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Cupra Born sparks to life

All-electric urban hatch production commences, Oz launch due in 2022

29 Sep 2021

SPANISH brand Cupra’s first all-electric hatch has rolled off the production line in Germany ahead of the model’s European launch this November. 


Dubbed Born – a name derived from the El Born region of Spain’s capital, Barcelona – the compact city-car shares its MEB underpinnings with the Volkswagen ID.3 and Skoda Enyaq, and is built in the Volkswagen Group’s Zwickau plant alongside the ID.3, ID.4 and Audi’s Q4 E-Tron range.


The Born, which Cupra has confirmed will arrive in Australia “sometime in 2022” will beat Volkswagen’s ID range to local showrooms, Volkswagen Australia delaying the arrival of its own electric range until late 2023. 


That decision means Born will be the first MEB-based model to go on sale Down Under.


“Producing our first 100 per cent electric model in Europe’s largest electric vehicle factory will provide valuable learnings as we look to build electric vehicles in Matorell [Spain] from 2025 onwards,” explained Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths.


Cupra has said previously that it aims to produce electric vehicles only by 2030, five years ahead of Europe’s plans to phase out internal combustion cars. 


It says the Born will account for up to one-fifth of its total production volume and will join its conventionally powered siblings the Ateca, Formentor and Leon in local showrooms late next month.


“Our ambition is to produce 500,000 urban electric vehicles per year in Spain for different Group brands,” Mr Griffiths said.


Cupra will arrive in Australia towards the middle of next year with a mix of ICE and EV models. 


The brand has previously outlined plans to bring other EV models to Australia besides the born, models like the Tavascan and Urban Rebel, but has not yet specified timing.


“For us, Australia is more important than many other markets. Australia will be our first time going global. We put our resources on having an all-electric vehicle for Australia as an objective and a priority,” Mr Griffiths told Australian media previously.


Although it’s too early to say which variants of the Born will be sold in Australia, we do know that there are two powertrains to choose from – each shared with the Volkswagen ID.3 – offering driving range of up to 550km.


Driving the rear wheels, the Born is available with a 110kW or 150kW motor developing 310Nm in either guise. An e-boost option takes power to 170kW, giving the Born a 0-100km/h acceleration time of just 6.6 seconds.


Available battery packs include 45, 58 and 77kWh options, offering a driving range of between 340-550km (WLTP).


Cupra launched in Europe as a standalone brand in 2018 and has since sold over 27,000 cars. 


Former parent company Seat describes itself as “an unconventional challenger brand… with progressive cars and experiences”.


Production versions of the Cupra Born are currently on display at the Barcelona Motor Show (October 2 – 10).

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