New Cupra Born: sporty electric hatchback arrives with 335-mile range

The electric Cupra Born goes on sale next year with a choice of three powertrains

  • Born gets sporty styling and interior with copper detailing
  • Largest 77kWh battery gives range of up to 335 miles
  • Set to reach showrooms in 2022 priced from around £32,000

The new Cupra Born has been unveiled. It’s a sporty electric hatchback that shares its underpinnings with the Volkswagen ID.3 and is the first pure-electric model from SEAT’s performance sub-brand.

The Born is one of the first sporty electric cars on the market and is part of Cupra’s expanding electrification plans. When it arrives, rivals will include the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3.

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Sales of the Cupra Born are likely to start towards the end of the year, with the first customer cars arriving in early 2022. Pricing has yet to be announced but it’ll likely carry a similar price tag to the ID.3, starting at around £32,000 after the government plug-in car grant deduction (PICG).

2022 Cupra Born: performance, range and charging

The Cupra Born is based on the MEB platform, which also underpins the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback - the two cars also share the same powertrains. Every version is rear-wheel drive, although four-wheel-drive models are expected to be offered later on.

The entry-level model features a 148bhp electric motor and a 45kWh battery. This powertrain manages 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds and a range of up to 211 miles.

Buyers can spec a more powerful 201bhp electric motor with mid-range 58kWh battery capable of up to 260 miles. It offers improved performance, going from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds.

Buyers can also spec the mid-range 58kWh model with an e-Boost function which temporarily increases power to 228bhp, reducing the 0-62mph time to 6.6 seconds. At the top of the range, the 77kWh battery model comes with e-Boost as standard and manages 0-62mph in seven seconds with a range of up to 335 miles.

The 77kWh battery supports 125kW DC rapid charging, meaning a seven-minute charge adds around 62 miles of range. Charging from 0-80% takes around 35 minutes.

Chassis

Cupra promises the Born will offer a sportier driving experience than the ID.3 on which it's based, in keeping with the brand’s performance focus. This is thanks to a low-mounted battery, giving the car a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution for balanced and secure handling.

Buyers will be able to choose adaptive suspension as an option. This adds four driving modes called Range, Comfort, Individual and Cupra. Speed-sensitive power steering is also fitted, along with a traction control system designed to maximise traction in all weather conditions.

Styling

The production version of the Born is largely unchanged from the SEAT el-Born concept, which was first shown at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The front of the car remains short with a sharply angled bonnet leading to a slim front grille featuring a bronze ‘CUPRA’ logo and standard LED headlights. Beneath this sits a trio of air intakes divided by a copper coloured trim section. The sides of the car feature copper and black finished alloy wheels, along with black contrasting inserts in the lower sills and rear quarter panel.

At the rear of the car, a full-width LED light bar is fitted, along with a copper Cupra badge and logo. Beneath this, the rear bumper features a black contrasting insert and a colour-matched rear diffuser.

Buyers will be able to spec a Cupra born in one of six different paint colours and add special ‘Cupra’ branded puddle lights. A choice of six different alloy wheel designs will also be available, ranging from 17- to 20-inches in size.

Interior, technology and practicality

The interior of the Born features a standalone digital dial cluster along with side-mounted drive-mode selector. It also gets a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with a pair of copper-trimmed mode selection switches.

There’s copper accents and stitching throughout the interior, including on the air vents, door handles and centre console. A pair of sports seats are fitted, which feature copper-themed inserts. A 12-inch infotainment screen is standard, and incorporates touch-sensitive slider controls for both the stereo volume and ventilation controls.

Buyers can pick from two leather-free upholstery options, called Dinamica and Seaqual Yarn. The Dinamica trim is available in either dark blue or grey, and is made from a mix of recycled clothing and single-use plastics. The Seaqual Yarn trim is also eco-conscious, manufactured from upcycled marine plastics received from beaches, rivers and the ocean.

An array of safety technology is fitted, including predictive active cruise control, traffic sign recognition and Travel Assist, which can assist with the car’s acceleration, braking and steering on a motorway. Optional safety features include a 360-degree camera and parking assist. A side and exit assist system is also available, which monitors blind spots and approaching traffic, sounding an audible warning if a hazard is detected.

While the Born’s side profile looks to be largely similar to the ID.3 at a glance, the car is actually around 100mm longer and 30mm lower than the VW, meaning it should maximise interior space. Practicality should also be good, thanks in part to the 385-litre boot, which is slightly larger than that of a SEAT Leon.

Read about the cars coming in 2021 and beyond.

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