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Cupra tests Born BEV on local soil

Spanish brand will soon have its first models on sale in Oz

14 Jan 2022

THE sporty Cupra brand, which evolved from SEAT, the Volkswagen Group’s Spanish sub-brand, will be available in Australia from the middle of 2022 and, by the end of the year, it will offer its dedicated battery-electric light hatchback model – the Born – on local soil. 


Barcelona-based Cupra will have 10 to 20 outlets in the country’s major centres (they will be associated with existing Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen premises) and the initial model line-up will comprise the Leon hatchback and the Ateca and Formentor small SUVs/crossovers.


Those models will be available from mid-year (there will be 12 derivatives, two of which are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), but Cupra has something else up its sleeve for late in 2022... 


MEB – Volkswagen’s dedicated battery-electric vehicle platform – underpins the German brand’s line-up of ID models, but none of them have been introduced in Australia. 


However, the MEB-based Born – the Spanish performance and lifestyle automotive brand’s first fully electric vehicle – will soon be seen on Australian roads. The first of three Born BEVs have been freighted to Sydney, where they will each be tested for over 10,000km. Cupra says it mark “the first time that the Born has been driven outside Europe.”


Cupra Australia director Ben Wilks this week said the firm was determined to bring the Born to the local market by year-end. The newcomer is of a similar size to a Volkswagen Golf 8.


In Europe, the Born is powered by a 45-, 58- or 77kWh battery paired with a 110-, 150- or 170kW (with optional e-Boost performance pack) motor. The 150kW version has a WLTP range of 424km and a claimed 0-100km/h time of 7.3 seconds, while the more spirited 170 kW iteration (also with 310Nm) is said to achieve that sprint benchmark in 6.6 seconds. 


The battery can reportedly be charged up to 80 per cent in 35 minutes with a 120kW outlet.


"Cupra's conventional and PHEV range will be unique in this country – (it’s a) perfect line-up for a new brand to challenge the established order," Mr Wilks said.


"Born is undoubtedly our halo car, one that embodies all of Cupra's performance and design allure in a zero-emissions package," he concluded.

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