Originally shown off under the SEAT name way back in 2019, the CUPRA Born has been created with the brand’s product pillars of design, performance and electrification in mind. It’s essentially an electric hot hatch, very much in keeping with the CUPRA brand name’s history initially as the performance arm of SEAT, and more recently as a standalone brand.
The Born is based on the VW Group’s MEB platform and shares much of the technology that you’ll find under the skin of the Volkswagen ID.3. The Born, however, brings with it CUPRA’s distinctive styling and performance-orientated dynamics.
The CUPRA Born has three different battery sizes and power outputs to choose from, catering for various customer needs. All powertrains are single motor units driving the rear wheels and all share the same torque figure of 229lb-ft, so even at the lower end of the power spectrum the Born should offer a decent and immediate shove.
At the bottom in the power stakes is a 147bhp variant. This is paired with the smallest battery which has a net capacity of 45kWh, giving the Born in this guise a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds and a range of up to 211 miles. Step it up to the level and a 201bhp motor is mated with a 58kWh battery, offering 62mph in a much more hot hatch-like 7.3 seconds and a maximum range of 260 miles.
If bare performance figures are your thing the 228bhp version with the 58kWh battery is the car to go for. It will hit 62mph from rest in 6.6 seconds and still deliver up to 260 miles on a charge. For a blend of range as well as performance, the Born is available with the same 228bhp motor, but paired with a 77kWh battery for 0-62 in seven seconds flat, and a maximum range of 335 miles.
DC charging at up to 125kW is available; meaning 5 to 80 per cent state of charge is possible in just 35 minutes. CUPRA is also offering a branded wall box to customers, complete with a CUPRA Easy Charging app through which it can be controlled and scheduled.
CUPRA says that it has spent a lot of time honing the chassis, tyres and brake actuation on the Born, so it should be fun in the corners, too.
The CUPRA Born brings with it some of CUPRA’s distinctive brand design details. According to Jorge Diez, Design Director at CUPRA and SEAT: “The CUPRA Born’s design is multifaceted, it sharpens the CUPRA look while at the same time incorporating the modernity of its advanced electric powertrain. It delivers a strong CUPRA character that expresses agility and performance with its mix of flowing surfaces and technical details.”
Newly-designed LEDs at the front flank an upper section which CUPRA calls a ‘shark nose’ above a copper-framed lower section which deals with the functional side of cooling and thermal management. The front LEDs animate as a driver walks up to the car, whilst small triangle-shaped details offer a little glimpse of the brand’s shape of choice.
At the rear, a spoiler links the C-pillars and works with a lower diffuser to offer a sporty look and feel. A coast-to-coast strip light adds a nice detail as well as accentuating the car’s perceived width. Six colour choices and wheels from 18 to 20 inches will be available.
Up front, all versions of the CUPRA Born get a 12 inch touchscreen which is angled towards the driver for easier and more intuitive use and visibility of the 3D navigation. It can be voice controlled using the wake-up words “Hola, Hola”. There's also a digital cockpit in place of dials and gauges and you can spec an augmented reality head-up display.
Various interior surfaces are made from eco-friendly materials, such as the central section of the bucket seats which is manufactured from SEAQUAL Yarn, made from marine plastics. Dinamica microfibre is used on some of the door trip options and is made from recycled polyester created from upcycled t-shirts and other clothing fibres, or PET from single-use plastic bottles.
In terms of boot space, the Born has a capacity of 385 litres.
The infotainment system in the CUPRA Born integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via a wireless Full Link system. Music is delivered by an option, nine-speaker Beats audio system. Waking the system up using the “Hola, Hola” prompt enables users to control a variety of functions using their voices, including nav or even cabin temperature.
At the heart of connectivity is CUPRA CONNECT which unlocks a range of online services which can be used within the car. It works with the newly-developed My CUPRA App through which owners can look at the battery status, schedule and control charging and adjust climate functions. Journeys can also be pre-planned via the app and sent to the Born’s navigation in advance, incorporating live traffic and chargepoint location data.
A host of safety systems are standard on the Born. These include predictive adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and pre-crash assist. Travel assist, which helps centre the car in a lane; side and exit assist, which fill in blind spot ‘gaps’; and emergency assist, which detects if a driver is responsive, issues alerts if they are not, and can bring the car to a controlled stop and call emergency services once it has done so, are optional.
CUPRA will announce final UK pricing and specifications for the UK in Q4 this year and deliveries are due to start in early 2022.