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Cupra Tavascan EV due in Oz 2025

Spanish brand’s all electric SUV has been unveiled, but will it be worth the wait?

1 May 2023

AS IT marks five years since it split from Seat and became a standalone brand within the Volkswagen Group, Cupra has unveiled its first all-electric SUV coupe, the Tavascan, at an event in Berlin.


The Tavascan is Cupra's second fully electric model after the Cupra Born and will be built in China, with a global launch planned for 2024 and an Australian arrival likely in 2025.


With styling that runs remarkably close to the Tavascan concept of 2019, the production-spec Tavascan is a midsize SUV that occupies a similar footprint to a Nissan X-Trail but boasts the kind of fastback silhouette that’s quickly becoming fashionable within the mainstream SUV category.


Adventurous sheetmetal surfacing, distinctive head- and tail-light graphics (the latter of which incorporates an illuminated Cupra logo) and enormous wheel and tyre fits – rollers up to 21-inches in size can be had depending on spec – are key design elements of the exterior, and Cupra expects buyers to gravitate to the Tavascan’s aggressively athletic aesthetic.


The interior is designed around a prominent central ‘spine’, with a textured silver buttress erupting from the high-set centre console and linking it with the centre stack, where a massive 15.0-inch landscape-format infotainment touchscreen dominates the dash. Beneath the spine lies a small storage shelf and a pair of USB-C outlets, with a floor-level shelf sitting beneath that.


Meanwhile a pair of cupholders and a long storage box with split side-hinged doors are found toward the rear, the back of the console terminating with a pair of air vents for backseaters.


The dashboard’s intricate architecture flows around to the door cards, with design language seemingly cribbed from science fiction thanks to organic surfacing and plenty of LED light pipes for ambient cabin illumination at night.


A Sennheiser 12-speaker audio system is available, while wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay provide smartphone mirroring options for occupants. For the driver, a 5.3-inch digital dash appears shrunken next to the expansive infotainment panel (and is small by segment standards), however it is paired with an augmented reality head-up display that projects navigation instructions, speed, and safety-related information onto the windscreen to reduce the need to look down.


Connected services also allow remote control of cabin pre-conditioning, charging and locking/unlocking.


Based on the Volkswagen Group’s electrified MEB platform, the Cupra Tavascan will be available with two power outputs: 210kW/545Nm with a single rear motor and 250kW with the addition of an 80kW/134Nm front axle motor, with the higher power output configuration offered on the range-topping Tavascan VZ able to reach 100km/h from standstill in 5.6 seconds.


A water-cooled lithium-ion battery pack supplies 77kWh of energy, allowing a range of 549km for single-motor models on the WLTP test cycle and 517km for the all-wheel drive Tavascan VZ. The battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in just under half an hour using a 135kW fast charger.


Designed and developed in Barcelona, the Tavascan will be produced at the Volkswagen Group’s Anhui factory in China and is expected to sell more than 70,000 units per year.


Tesla’s Model Y is an obvious rival, but the Tavascan will also line up against similarly-sized midsize EV offerings with a sporty bent like the Kia EV6, Polestar 2 and the impending Ford Mustang Mach-E, Renault Megane E-Tech and Nissan Ariya.


Expect local specifications and pricing to be announced toward the end of 2024, ahead of a local market introduction in the first half of 2025.

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