CUPRA is taking the next step in its electrification strategy, delivering emotional design and instantaneous performance using the most advanced electric powertrain technology, with the launch of the CUPRA Born.
The brand’s first 100% electric vehicle seamlessly augments CUPRA’s DNA pillars of design, performance and electrification, that will deliver a credible performance electric model.
“The CUPRA Born is a game-changer in the electric market and the impulse of the company’s transformation. Delivering stimulating design, instantaneous performance and offering an all-electric range of more than 500 kilometres, the CUPRA Born will contribute to reducing global CO2 emissions and meeting European targets. But it’s more than that,”said Wayne Griffiths, President of CUPRA and SEAT.“Through its emotional sportiness, we want the next generation of young challengers to be part of this transformation. That’s why CUPRA will use unconventional sales models to reach new people and take the CUPRA brand beyond the traditional.”
Stimulating design, electrifying performance and unconventional character set CUPRA Born apart and marks a new era for the brand. This all-electric model adds to a line-up that includes petrol-powered and plug-in hybrid variants of the CUPRA Leon, Leon Estate, Ateca and Formentor.
CUPRA’s approach to environmental consciousness encapsulates far more than simply the energy that power its vehicles – it extends to how it’s made and the materials within.
It is the first model of the brand to be delivered to customers net CO2 neutral. Energy from renewable sources is used in the supply chain and the remaining emissions are offset by environmental and project investments certified to the highest standards.
Designed and developed in Barcelona, at the headquarters in Martorell, the CUPRA Born will go into production at the Zwickau plant in Germany this September.
The CUPRA Born integrates the most advanced and efficient electric powertrain technology available. There’s a choice of 150PS (110kW) 45kWh battery with a range of 211 miles*, a 204PS (150kW) 58kWh battery and an up to 231PS (170kW) 58kWh battery with ‘e-Boost’^, both with a 260 mile* range, as well as an up to 231PS (170kW) 77kWh battery with ‘e-Boost’^ with a 335 mile* range. (All ranges are based on official WLTP test cycle)
Fast recharging (125kW) is also possible, with 62 miles (100km) of additional range delivered in as little as seven minutes (77kWh battery only).
The performance is matched by its stimulating design. The front end’s character is defined by the styling cues taken from headlamps, the creases in the bonnet and the framing of the CUPRA badge, which combine to convey strength.
The dynamic character continues inside. The focus is placed towards the driver’s seat, as any CUPRA should be, but the cabin is designed to accommodate all occupants in style and comfort, all with an environmentally-friendly twist.
The interior is upholstered in a range of materials that deliver a premium, quality feel, including the standard bucket seats that use SEAQUAL® Yarn, made from upcycled marine plastics. The optional Dinamica bucket seats are also made from recycled materials.
From the CUPRA steering wheel (complete with satellite buttons on ‘e-Boost’^ models only) to the copper accents throughout, Born is every bit part of the CUPRA family.
The high-performance EV is ready for the increasingly digital world, integrating the latest-generation infotainment system, access to online services, an eco-system full of downloadable apps, safety and service features, as well as remote access.
Everything is accessed simply and intuitively from the standard, high-definition 12-inch ‘floating’ infotainment screen, or if you’ve stepped away from the vehicle, via the newly-developed “CUPRA CONNECT” smartphone application.
CUPRA’s approach with Born is more than just new product, it’s also about challenging traditional sales approaches and ownership models.
In line with the demands of a new generation of drivers and to ensure a more efficient and sustainable sales model for the brand, a new distribution strategy will be launched which focuses on customer experience. CUPRA Born will herald the start of a new ‘agency’ model, a disruptive system that will reinforce the brand’s online presence as well as make life easier for customers.
As well as traditional sales, the CUPRA Born will be offered under subscription contracts, with a monthly fee that will include the use of the vehicle and other related services.
UK pricing for CUPRA Born will be announced in quarter four 2021 with deliveries starting at the beginning of 2022.
Underneath the CUPRA Born sits one of the most advanced electrified powertrains that has been engineered to deliver electrifying performance.
There are four battery variants customers can choose from, ranging from a 150PS model with 211 miles* of range through to an option with up to 231PS and 335 miles* of range. The fastest-accelerating model hits 31mph (50km/h) from standstill in just 2.6 seconds and on to 62mph (100km/h) in 6.6 seconds**.
The powertrain utilises a 16,000rpm permanent magnet synchronous motor, integrated above the rear axle. Torque is transferred across the rear axle using a single-speed transmission with differential, ensuring smooth power delivery and driver confidence during cornering.
The CUPRA Born uses a water-cooled, multi-pouch lithium-ion battery system housed low and centrally in the car to offer the best centre of gravity –using it as an advantage to deliver enhanced driving dynamics.
The aluminium structure, in which the battery is housed, is bolted to the MEB body, increasing overall rigidity.
The system’s efficiency is monitored by the onboard thermal management system that maintains the battery’s temperature, ensuring it stays within the optimal temperature range. The battery includes a base plate with integrated water channels connected to the coolant circuit.
Customers can add 62 miles (100km) of range in as little as seven minutes using a 125kW charging point (77kWh battery only), making typical journeys as simple and easy as if using a combustion engine vehicle. The battery can be recharged from 5% to 80% in as little as 35 minutes (125kW).
Born is compatible with both AC and DC charging networks, so whether you’re on the road or at home, replenishing the battery is quick, simple and hassle free.
Customers can have a CUPRA-branded wallbox installed allowing easy and convenient charging at home, controlled via the ‘CUPRA Easy Charging’ smartphone application (accessed via Wi-Fi or 4G connection).
CUPRA Born is based on Volkswagen Group’s MEB architecture, the modular electric-drive toolkit provides a platform that CUPRA’s engineers have maximised to develop a vehicle like no other.
The underpinnings bring together the well-known, robust chassis technologies of MacPherson strut front suspension and an advanced multi-link rear design to optimise handling capabilities and maximise interior space.
The ride comfort and handling is enhanced with optional Dynamic Chassis Control – enabling the driver to tune the damper and shock absorber settings across four modes, ‘Range’, ‘Comfort’, ‘Individual’ or ‘CUPRA’.
With the battery positioned centrally between the axles weight distribution is an almost perfect 50:50 with a low centre of gravity, imperative for a high-performance electric car.
The engineering team has gone to extremes to make sure that the CUPRA Born justifies carrying the iconic copper badge.
With the inclusion of speed-sensitive, progressive electric power steering and a specific ESC Sport button (Electronic Stability Control) – the CUPRA Born delivers in all conditions.
A lot of time was spent on the best brake actuation and feel possible, particularly when blending between using the electric motor for energy recuperation and use of the friction brakes. Up to a 0.3g of braking force is applied when the accelerator is released and the motor acts a generator to feed energy back into the battery (when the ‘B’ mode is selected, rather than ‘D’).
Its compact dimensions also contribute to its dynamic ability; CUPRA Born is 4,322mm long, 1,809mm wide, 1,537mm high and has a wheelbase of 2,767mm.
Ensuring CUPRA’s first pure electric vehicle meets the highest standards isn’t only reliant on mechanical ability, it also requires the wheels and tyres to be optimised.
Engineers developed a wider tyre specifically for Born to deliver the perfect balance between performance and efficiency. In addition to 215mm-wide tyres available, on a range of alloy wheels between 18 and 20-inch, the CUPRA Born will also be available with a 235mm-wide tyre, ensuring optimal on-road performance while maintaining efficiency.
The design of CUPRA Born serves to not only draw you to the vehicle, but it also highlights the excitement of EV mobility.
The exterior design is unconventional and unique, befitting a high-performance vehicle and launching the brand into the future. The strong CUPRA character comes to the fore, mixing flowing surfaces with body-colour and technical details to provide a design that exudes sportiness and elegance.
“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”said Jorge Díez, Design Director at CUPRA and SEAT.“It delivers a strong CUPRA character that expresses agility and performance with its mix of flowing surfaces and technical details.”
The front aesthetic focuses on the newly-designed full LED headlights, flanking the concave upper section that sits like a shark nose and the copper-framed lower intake designed to channel air towards the radiator for battery thermal management.
The bonnet incorporates three-dimensional shapes to help bend the light and bring the front end to life, while the volume sitting on top of the headlights and through the wings help create the vehicle’s sporty stance.
The full LED headlamp signature is unique and instantly recognisable, enhanced by the small triangles on the side of each lamp. The lighting technology includes an animated ceremony as you approach and start the vehicle, adding to the overall experience.
The finishing touch for the front design is the copper CUPRA badge, positioned at the very front of the bonnet between two crisp lines that direct the eye downwards towards the lettering.
As the eye sweeps around to the vehicle’s side profile, it is drawn to the sharp rake of the A-pillar. It helps draw a sleeker, performance-driven visual, it also improves airflow over the vehicle and allows for the integration of the head-up display.
The CUPRA Born design team added four key features to enhance its sleek and sporty side profile.
The rear spoiler seamlessly connects to the C-pillar drawing the eye from the side aspect to the rear. A body coloured, integrated diffuser enriches the rear and gives it a sporty and aerodynamic character, ensuring the rear design is framed at both the top and bottom.
The rear coast-to-coast light delivers an impressive illumination giving a more technological and refined look, but helps to provide a greater perceived width to the vehicle. The tailgate is flush to the bumper giving a smoothness to the design. Within the bumper sits the number plate, reflectors, and the technical elements within an ‘island’ surrounded by body colour.
When the light fades, the puddle lamp shines down from the side mirrors, displaying the CUPRA logo onto the floor in front of you.
A palette of six colour choices will be available – Vapor Grey, Glacial White, Geyser Silver, Rayleigh Red, Quasar Grey and the exclusive Aurora Blue – emphasising the personality of the brand’s first all-electric high-performance car.
The interior is characterised by expressive lines, characterful surfacing and dramatic material cuts. It is honed to be a truly digital place, the floating 12-inch infotainment touchscreen, standard on all models, takes centre stage, angled towards the driver, allowing easy access to a range of functions in a simple and intuitive style.
The MEB platform also brings new possibilities for interior design, maximising space thanks to the clever use of storage, such as the high centre console, which combines connectivity points with a large storage capacity. This space is designed and finished in the same neoprene material as the Bucket seats, giving greater cohesion to the design and enhancing the quality feel of the key touch points. The boot has a capacity of 385 litres.
All the lines in the dashboard are orientated towards the driver, while a more sculptural surface treatment is reserved for the front passenger’s area, creating two clearly divided spaces.
The interior highlights CUPRA’s dedication to reducing its impact on the environment is beyond just reducing carbon emissions. The use of recycled materials is another pillar of this philosophy.
The central section of the bucket seats is manufactured from SEAQUAL® Yarn, made from upcycled marine plastics. Marine litter from beaches, the ocean floor and surface, or entering oceans from rivers and estuaries, is collected by a clean-up programme and sorted into different material types. The plastic is cleaned, treated and recycled into yarn that has almost identical in physical properties to virgin polyester.
The interior has been trimmed to elevate the feeling of space and quality, with the use of 3D effects and surfaces enrich the feeling of modernity and iridescence.
A second recycled material is Dinamica® microfibre, that is applied on both the door panels and upholstery (optional, not available on all trims). The recycled polyester contained in Dinamica® derives from polyester fibres found in t-shirts and clothing fibres, and PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) from single-use plastic bottles and other plastics. It is available in either Dark Blue or Grey colour finishes.
In the rear, the feeling of spaciousness and solidity continue with the use both dark and light colours. Lighter hues provide the feeling of freshness while darker shades provide the feeling of strength.
The CUPRA Born utilises a digital eco-system that integrates the most advanced infotainment and connectivity solutions to keep customers in touch with their vehicle at all times.
CUPRA Born benefits from an augmented reality head-up display system, which projects crucial driving information onto the windscreen, and appears layered over the real world (not available on entry trim). Data that’s displayed includes driver assistance indicators, vehicle speed and navigation commands. All information is directly in the driver’s line of sight, improving the overall driving experience and minimising the need for the driver to look away from the road ahead.
The driver binnacle is smaller and more focused, as a result. The simplified layout delivers the most relevant information in high-definition clarity. The smaller digital cockpit also houses the gearshift buttons and parking brake. Fully customisable, it displays only the information the driver needs, in high-resolution clarity.
The centre piece to all the infotainment systems is floating 12-inch infotainment touchscreen, featuring the brand’s latest generation of technology. The 1560x700-pixel display mixes the benefits of touchscreen inputs, physical buttons and voice control.
Capacitive touch technology improves interaction and feedback, making the use of the system responsive and precise. Touch sliders add greater convenience, controlling both climate and volume.
The infotainment system can display a range of data and information including 3D navigation, music, contacts, vehicle settings and driving data, as well as a host of additional functions, keeping the occupants constantly connected.
The Wireless Full Link system means the infotainment system can be connected to both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Music is enjoyed via the optional nine-speaker Beats® audio system.
CUPRA Born also integrates voice assistant technology which can be used for a wide number of functions, including finding navigation information or controlling the cabin temperature in an effortless way.
The system can be accessed by pressing the button located on the steering wheel or saying the wake-up words, “Hola, Hola”.
At the core of all this technology is CUPRA CONNECT, as well as the newly-developed ‘My CUPRA’ App.
With the activation of CUPRA CONNECT, online services are unlocked and remote access is provided to the car. Customers can view battery status, schedule and manage charging from the app, setting the desired state of charge of the battery ready for departure. Climate functionality can also be activated remotely, setting the target temperature in advance or automatically after unlocking doors, as well as turning on the front driver and passenger heated seats.
You can use the application to plan your journeys – allowing customers to search for and send a destination to the vehicle’s navigation system from the smartphone app. The navigation system is upgraded with access to online features, such as online navigation with up-to-date traffic information and checking charging station locations.
Online Connectivity via the embedded SIM (eSIM) also improves safety with the eCall service. If an incident occurs, eCall is triggered and automatically contacts the emergency services, sending vital data including position (based on GPS data), engine type and number of passengers, making it easier for them to assist.
Occupants of Born also benefit from Qi standard protocol inductive charging for mobile devices.
Safety and convenience
Technology is at the forefront of CUPRA Born – a suite of safety and convenience systems means it’s a high-performance vehicle that’s easy to live with in daily life and one of the safest vehicles on the road.
The range of assistance systems is expansive and all encompassing; Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control, Travel Assist***, Side and Exit Assist***, Traffic Sign Recognition, Emergency Assist*** and Pre-Crash Assist; all work together to give valuable information to the driver and keep occupants safe. All visual warnings are displayed in the driver’s line of sight via the augmented reality head-up display system.
Onboard systems use data supplied both from an array of integrated sensors – radar, camera or ultrasonic – and information fed from online sources to build a picture of the vehicle’s surroundings and protect the occupants from possible hazards.
The Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system positions the CUPRA Born based on route and GPS data delivered from the navigation system. This allows the vehicle to change its speed depending on the road layout ahead, including bends, roundabouts, junctions, speed limits and built-up areas. The intelligent system can also adjust vehicle speed when the speed limit changes using inputs from the front-mounted camera and Traffic Sign Recognition technology.
Travel Assist uses information from ACC and Lane Assist to actively keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane and adjust speed to the flow of traffic.
Side and Exit Assist technology helps to ‘fill the gap’ of the driver’s blind spots, giving a visual and audible warning if a manoeuvre is started but the vehicle detects an object out of view. Exit Warning gives an acoustic warning if someone or something is approaching the CUPRA Born when parked and an occupant goes to leave the vehicle.
Emergency Assist ensures the driver remains focused and in control of the vehicle when behind the wheel. If no driver input is detected, audio and visual warnings will be given. If there is no input from the driver, the system initiates braking jolts. If there are still no inputs, the vehicle will come to a complete stop and activate the hazard warning lights. Once stationary, the vehicle will contact the emergency services using the eCall system.
All the systems have been designed to create an exceptional standard of safety without the feeling of control being taken away from the driver.
Additional systems include; High Beam Assist that automatically switches between high- and low-beams if it detects vehicles ahead (both oncoming and those travelling in the same direction); a Top View Camera*** which gives a 360-degree view of the vehicle to make manoeuvring simpler; and Intelligent Park Assist***, which will automatically park the vehicle, to ensure convenience as well as safety is embedded into the heart of CUPRA Born.