When a player wants to be the best in the game, he doesn't just need physical attributes, he also has to be bold, brave, and aggressive. That's how the latest CUPRA presents itself aesthetically. It’s design leaves no one indifferent, bring strong lines and sportiness to a segment (the electric segment) that doesn’t get many performance models.
The first things that stand out are its large wheels up to 20 inches in diameter, its generous length of 4.3 metres, and the sharp lines toward the front.
The front end also emphasises its aggressiveness with full LED headlights that are 'pointy' shaped, and its grille that’s underlined with a copper-coloured splitter. There are horizontal shapes on both sides of that look like gills and reinforce the sportiness of the car.
Gallery: CUPRA Born 2021
The rear of the CUPRA Born follows the aesthetics of its brand brothers, with the brand’s characteristic light signature in the form of the LED strip that runs between the rear lights (known as 'coast to coast'). The angles on the tailgate add personality and character, and the rear culminates at the bottom with a diffuser, which is required these days for a sporty look.
There are some exterior design details that continue to bring genuine value to this car. In the C-pillar, for instance, we find a pattern that brings together the aerodynamic features of the rear and the door frame, giving shape to the 'floating' roof concept.
If the exterior is surprising, the interior is another demonstration that a new MVP of the segment has arrived. The 'made in CUPRA' finish is always synonymous with quality, sportiness, and sophistication. The textures are what I like most about the brand's interiors.
The steering wheel is one of the most striking features, having two buttons for switching between driving modes and selecting the CUPRA mode, and both have a great touch.
The dashboard has a very good feel and the passenger side is topped with a similar inlay. The whole thing is adorned by two screens, a 12.0-inch one for the multimedia system and a smaller one for the digital instrument panel. In addition, the Head-Up Display with augmented reality contributes to the technological array.
In keeping with the brand's commitment to the environment and ecology, the upholstery for the seats and door panels is made of fabric from the SEAQUAL initiative, which uses recycled plastics collected from oceans around the world. These seats are standard bucket seats, as in any good sports car.
Although we have not been able to drive the car yet, the new CUPRA Born has a great lineage. It is based on the same MEB platform that it shares with other Volkswagen Group models, such as the Audi Q4 e-tron, the Skoda Enyaq, and the Volkswagen ID.4, among many others.
In fact, it is a car conceived and manufactured from scratch to be 100% electric, which means there was no need to adapt all of its components to the structure of an ICE model.
The battery is located under the floor of the car and between the axles to reduce the centre of gravity and get better weight distribution. The electric motor of the CUPRA Born is placed in front of the rear axle and it sends its power to the rear wheels through a single-speed transmission.
Four battery variants will be available, one with an output of 148 bhp (110 kW) with a 45 kWh battery giving a range of 211 miles, and a more powerful one with 201 bhp (150 kW) via 58 kWh. If you want to go a step further, the CUPRA Born will offer an e-Boost package with the 58 kWh or 77 kWh batteries which increases power output to 229 bhp (170 kW) and provides 260 or 335 miles of range, respectively.
Dynamically, the car will not be an ordinary city car. It will have that CUPRA DNA we love. Even though we haven't tested it, we can already see certain touches of fun. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), progressive steering, brakes, and ESC Sport mode for the stability control are all details that suggest this car will be very complete dynamically. But we will asses that at a later date, after having a few hours behind the wheel.
In a very tight championship race in the world of electrified cars, there are only a few teams that dare to take a decisive player to the field. An electric model might make us think of a boring car, but the new CUPRA Born wants to change that perception completely. Will it be the next MVP of the electrified urban segment?
We wait for UK pricing for CUPRA Born to be announced in the fourth quarter of 2021 with deliveries starting in early 2022.