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