The first of three electric hatches from Volkswagen’s high-performance brand Cupra has arrived for testing on local roads ahead of a launch later in 2022.
Known as the Cupra Born, it is the first all-electric vehicle from the Barcelona-based brand to reach Antipodean shores, and the first time the vehicle has been driven outside of Europe according to Volkswagen Australia.
Set to go on sale at a “relatively affordable” price, the Cupra Born EV is part of Cupra’s first foray into the Australian market, and Volkswagen’s first EV not in the premium segment (both Audi and Porsche have EVs on sale here in the various forms of the e-tron and Taycan).
The Cupra Born will sell alongside three other models – the Ateca SUV, Formentor crossover and Leon hatchback, with the latter two also being available with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
But Cupra director for Australia, Ben Wilks, said the brand considered the Born its “halo model” and he is determined to see it on sale by the end of 2022.
Once here, the Born promises to be a welcome addition to the local auto market. It will likely arrive somewhere between $50,000-60,000, and although particular variants have not yet been set in stone, expect a variety of highly-specced vehicles in keeping with Cupra’s high-performance image.
At the top of the range, the Cupra Born sells overseas with a maximum 548km (WLTP) driving range,
Acceleration is not particularly high spec to be honest (well for an EV at least), with Cupra’s official website stating acceleration from 0-50km/hr in 2.9 seconds and to 100km/hr in 7.3 seconds. It’s important though to keep in mind this is a hot hatch, not a sleek sedan.
Volkswagen Australia will still have something of a task in getting the Cupra Born on sale here by the end of 2022, however. Volkswagen Europe reports that it doubled its sales of battery electric vehicles in 2021, and in the UK – the only RHD market in which it is currently available – it sold 11,000 ID3s electric cars in what a spokesperson for Volkswagen Australia described as “unprecedented” demand for battery electric cars.
The Cupra Born is made on the same assembly line as the Volkswagen ID.3 in Zwickau Germany. In late 2021, it took the winning title at the Pure ETCR electric touring car series over five weekends.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.