Cupra has kicked off production of the Born, the Spanish brand’s first all-electric vehicle that was recently revealed to be destined for the Australian market – but not before it is launched first in Europe – as a new and relatively affordable “challenger brand.”
Cupra said this week that series production of the Born had kicked off in Germany, at Volkswagen Group’s Zwickau plant, which produces 100% electric vehicles and is considered the largest and most efficient electric factory in Europe.
The new EV from the VW stable, which will headline at this week’s Automobile Barcelona, marks the start of an “electric offensive” by Cupra (formerly Seat), and will spearhead the company’s expansion into new international markets, including what it describes as “the most electrified countries.”
While Australia can’t count itself in that category, just yet, Volkswagen confirmed earlier this month that the Cupra Born would likely reach Australia by the end of 2022, ahead of the Volkswagen ID4, and at a “relatively affordable” price.
“As a new, challenger brand that arrives locally in mid-2022, Cupra have said from the get-go that it is intent on being the first European brand to introduce a relatively affordable EV to Australia,” VW’s GM for corporate communications Paul Pottinger said in a note by email.
In Europe, the Cupra Born is due to arrive on the market from November, using what the company described this week as “a new distribution strategy for a different customer relationship,” as well as offering the option to access the new EV through a subscription model.
The four-door hatch-back is described as having 100% Cupra DNA, inside an “emotional design” inspired by Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood, combined with the brand’s traditional sportiness – a demonstration, says Cupra, “that performance and electrification are a perfect match.”
The Cupra Born is also the brand’s first model to follow a net CO2 neutral concept, using energy from renewable sources in the supply chain. The model also features bucket seats made from sustainable materials sourced from the Mediterranean Sea.
“With its emotional design and electric sportiness, the Cupra Born is the impulse of the company’s transformation and the start of Cupra’s electric offensive,” said Cupa CEO Wayne Griffiths.
“Producing our first 100% electric model in Europe’s largest electric vehicle factory will provide valuable learnings as we look to build electric vehicles in Martorell from 2025 onwards,” he added.
“Our ambition is to produce more than 500,000 urban electric vehicles per year in Spain for different Group brands.”
Stefan Loth, chair of Volkswagen Saxony and former head of the Martorell plant, said on Tuesday (EU time) that it was an honour to produce “such a special car” in Zwickau.
“We have a team experienced in the production of electric vehicles, and the Born becomes the fifth model based on the MEB platform to be produced at this plant,” he said.
“In addition, this vehicle will be produced using renewable energies under the net CO2 neutral concept.”