Opinion

‘Cupra can only succeed if SEAT delivers it with confidence’

Deputy editor John McIlroy thinks Cupra will only be successful as a standalone brand if the range is expanded sooner rather than later

Opinion - Cupra

SEAT’s decision to spin off Cupra is based firmly upon the experiences of the company’s current boss, Luca de Meo, who was working for Fiat and given the reins to Abarth when the Italian brand brought its tuning division back to life.

It’s a bold move, and one that can only possibly succeed if SEAT really delivers Cupra with confidence. That means expanding the range sooner rather than later, and not just showcasing not just high-end craftsmanship and greater scope for personalisation, but also giving SEAT Sport a bit more scope to develop bespoke components for the cars - something tangible and authentic to thrill drivers and take Cupra beyond just being a chintzier alternative to VW GTIs.

Bespoke Cupra models on the way

It also, I think, means biting the bullet and rebranding hot Leons as Cupras now, instead of having an odd transition period where Cupras are both, well, Cupras and SEAT Cupras. That’s just plain confusing - and history suggests that consumers won’t commit unless they know precisely what a brand stands for. 

There are plenty of opportunities, therefore - and if being a ‘standalone’ brand means a slightly higher price point and the chance for neat customisation and really exciting oily bits, then it’ll be fascinating to see Cupra develop. But the goal over the next two years has to be to get enough traction to make the whole process seem real, convincing and genuine.

Read all about the new 296bhp Cupra Ateca SUV here...

Recommended

SEAT can’t make electric cars cheap enough, says brand R&D boss
SEAT Mii Electric charging
SEAT

SEAT can’t make electric cars cheap enough, says brand R&D boss

SEAT can only introduce EVs when it becomes affordable to do so, while the design boss confirms the Cupra brand’s looks will move decisively away from…
8 Jun 2022

Most Popular

EU demands speed limiters on all new cars from next week: know the rules and how they work
speed limiters
News

EU demands speed limiters on all new cars from next week: know the rules and how they work

Car industry body calls for UK government to adopt the new measures, but we’ll probably get them anyway…
29 Jun 2022
New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range
New MG 4 2023
News

New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range

The all-electric MG 4 hatchback rivals the Volkswagen ID.3 and introduces MG’s new MSP electric platform
28 Jun 2022
New Toyota Corolla prototype review
Toyota Corolla prototype - front
Road tests

New Toyota Corolla prototype review

We try out the updated Toyota Corolla hybrid ahead of its official arrival
30 Jun 2022