Cupra’s first bespoke model, the Born electric hot hatch, has been priced up ahead of customer deliveries getting underway in the first quarter of 2022.
First to arrive will be the mid-rung 201bhp car, equipped with a 58kWh battery for a range of 263 miles on the WLTP cycle, which is available in three trim levels. Entry-level V1 trim, priced from £33,735, includes 18in alloy wheels, LED lights at each end, a 12.0in infotainment screen, 5.3in digital gauge cluster, a rear-view camera and a raft of advanced driver aids.
Mid-rung V2 trim, priced from £34,190, adds larger 19in wheels, privacy glass, an AR head-up display and heated front seats, while the range-topping V3 package asks £37,375 for its 20in wheels and 12-way electronically adjustable bucket seats, which are finished in Dinamica leather and equipped with a massage function.
All 58kWh launch variants miss out on the government’s newly lowered plug-in car grant threshold, which is now put at £32,500, but an entry-level 150bhp car with a 45kWh battery, due shortly after launch, could duck under that price point. A more powerful range-topper with 231bhp will follow later in the year, equipped with either the 58kWh battery or a larger 77kWh item with a range of 335 miles.
Previously known as the El-Born, the Spanish marque’s first electric car is based on the MEB platform of its Volkswagen Group parent. It is almost technically identical and closely related visually to the Volkswagen ID 3 but brings its own “stimulating design and instantaneous performance”, according to Cupra, along with a distinctive “dynamic character”.
R&D boss Werner Tietz also promised the Born will offer a distinct driving experience compared to its VW Group siblings: “We have invested a lot of time in tuning the chassis, steering and powertrain. We will offer the car with DCC [dynamic chassis control] in combination with ESC Sport and a lower ride height – 50mm at the front and 10mm at the rear, which gives a nice feeling for the car.
“The DCC application is unique, and we spent a lot of time on different Tarmacs and in different conditions to fine-tune that. Then we combined that with progressive steering so you have a dynamic and sporty feeling for the handling, it gives a direct response.”
The Born is the first fully electric model to join the brand’s line-up and follows the introduction of plug-in hybrid powertrain options for the Leon and Formentor.
Its powertrain comprises a rear-mounted permanent magnet synchronous motor (rated at up to 16,000rpm) paired with a single-speed transmission and differential.