battery size for SEAT-badged cars is 62kWh, the Cupra Born has an 82kWh battery. It’ll be shared with the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron and the Skoda Enyaq, and Cupra promises a range of up to 310 miles on a full charge. Zero-to-31mph takes 2.9 seconds, and we expect 0-62mph to be dealt with in just over six seconds.

The Cupra Born will be rear-wheel-drive. The same setup in the Skoda Enyaq features a 201bhp electric motor. Fast-charging at a public charger will add around 160 miles of range in half an hour.

Styling

Like other Cupra models, the Born has sportier styling and eye-catching copper elements, on the alloy wheels, trim pieces and badging. The production-ready Cupra Born is set to feature 20-inch alloy wheels, sharp LED headlights, a lower and firmer ride-height, dominant front and rear bumpers and finned side skirts.

Interior

With a long wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels), which should allow it to match the interior space of cars in the class above, the Cupra Born should have a large boot, similar to the SEAT Leon, without compromising generous legroom for passengers sitting in the back. Cupra has also confirmed the Born will feature the Volkswagen ID.3’s new augmented-reality head-up display with smartphone connectivity via the car’s infotainment system. It will also feature an integrated heat-pump system that doesn’t draw energy from the car’s battery pack to warm the cabin.

The Born will also have bucket seats and Cupra’s new steering wheel. Blue Alcantara suede-like upholstery will feature throughout, alongside leather and soft-touch plastics. Cupra says the car has ‘full connectivity’, which we expect to mean Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Car2X technology. The latter means the car talks to other so-equipped cars and local infrastructure. You’ll be able to access more features through an accompanying smartphone app.

Pricing and specs

We expect the Cupra Born will be more expensive than the Volkswagen ID.3 and the similarly sized Cupra Leon hatchback, because the technology associated with electric cars is costly. We expect prices to start from around £40,000, which is a similar figure to the powerful Cupra Ateca and Cupra Formentor SUVs. The Born will offer vastly lower running costs, however.

There may be a couple of different trim levels, but all cars will get copper design elements, a digital instrument display, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors and a 12-inch touchscreen with sat nav.

The Cupra Born is the Spanish company’s take on the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback, and will be the brand’s second EV after the SEAT Mii electric city car. Last year we revealed that a high-performance Volkswagen ID.3 R could well be in the pipeline, which will be the Cupra’s main rival.

That would be similar to the way in which the current SEAT Leon Cupra is a rival to the Volkswagen Golf R, as both use the same underpinnings and engine.

Read about the cars coming in 2021 and beyond.

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