CUPRA: Enter the all-new Born sporty EV hatch
CUPRA – the performance sub-brand of Spanish automaker SEAT – has unveiled its all-new Born. It’s a sporty electric hatchback that shares its underpinnings with the Volkswagen ID.3 and is the first pure-electric CUPRA model.
Order books for the CUPRA Born are expected to open around late Autumn this year, with first deliveries 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).
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, 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 specify their CUPRA Born in one of six 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.
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 are 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.
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.
The CUPRA Born is based on the versatile 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 range-entry model features a 148bhp electric motor and a 45kWh battery. This powertrain manages 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds and promises a range of up to 211 miles.
Buyers can opt for 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 choose 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.
As befits the sporty ethos of the brand, CUPRA promises the Born will offer a more driver-centric driving experience than the ID.3 on which it's based. 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.
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