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Hot Cupra Born VZ in the works

A punchier Cupra Born will get 237bhp and special paint, paving the way for future hot Cupra models

The Cupra Born range is set to expand later this year with a hotter ‘VZ’ model, boasting a lightly-tickled 237bhp powertrain, bespoke paint options and possible performance parts. The new range flagship will pave the way for future fast Cupras, with CEO Wayne Griffiths saying the brand will “redefine” performance in the EV age.

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Speaking from the Cupra stand at the 2023 Munich International Motor Show, Griffiths said that performance won’t be about super-quick acceleration times in the future: “It’s going be a lot of things,” he told us. “It’s going to be about emotions and your experience in the car.”

Referring specifically to the Born, Griffiths confirmed “a more powerful version, with 240 horsepower (237bhp)” was also on the way. This model will arrive ahead of the car’s mid-life facelift, which isn’t due until 2025 – despite the Cupra’s Volkswagen ID.3 sister car being updated early following widespread customer criticism.

“The [redesign] will come after,” Griffths told us. “The [Cupra Born] is still quite new. We’ve not been able to explore the full potential of Born until now.”

The Cupra Born is currently available in V1, V2 and V3 trim levels with two battery sizes – 58kWh and 77kWh – the base Born gets 201bhp, although the V2 and V3 have the option of 227bhp thanks to an e-Boost function that temporarily increases the power output. The test car spotted by our spy photographers is an even more potent version, as now confirmed by the brand’s CEO. 

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It's no secret that Volkswagen is developing a sporty ID.3 GTX – a car we’ve sampled from the passenger seat. However, it’s thought that at this time, Cupra will steer clear of the VW’s potent 328bhp dual-motor setup in favour of something more modest. 

With just one motor, we don’t expect the VZ to trouble the existing Born’s 343-mile maximum range, though the possibility of uprated suspension and beefier brakes should make it even sharper to drive. The added power will make the VZ capable of 0-62mph in less than seven seconds.

Cupra’s EV product plan includes the Tavascan SUV and Raval supermini, both of which are expected to be offered with a choice of powertrains – including faster VZ models, as per the aforementioned flagship Born. Hotter dual-motor versions cannot be ruled out, either.

The Born VZ is due to be revealed later this year, though production isn’t slated to start until the middle of 2024. Expect first customer cars to arrive in the autumn, with the VZ commanding a modest premium over the existing (£39,205) Born e-Boost 58kWh. The bigger battery is likely to cost almost £3k more.

Now check out the best electric cars to buy…

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Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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