The Tavascan name was first introduced by Cupra back in September 2019 when the Spanish performance brand unveiled a concept vehicle with that name. Underpinned by Volkswagen’s MEB architecture, the prototype had a fully electric powertrain with two electric motors, one for each axle. It previewed the marque’s first high-riding EV and work on its production version has finally begun.

What you see in the gallery below are the first spy photos of a Tavascan mule caught by our photographers on the Nurburgring and the surrounding public roads.

As you can clearly see, the Tavascan doesn’t use its production body for the time being. Instead, the test vehicle rides with a Volkswagen ID.4 body, though there’s a lot of camouflage covering the front fascia. We can’t tell whether the disguise hides the Tavascan’s actual front-end design but it seems that what this prototype features is very different from the ID.4. For example, the headlights appear to be slimmer and the lower section of the bumper has a radically different layout. The rear end looks almost exactly like a standard stock ID.4, though.

Gallery: Cupra Tavascan mule spy photos

As far as we know, the Tavascan will be positioned as the sportiest compact EV SUV offering in Volkswagen Group’s lineup and will have the shape of a coupe-fied crossover. It will obviously share its underpinnings with the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq, which means a number of different versions will be available in terms of battery sizes and power output. The most powerful variant will have a dual-motor layout with more than 300 bhp (220 kilowatts), similar to the setup of the Tavascan Concept.

In June this year, SEAT’s performance brand hinted at the final design of the Tavascan during the Unstoppable Impulse event. A prototype of the vehicle was shown to the public and it suggested the production model will remain faithful to the showcar from almost three years ago. There’s no debut date set yet but we expect the Tavascan to arrive on the European market next year. Meanwhile, Cupra is also working on a refreshed version of the VW ID.3-based Born electric hatchback.