The cupra born in the first driving report

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Cupra Born

Spanish temper

The VW Group is continuing the electrification of the model range: With the Born, Cupra now also has its first electric car.

The relationship to the VW ID.3 can be seen on the outside and inside of the Cupra Born. Nevertheless, the Stromer gets its own touch in Spain, for example with copper-colored details.

The VW Group wants to have 70 models with purely electric drives on offer by 2030. There are currently eight models, depending on how sharply you separate the model variants. In the next eight years, we can therefore expect an average of nine new electric models from the large German group every year. To make this possible, VW consistently relies on the modular strategy that has been developed over the years, as is the case with the models with combustion engines. In concrete terms, this means that a group brand usually develops a platform on which a wide variety of models can be implemented. A platform not only includes the structural substructure of the car, but also drive components in different performance levels, the chassis parts and the complete electronics. The group brands can buy these components from the kit – and use them to design their own models. Ultimately, the freedom of the individual brands lies primarily in the design and in the final coordination of the components.

A completely new construction kit was launched with the VW ID.3: The modular electrical construction kit, or “MEB” for short. It consists of a flat battery pack in the underbody, which is available in different sizes, a choice of rear or all-wheel drive with a second motor on the front axle and a new generation of infotainment system as well as the usual modern driver assistance systems.

The Cupra Born in the first driving report.-first

Copper-colored accents can also be found in the cockpit.

Cupra now also uses this basis; Cupra was Seat’s sports department until 2018, but has been run as an independent brand ever since. The first Cupra models, the Ateca and the Leon, were still models that are also available as a Seat, but have been extensively upgraded by the sporty subsidiary brand. With the Formentor, the brand’s first independent model followed in 2020 – optionally also as a plug-in hybrid, because like all group brands, Cupra must and wants to increasingly turn to e-mobility. The second independent model from Cupra comes onto the market with a pure electric drive.

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantages and disadvantages of a platform strategy in a large corporation can be identified very well using the Cupra Born. Because for a small manufacturer like Cupra alone, it would be almost impossible to make the way to e-mobility profitably. The expensive development of an e-car would hardly be possible. However, the young brand has to do without complete freedom – also in terms of design. The platform from the corporate shelf dictates a lot here, especially when it comes to proportions and dimensions. As a result, the Born can hardly hide its relationship to the VW ID.3. Nevertheless, Cupra manages to give the Born an independent and high-quality look – decorated with brand-typical, copper-colored accents. The LED lights and bumpers, which are designed with clearer edges and sharp corners, give the Spaniard more visual temperament.

Cupra provides a little more driving temperament with a little more power: From 2022, an “e-Boost” performance package will be launched for the Born, which will temporarily increase the power to 231 hp. From the market launch in mid-November, it will initially remain at 204 hp – as with the top engine in the ID.3 – combined with a 58 kWh battery. Other versions with lower power and also with a larger battery (77 kWh) will follow later. But the Born, which is named after the district of the same name in Barcelona, ​​offers a good compromise that is suitable for everyday use in the initially available configuration. According to WLTP measurements, a range of 420 kilometers should be possible. The battery can be charged to 80% in 35 minutes at a quick charging station. This is quite suitable for travel, but not a top value compared to the competition. Here Cupra has to be satisfied with the limits of the group platform. The same applies to the on-board electronics. It is true that the touchscreen in Spain has been given a nice user interface; The fact that the menus are sometimes a bit complicated and the system sometimes has to calculate for a long time and reacts with a delay still has to be fixed with software updates. This problem can also be found in all models on the group platform.

There is nothing to complain about in terms of driving characteristics. With 204 hp, the 1.7-ton SUV doesn’t look spectacularly fast, but it is certainly agile. An impression that is underlined by the skilful tuning of the steering and chassis – without generating any compromises in driving comfort. At 36,800 francs, the Cupra is 800 francs cheaper than an ID.3 with the same drive – and offers just as good equipment, a higher quality appearance and a little more driving fun.

The Cupra Born in the first driving report.-driving

Cupra Born.

Cupra Born 58 kWh

Engine: E-motor, synchronous

Power: 204 hp/310 Nm

Drive: auto 1-speed, rear-wheel drive.

L×W×H: 4322×1809×1540mm

trunk volume: 385L

Weight: 1736 kg

0-100km/h: 7.3 sec.

Vmax: 160km/h

Range WLTP: 424 km

Price: from 36800 francs

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