New Cupra Tavascan: specs, powertrains and 2024 release date
The new Tavascan is Cupra’s first all-electric SUV, and it will offer up to 341 miles of battery range
Cupra is continuing to grow its all-electric lineup after revealing the production-ready Tavascan earlier this year. Based on the same VW-group MEB platform as the Audi Q4 e-tron and Volkswagen ID.4, this rakish new coupe-SUV is set to go on sale in 2024, and it’ll be the brand’s first electric SUV.
The road-going Tavascan retains most of the sharp styling cues that were first unveiled on the 2019 concept car. With Cupra intending to further remove itself from sister-brand SEAT’s shadow, it’s clear that the brand’s sporty ethos is being greatly utilised to help the Tavascan physically stand out from rivals such as the Nissan Ariya and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The polished black A-pillars have been designed to emulate the look of a racing helmet’s visor, while the heavily sculpted bodywork and athletic silhouette are also similar to the concept. One key difference with the production Tavascan is that it features Cupra’s signature copper-coloured accents and badging.
Other new details on the production car include a black front fascia that’s unique to the Tavascan, an illuminated Cupra logo on the bonnet and a distinctive three-triangle headlight signature – a motif that’s repeated in the tail-lights. These are linked by a full-width light bar, with another illuminated Cupra logo on the tailgate. There’s also a lip spoiler on the boot and a diffuser insert for the rear bumper.
The Tavascan is 1,861mm wide and 1,597mm tall, meaning it’s wider and lower than a Nissan Ariya, which contributes to its rakish look. At 4,644mm from nose to tail, the Tavascan is longer than the Ariya as well, while the Cupra boasts 540 litres of boot space. That’s substantially larger than what the Nissan offers, and nearly 140 litres more than you get from a Mustang Mach-E.
Inside, the Tavascan features a driver-focused design defined by its central spine (also carried over from the concept car). It not only separates the driver and front passenger, but serves as a structural piece of the interior, connecting the dash and centre console, with storage underneath.
Bucket seats will be fitted as standard up front, with buyers to be offered a choice of recycled textile or microfibre upholstery, along with Deep Plum or Dark Ice Metal colours for the door mouldings, central spine and other areas to add some contrast. There are plenty more copper accents inside, too, as well as ambient lighting.
The centrepiece of the cabin is a 15-inch touchscreen – the same display found in the VW ID.7 saloon. It’s the largest screen ever fitted to a Cupra, but perhaps the bigger deal is the illuminated climate controls below. That’s because the non-backlit touch-sensitive sliders in the Cupra Born, and all of VW’s ID electric cars until the ID.7, have been a constant source of criticism.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard as you’d expect, and you get a 5.3-inch digital dash. There’s also a new 12-speaker sound system developed in collaboration with Sennheiser, while buyers will also be offered an augmented reality head-up display that projects info such as speed and sat-nav instructions onto the windscreen.
There’s no shortage of safety tech on board either, with predictive adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane assist and fatigue detection among the featured kit. The new Connected Travel Assist system offered for the Tavascan can keep the car in the centre of the lane, adjust your speed while cornering and offers assistance with lane changes on the motorway, while the Assisted Parking function allows you to perform parking manoeuvres remotely using a smartphone.
The Tavascan is based on the MEB platform, which also underpins Cupra’s first pure-electric car, the Born hatchback. There will be two versions offered from launch: the base model uses a rear-mounted electric motor that produces 282bhp and 545Nm of torque. It’s fed by a 77kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers a claimed range of 341 miles.
With Cupra being a sporty brand, a performance-focused VZ variant of the Tavascan will also feature in the lineup. This version is powered by a dual-motor powertrain producing 335bhp – 40bhp more than the VW ID.5 GTX – and 679Nm of torque. These figures translate to 31mph in just 2.4 seconds and a 0-62mph sprint time of just 5.6 seconds.
The VZ’s range drops to 321 miles from the same 77kWh battery, which can be charged at up to 135kW. It’ll take half an hour to top up from 10 to 80 per cent, with the possibility of adding 62 miles of range in seven minutes.
In keeping with its appearance, the Tavascan is fitted with Dynamic Chassis Control Sport technology, sport suspension and progressive steering, with the aim to deliver a “unique sporty driving experience”.
Drivers will have a choice of Range, Comfort, Performance, Cupra and Individual drive modes, with the all-wheel drive version receiving an additional Traction setting. There are also four levels of regenerative braking, switchable using paddles behind the steering wheel.
Wheel size will range from 19 to 21 inches, with the largest wheels wrapped in performance tyres. An optional heat pump should help heat the cabin more efficiently, too.
UK pricing and specifications haven’t yet been announced, but considering the VW ID.5 coupe-SUV currently starts from nearly £51,000, we expect the Tavascan’s starting price will be closer to £55,000 – the same as the upcoming Polestar 4.
Cupra says the Tavascan was designed and developed in Barcelona, but it will be produced at the Volkswagen Group’s factory in Anhui, China. It’s one of three electrified models the Spanish brand has announced, with the plug-in hybrid Cupra Terramar due on sale in 2024 and the UrbanRebel – Cupra’s affordable entry-level electric car – on track to land in 2025.
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