Not to be outdone by French car maker Citroen creating the DS luxury sub-brand, Seat has just announced that it plans to establish its own sporting sub-brand, which will be called Cupra.
Someone in Spain has knocked up a logo ahead of an official reveal in Spain on 22 February and there’s a new website at cupraofficial.com, featuring a video with some semi-naked dancing models, an eagle and a woman who has been painted in a delightful coppery sheen. It seems the little accents on the recent Leon Cupra R were leading us somewhere.
In its statement announcing the formation of Cupra as a new car brand, Seat said: ‘Cupra has always been the sportiest expression of Seat. Now the time has come for it to gain its own soul, its own DNA, its own identity by becoming a new entity. All new Cupra vehicles will feature the new Cupra logo.’
Not a car in sight yet though – and it seems like we won’t see any new metal on 22 February, when we’re set to hear all of the latest information about the new brand straight from the people themselves. When can we expect to see the first fruits of the Cupra brand? Seat promises we should keep our eyes on the Geneva motor show in March.
Gallery: 2018 SEAT Leon Cupra R
A history of sporty models
Seat has been involved in national motorsport in Spain and rallying on and off since the 1970s. It wasn’t until the brand was taken over by Volkswagen in 1986 that Seat was more consciously repositioned as a ‘sporty’ car maker in order to appeal to younger buyers.
Motorsport hasn’t shown much success for Seat as a rule, but it’s been good for the image. Hotter models in the company range tend to be badged FR and Cupra – no fancy Spanish there, they both stand for ‘Formula racing’ and ‘Cup racing’ respectively.
Seat’s performance models so far have been warmed-over versions of existing cars using Volkswagen Group mechanicals underneath. Will the new Cupra brand go for any standalone models or have independence to make its own special tweaks? Time will tell.