2021 Cupra el-Born debuts as all-electric hot hatch

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Cupra has unveiled its first all-electric vehicle, the el-Born hatchback.

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Set to go on sale in Europe in 2021, the Cupra el-Born will be the first electric hot hatch to be launched by the Volkswagen Group, as the rumoured Volkswagen ID.3 R – with which the el-Born shares its MEB platform, alongside a fleet of other upcoming Skoda, VW and Audi models – isn’t set to land until 2024.

The el-Born is also Cupra’s second standalone model, as despite the unveiling of a SEAT-badged concept version at the 2019 Geneva motor show, no standard SEAT version will ever reach showrooms.

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Above: the 2019 SEAT el-Born concept.

Few details have been released about the hot EV’s powertrain, however the Spanish carmaker has confirmed it will feature the largest battery available with the MEB platform, with a gross capacity of 82kWh (or 77kWh net) – enough for a range of 500 kilometres.

Cupra claims a 0-50km/h sprint time of 2.9 seconds, thanks to a rear-mounted electric motor. While its power and torque outputs have yet to be announced, the acceleration time suggests it’s the same 150kW unit utilised by the original SEAT el-Born concept and an array of MEB-based vehicles.

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It’s quick in the charging stakes too, with a 30-minute stint at a compatible DC fast charger enough to feed 260km-worth of energy into the battery. Uniquely-tuned, sports adaptive dampers are fitted as standard.

The Cupra el-Born doesn’t differ greatly from its VW and SEAT concept siblings in the visual department. Up front there’s a bolder lower fascia complemented by Cupra badging and LED headlights with triangular daytime-running lights, while along the side sculpted side skirts and 20-inch alloy wheels feature.

No images of the car’s rear end have been released.

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Inside the cabin, highlights include suede-trimmed sports bucket seats, an augmented-reality head-up display, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with drive mode select buttons – including a dedicated toggle to activate ‘CUPRA’ mode – and a pair of high-resolution displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Recycled materials have been used throughout the interior.

Cupra’s hero colour, bronze, adorns a variety of trim pieces both inside and outside the cabin.

The Cupra el-Born will be produced alongside the Volkswagen ID.3 at the VW Group’s plant in Zwickau, Germany. Customer deliveries will commence sometime in 2021.

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