High-power AWD Cupra Born hot hatch “can be expected”

Cupra R&D boss Dr Werner Tietz hints at higher power version of firm’s new Born electric hatchback in the future

Cupra Born - front detail

Cupra could release a more powerful version of its newly revealed Born electric hatchback in the future, according to the brand’s executive vice president for research and development, Dr Werner Tietz.

Following the reveal of the Volkswagen ID.X electric hot hatch concept by VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter last week, and speaking to Auto Express ahead of the unveiling of Cupra’s first EV, Tietz said Cupra is  “interested in” developing a more powerful all-wheel-drive version of the Born.

Tietz hinted that an experimental prototype may already be in existence, saying: “For sure, this kind of version drives nicely, maybe it’s something for the future.” He added that “over the lifespan of the car you can expect that we will think about different drivetrains or different power levels at least ... higher power versions can be expected some day.”

However, this may be a while off yet, according to the Cupra executive: “It’s not something that is currently visible, as we don’t have the high demand for that and it’s a lot of investment for this kind of full application for the car.”

Volkswagen is exploring similar high-power applications of its ID.3 EV with the ID.X concept, which could raise political issues within the VW Group as to which brand would release an all-wheel drive electric hot hatch first. 

Tietz explained, though, that Cupra has already engineered the Born to live up to the brand’s sporty image, and that we can expect it to drive quite differently from the VW ID.3.

“We have invested a lot of time in tuning the chassis, steering and powertrain. We offer the car with DCC [Dynamic Chassis Control] in combination with ESC Sport and a 15mm lower ride height in the front, and 10mm at the rear.

“The DCC application is unique. We spent a lot of time on different surfaces to fine-tune that, and we combined it with progressive steering for a dynamic feel to the handling of the car. If you compare it on a track, the basis is a more conventional set-up for every-day use, and our car is a more sporty set-up for people who like better response and more agile behaviour of the car.”

Cupra will stick to electrification at the higher end of the model line-up, with the brand set to put its Tavascan electric SUV into production in 2024, while sister brand SEAT will electrify from the lower end of the scale, according to Tietz.

“For SEAT you must understand that we have invested a lot of money over the last years, with the new Leon, Arona, Ibiza and Tarraco plug-in hybrid - for now it’s time to invest in Cupra. The Cupra promise for the future is to invest heavily into electrification.

“If you look into SEAT we have invested in electrification but coming from the low end. We have just launched the kick scooters, now we have the e-scooters running in Barcelona which will be offered across Europe; this is where we step into electromobility from the lower side, and the next steps on the SEAT side are planned as well, so this will close the electrification gap from the lower side, while Cupra is attacking that from the top.”

Tietz touched on another small EV that will arrive in 2025, although it has yet to be decided whether this will be launched as a SEAT or a Cupra. However, the R&D boss did outline that a small battery-electric vehicle like this would need to have a 400km (248 miles) range to meet customer expectations for this class.

“I would think that 400km is an appropriate range that you should achieve with such a car - maybe even more. I am quite convinced that battery technology will continue to develop, so currently I think 400km should not be a problem.”

What are the best electric cars on sale right now? Click here for our top 10...

Recommended

Electric cars in the UK: are we ready for the EV revolution?
Electric cars in the UK: are we ready for the EV revolution?
Features

Electric cars in the UK: are we ready for the EV revolution?

We take an in-depth look at how the UK is getting ready for the switch to electric
14 May 2021
'Judging by 2020's stats, demand for EVs is growing'
Opinion - electric cars
Opinion

'Judging by 2020's stats, demand for EVs is growing'

Steve Fowler finds some positive all-electric figures from a year of sales doom and gloom
13 Jan 2021
‘Your car may not be the most efficient tool for your new, lower-mileage life’
Opinion

‘Your car may not be the most efficient tool for your new, lower-mileage life’

Mike Rutherford thinks now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your modes of transport
20 Dec 2020
Pester power from kids pushes parents towards electric cars
News

Pester power from kids pushes parents towards electric cars

More than half of UK children want their parents to make the switch to an electrified car
27 Oct 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain
Lexus NX - front action
Lexus NX SUV

New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain

The new Lexus NX 350h features a standard hybrid set-up, while the NX 450h+ gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of 40 miles of pure electric powe…
12 Jun 2021
LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini
LEC MINI Electric
MINI

LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini

The conversion sees the Mini’s A-Series engine replaced with a dinky electric motor and a 20kWh battery for a range of 70 miles in the city
10 Jun 2021
Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features
Audi S5
Audi

Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features

Almost every car in Audi’s line-up has received a tweak, with major updates including Amazon Alexa integration and a Sonos stereo
11 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'
Honda opinion
Opinion

'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'

Mike Rutherford is worried about Honda's future, despite its recent motorsport success
6 Jun 2021
Mustang Mach-E: your next company car?
A red Ford Mustang Mach-E parked
Advertisement Feature

Mustang Mach-E: your next company car?

Thinking of getting a new company car? Here’s why you should consider putting the Mustang Mach-E on your shortlist
11 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review
Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition - front
Volkswagen T-Cross

New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review

The small Volkswagen T-Cross SUV turns on the style in new Black Edition trim
11 Jun 2021