New 2021 Cupra Born teased in official spy shots

Road ready version of all-electric Cupra Born will be revealed in May

Cupra has revealed a series of official spy images of its first fully-electric vehicle: the Cupra Born, which will be revealed in final production form in the coming weeks. 

These new images of the final car showcase the production model undertaking some final winter testing, before it makes its full debut. 

Cupra says its engineers have racked up more than 19,000 miles during the Born’s cold weather development programme, at temperatures as low as -30°C, with most of the tests designed to stress the limits of the car’s adaptive dampers and chassis control systems.

Save for a set of production-friendly alloy wheels and a new badge, the Cupra Born looks near identical to the SEAT El-Born concept from the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. It shares the same short bonnet, fared-in radiator grille, large quarter light windows and tailgate spoiler.

It should also line-up with the expectations set out late last year, when the El-Born was previewed wearing Cupra badges. The production-ready Born EV will also feature a range of sporty styling cues, such a lowered ride-height, 20-inch alloy wheels, aggressive front and rear bumpers, finned side skirts and a pair figure-hugging bucket seats.

Chassis and powertrain

The Cupra Born is based on the same MEB underpinnings as the Volkswagen ID.3, with an electric motor powering the rear axles. 

Cupra says the Born will go from 0–31mph in 2.9 seconds, but the rest of the car’s performance specs are yet to be confirmed. Back when SEAT was handling the project, though, the Born was due to receive a 201bhp electric motor, which would give the EV a 0–62mph time of 7.5 seconds.

A battery pack with a nominal capacity of 82kWh means that a range of up to 310 miles under WLTP should be possible. The ID.3’s smaller 62kWh nominal battery pack will be available on lower range versions of the Born, providing around 260 miles on a full charge. 

With the MEB platform comes 100kW DC charging, meaning the hatchback can recover an 80 percent charge in around 47 minutes or take on 161 miles of range in just 30 minutes.

Interior and equipment

Like all of the Volkswagen Group’s MEB vehicles, the Cupra Born has a long wheelbase relative to its overall length, which should allow it to deliver the interior space of a car from the class above. As such, boot space should be on par with the SEAT Leon, but there should be more legroom for rear seat passengers.

The Cupra Born’s cabin is similar to the ID.3’s with a digital instrument binnacle, a floating 10-inch infotainment screen and touch-sensitive controls for the car’s heating and ventilation system. It will also feature a pair of racy bucket seats and a sporty Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel.

Cupra has also confirmed the Born will feature the ID.3’s new augmented reality head-up display, plus smartphone connectivity via the car’s infotainment system and an integrated heat-pump system that does not draw energy from the car’s battery pack to warm the cabin. 

Pricing and positioning

Given the Cupra Born’s upmarket branding, we expect it will stray from the Volkswagen ID.3’s pricing strategy. 

Rather than costing “the equivalent of a well-specced diesel Golf” - the line often touted by VW executives before the rollout of the now expansive ID.3 line-up, prices will likely be comparable to the current-generation Cupra Leon or Mk8 Volkswagen Golf GTI with a smaller number of higher-spec models to choose from, starting from around £34,000.

Now read all the latest news on SEAT’s upcoming, pure-electric urban EV here… 

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