The CUPRA Born on test for Changing Lanes!

CUPRA Born First Drive Review

The CUPRA Born on test for Changing Lanes!
The CUPRA Born on test for Changing Lanes!

The CUPRA Born is the first all-electric model from the CUPRA brand and will arrive in Ireland in March 2022. We got an early drive in the new Born ahead of its Irish launch next year. The range will go on sale from €31,440, with three battery sizes available. Designed and developed at CUPRA’s headquarters in Martorell, Barcelona, the CUPRA Born is produced at the Zwickau plant in Germany.

Styling

The CUPRA Born takes the shape of a cool hatchback. It's edgy and distinct looking with an equally stylish selection of colours to choose from including Vapor Grey and the exclusive Aurora Blue. CUPRA's signature copper accents and badging feature around the car. 18" wheels will come as standard, with 19" and 20" available. All include aerodynamic inserts and copper accents. Contrasting C-pillars have a floating design, while puddle lights beam the CUPRA logo on to the ground from the door mirrors. The high-end finish is complimented by LED lights that run “coast-to-coast” at the rear of the car.

The Born is the CUPRA brand's first all-electric model
The Born is the CUPRA brand's first all-electric model

Interior

Inside, the CUPRA Born has a stylish and modern interior with a minimalist vibe. There is a small digital instrument cluster for the driver and a 12" infotainment screen comes as standard. There are some nice materials used in the doors and around the dashboard to give a sportier and more premium vibe in line with other models in the new CUPRA range. Users can access online services, downloadable apps and service features as well as remote access and charging via the My CUPRA app or charge their mobile devices using the standard wireless QI charger. Standard bucket seats use SEAQUAL® Yarn made from upcycled marine plastics. The door panels and arm rests are made from Dinamica®, another recycled material.

Practicality

Space inside the CUPRA Born feels somewhere akin to a traditional family hatchback. It's compact but spacious up front with seating for three in the rear. There is a 385 litre boot, which is competitive for a hatchback like this one.

Inside the new CUPRA Born
Inside the new CUPRA Born

Battery 

There are three battery sizes to choose from: 45 kWh (WLTP range of 350 km), 58 kWh (WLTP range of 424 km), and 77 kWh (WLTP range of 540 km). The CUPRA Born’s electric powertrain is available in a choice of 150PS (110kW), 204PS (150kW) and a 231PS (170kW) e-Boost pack for even more performance. Some models can avail of 170 kW DC charging and go from 5% battery charge to 80% charge in just 35 minutes.

Driving it

Built on the Volkswagen Group’s modular MEB platform, power goes to the rear wheels. The Born combines a MacPherson strut suspension at the front with an advanced five multi-link design at the rear. When equipped with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), the Born rides 15 mm lower in the front and 10 mm lower in the rear. The fastest models in the range are fitted with the e-Boost package, pushing the Born to 100 km/h in just 6.6 seconds.

The electric motor is located above the rear axle while the battery sits low between the front and rear axles, delivering a low-slung centre of gravity and almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Five driving modes - Range, Comfort, Performance, Individual and CUPRA (e-Boost only) - adapt to the driver’s needs.

CUPRA say they have tuned the car for a sportier feel in line with their brand values. On the road the new CUPRA Born feels compact and agile. We had a quick drive in the 58 kWh version. It doesn't feel too heavy on the road and behaves in a natural way. Steering is smooth and easy, the cabin hushed. 

The CUPRA Born has three batteries available
The CUPRA Born has three batteries available

Pricing

In Ireland the new CUPRA Born will go on sale priced from €31,440 for the Born 45 kWh. The Born 58 kWh will start from €35,550 and from €39,000 in the e-Boost trim. The Born 77 kWh with e-Boost will start from €42,650. All prices include the SEAI grant.

Summary

The CUPRA Born marks a new era of electrification for the brand, joining plug-in hybrid variants of the CUPRA Leon, CUPRA Leon Sportstourer and the CUPRA Formentor. The brand's range will be 100% electric by 2030. There is a new electric SUV coming in 2024, the Tavascan, which will be followed by a new compact electric car in 2025.

The CUPRA Born stands out for its design, offering an exciting new entrant into the electric space. With three battery sizes available and a competitive entry price, the Born has a great opportunity to woo buyers in the market for a new compact EV.

We look forward to meeting the Born again in 2022 and bringing you a more detailed road test.

The CUPRA Born will officially go on sale in Ireland in March 2022
The CUPRA Born will officially go on sale in Ireland in March 2022

Caroline Kidd


The new CUPRA Born on the way to Ireland in 2022

CUPRA Born For Ireland In 2022

The new CUPRA Born on the way to Ireland in 2022
The new CUPRA Born on the way to Ireland in 2022

The CUPRA Born is the first all-electric vehicle from CUPRA and is set to arrive in Ireland in March 2022, with pricing starting from under €38,000.

Designed and developed at CUPRA’s headquarters in Martorell, Barcelona, the CUPRA Born is produced at the Zwickau plant in Germany and features an electric range quoted in excess of 500 km.

The CUPRA Born’s electric powertrain is available in a choice of 150PS (110kW), 204PS (150kW) and a 231PS (170kW) e-Boost pack - this one car accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds and comes with larger front brakes and 19” wheels as standard.

Three battery options - 45kWh, 58kWh and 77kWh - deliver ranges of 350km, 424km and 540km. When charged on a 170 kW network, the Born can go from 5% charge to 80% charge in 35 minutes. It can also get 100 km of range in as little as seven minutes.

CUPRA say that despite its environmental credentials, the Born remains a driver’s car first and foremost. Power is delivered to the rear wheels, producing a sportier feel and a more engaging driving experience.

It combines a MacPherson strut suspension at the front with an advanced five multi-link design at the rear. When equipped with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), it rides 15 mm lower in the front and 10 mm lower in the rear.

The electric motor is located above the rear axle while the battery sits low between the front and rear axles, delivering a low-slung centre of gravity and what is said to be almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Five driving modes - Range, Comfort, Performance, Individual and CUPRA (e-Boost only) - adapt to the driver’s needs.

Inside the new CUPRA Born
Inside the new CUPRA Born

Built on the Volkswagen Group’s modular MEB platform, the Born measures 4,322mm long, 1,809mm wide and 1,540mm high. It has a wheelbase of 2,767mm and a 385-litre boot capacity.

Assistance systems include Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control, Travel Assist, Side and Exit Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Emergency Assist and Pre-Crash Assist, delivered via an augmented reality head-up display that projects key information onto the windscreen.

Six colour choices are available - Vapor Grey, Glacial White, Geyser Silver, Rayleigh Red, Quasar Grey and the exclusive Aurora Blue. Alloy wheel designs (from 18” to 20”) include aerodynamic inserts and copper accents. Contrasting C-Pillars have a floating design while puddle lights beam the CUPRA logo on to the ground from door mirrors.

Inside there is a driver-focused cockpit and 12” infotainment system. Users can access online services, downloadable apps and service features as well as remote access and charging via the My CUPRA app or charge their mobile devices using the standard wireless QI charger.

The CUPRA Born marks a new era of electrification for the brand, joining plug-in hybrid variants of the CUPRA Leon, CUPRA Leon Sportstourer and the CUPRA Formentor in the electrified portfolio, already on sale here.

Expected to hit Irish showrooms in early 2022, the Born will be followed by the all-electric Tavascan in 2024 and an urban electric car in 2025.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director for SEAT & CUPRA in Ireland, said:

“We look forward to the arrival of our first fully electric CUPRA, the Born in March of next year. The new model is proof that electric cars can set pulses racing, with an impressive all-electric range of more than 500km it is a real game-changing car for the CUPRA brand. It’s environmentally conscious but at the same time dynamic and exciting.”

CUPRA Born pricing is yet to be finalised but will start from under €39,000, excluding grants and delivery charges.

Some versions of the new CUPRA Born have a range in excess of 500 km
Some versions of the new CUPRA Born have a range in excess of 500 km

The CUPRA Leon on test for Changing Lanes!

CUPRA Leon e-Hybrid Review

The CUPRA Leon on test for Changing Lanes!
The CUPRA Leon on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 CUPRA Leon

CUPRA turns on a charm offensive in 2021 with a stellar line-up of new models including the Formentor, the brand’s first standalone model, and the new CUPRA Leon. The all-electric CUPRA Born is due here also.

The CUPRA portfolio is expanding, and the brand is finding its feet quickly, offering an exciting suite of cars that major on design and a sporty premium feel from behind the wheel. All good things!

Now it’s time to take a closer look at one of the new arrivals – the 2021 CUPRA Leon. Of course, these two have history, with the Cupra badge strapped to many high-performance versions of the SEAT Leon in previous generations.

The Leon has been tipped over to the CUPRA brand for a shape-up. The results are indeed very impressive.

What's so special about the CUPRA Leon?

Priced from €46,210, the CUPRA Leon on test here is a plug-in hybrid – a sporty one.

This car looks good, very good. The matte grey paint of the test car gives it a real sporty and exclusive image with chrome accents becoming a CUPRA defining feature on the road. The look is completed with magnificent 19” alloys on our test car.

Sporty features include a large front splitter, larger air intakes, side skirts, dark chrome front grille frame and side mirrors that contrast with the body colour. At the rear the plug-in hybrid has two individual tailpipes, a diffuser and spoiler.

CUPRA Leon on sale in Ireland priced from €46,210
CUPRA Leon on sale in Ireland priced from €46,210

The CUPRA Leon e-Hybrid is sold with a 1.4-litre petrol electric powertrain with 245 hp, certainly giving acceleration like a hot hatchback - 6.7 seconds to 100 kmh. But there’s none of the drama or emotion that you might get with a hot hatchback that traditionally uses a combustion engine. It’s more the hot hatchback of the future – the one that is quick but doesn’t make any noise.

If you want the full fat experience, CUPRA will plant a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine in the Leon for you, with an inspiring 300 hp (priced from €54,245).

But hybrid is for sure where things are at these days. The e-Hybrid has a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It can be plugged in and charged via a 3.6 kW AC wall box charger, taking about 3.5 hours to get a full charge. When fully charged, the e-Hybrid can be driven on pure electric power for a range of up to 59 km, otherwise it works as a hybrid drawing power from both the engine and electric motor. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.1 litres per 100 km, without a whole lot of charging.

Driving the 2021 CUPRA Leon

The new CUPRA Leon is designed, developed and produced in Barcelona at the brand’s Martorell facilities. The chassis and steering have been tuned to make the car more distinct and engaging to drive. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system comes as standard - it constantly monitors the road surfaces and driver inputs, making imperceptible changes to the setup in milliseconds for the most engaging drive. The CUPRA Leon’s dynamics can be altered somewhat through the four different driver profiles: Comfort, Sport, CUPRA and Individual.

The CUPRA Leon plug-in hybrid has 245 hp
The CUPRA Leon plug-in hybrid has 245 hp

At the front there is a MacPherson strut suspension and a multi-link system at the rear for a refined ride and sharper handling. There's also Brembo brakes worthy of any performance car! The CUPRA Leon is also 25mm lower on the front axle than the SEAT its based on, and 20mm lower at the rear, meaning a lower centre of gravity for better handling.

On the road, CUPRA’s tuning has transformed the Leon for this occasion. Steering is sharper than the standard Leon from sister brand SEAT. The ride is more soft, premium, yet the handling tighter and more responsive. This one feels like a more sophisticated machine on the road, as it should for the CUPRA badge and price.

What’s it like inside?

Inside the cabin has been glossed over with more CUPRA branding and trim elements. The dashboard and door mouldings are finished in brushed dark aluminium, with copper and dark chrome featuring to define the brand. Illuminated CUPRA sill plates in the front doors complete the look.

The CUPRA Leon is pleasant and sporty behind the wheel with plenty of digital technology in the form of the digital driver instrument display and 10” touchscreen. Bucket seats come as standard setting the right note in terms of comfort and ambience. The Formentor feels a little more special inside, though the cabin design is closely related. It’s still very much a Leon cabin, it doesn’t have the advantage of the Formentor’s distinctness as an all-new standalone model.

The interior of the CUPRA Leon
The interior of the CUPRA Leon

With a five door, five seat hatchback arrangement, the Leon offers standard accommodation for five inside. The car’s platform makes good use of interior space so rear footwells are good for this class of vehicle. However, the Leon’s boot has taken a hit in terms of outright space to accommodate the battery. It is shallower at 270 litres, a bit off the class average. There’s also a CUPRA Leon Sportstourer with a more respectable 470 litres.

Did you like it?

The world is changing rapidly. The hot hatchback must evolve also. The CUPRA Leon performs well as a plush hatchback with plug-in hybrid technology. It’s swift on the road with sophisticated ride over whatever Irish tarmac has to offer.

It looks gorgeous and sporty; the CUPRA badge adds exclusivity and can only grow in recognition now the cars are here, and more good stuff coming.

Yet you will be sorely disappointed if you are expecting thrill, drama, and engine noise! The CUPRA Leon e-Hybrid is too well-behaved for that. The car looks the business but it’s so healthy for the planet when running, it just won’t quite thrill you like Cupra badged SEATs of old!

Still it’s a sign of the times. There is no doubt that this is a desirable car and a pleasant debut for hybrid in the CUPRA Leon range.

CUPRA has transformed the Leon in all the right ways
CUPRA has transformed the Leon in all the right ways

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: CUPRA Leon e-Hybrid 245 hp DSG
Price: 
€46,210
Engine: 
1.4-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 245 hp
Torque: 400 Nm
Top speed: 225 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 6.7 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
30 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€140 per year


The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland

CUPRA Formentor VZ e-Hybrid Review

The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland
The 2021 Cupra Formentor is now on sale in Ireland

Caroline drives the 2021 CUPRA Formentor.

CUPRA is hitting its stride in 2021 with the arrival of the brand’s first original model – the dramatically named CUPRA Formentor! The new athletic crossover joins the CUPRA Ateca, CUPRA Leon, and CUPRA Leon Sportstourer, already on sale here from CUPRA’s four retailers in Dublin, Limerick and Cork.

With a bespoke design, premium aspirations and electrified powertrains, the Formentor is an exciting new entrant to the Irish market, with a starting price of €37,135. It goes on sale with a range of engines, including plug-in hybrids and high performance versions.

What's so hot about the new CUPRA Formentor?

With the arrival of the Formentor, the CUPRA brand begins to find its niche and make sense. Visually unique and full of impact, the CUPRA badge may not be immediately recognisable, but this new Formentor leaves a lasting impression.

Embracing the most modern powertrain technology from the Volkswagen Group, the Formentor e-Hybrid on test for Changing Lanes leads the way with 245 hp and the ability to plug in, charge and drive on electric power for a range of up to 54 kilometres. The same model is also available with 204 hp. It marries sporty design with cool plug-in hybrid power so effortlessly.

Priced from €50,130 for the top spec VZ Formentor e-Hybrid 245 hp model on test, this is serious money but this is a serious slice of intent from the CUPRA brand. If you love the look of the Formentor, CUPRA will get you on the road from €37,135 with a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine under the bonnet.

The CUPRA Formentor’s most powerful trim is the VZ, named in reference to the Spanish word “Veloz”, meaning “fast”. Equipment includes 19 " machined alloy wheels, a glossy 12" touchscreen, aluminium pedals, CUPRA bucket seats, and dynamic chassis control.

The Formentor goes on sale from €37,135
The Formentor goes on sale from €37,135

What's it like inside?

Inside there is a new generation interior that feels suitably unique for the emerging CUPRA brand. It certainly has its own identity to differentiate itself from other VW Group products, but with all the latest technology and digital features that such an association merits for the consumer.

This feels like a true premium car behind the wheel, but with a more youthful and sporty vibe to perhaps anything else you might encounter on the market today in this space. Brushed dark aluminium and copper accents add an official CUPRA feel, while the bucket seats add to the high end sporty vibe.

Quality is a strong point as is the digital instrument cluster for the driver. A few grumbles about accessing climate control functions through the screen and fiddling around for ventilation – but the Formentor is forgiven because it's just so damn unique and interesting inside. You feel like you are stepping out on a new mission every time you press that start button – a mission to save the world!

Formentor can also definitely apply for family car with a spacious interior and generous footwells in the rear. Its height of 1,511mm provides excellent headroom for all passengers while the wheelbase of 2,680mm offers significant legroom for rear occupants and a boot capacity of 450 litres, with powered tailgate available. Preeemium!

Inside the new CUPRA Formentor
Inside the new CUPRA Formentor

What's under the bonnet of the CUPRA Formentor e-Hybrid?

The high-performance CUPRA Formentor plug-in hybrid combines a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with a 116PS (85kW) electric motor and 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack, producing a combined output of 245PS (150kW) of power, 400Nm of peak torque and an electric range of up to 54 km.

There are a number of driving modes included for more fun behind the wheel. Comfort keeps things calm and level behind the wheel, ideal for the boring roads or a relaxing trip home. Sport and CUPRA mode ‘rev’ things up, doing all sorts like improving throttle response, tightening up the steering and suspension, as well as changing the sound.

This is not a fire breathing performance car full of drama, pops and bangs. 0 to 100 km/h is 7 seconds but getting there is a more muted experience in the Formentor. This is the way performance cars need to go now so get used to it!

CUPRA will still pop a 2.0-litre TSI in the Formentor for you if you want the old school hot hatch experience. That puts out 310 hp with four wheel drive to keep you glued to the tarmac.

The Formentor marries style, performance and efficiency very well
The Formentor marries style, performance and efficiency very well

On the road in the CUPRA Formentor!

The CUPRA Formentor has been designed and engineered to deliver a performance-orientated drive, with front MacPherson struts and multi-link rear suspension set-up for an intuitive dynamic response in enthusiastic driving! Dynamic Chassis Control comes as standard on the VZ models, which constantly monitors the road surfaces and driver inputs and makes imperceptible changes to guarantee surefootedness in any condition while delivering the most engaging drive. The driver can precisely set-up the vehicle to their preferences, as well as select from four pre-defined driver profiles: Comfort, Sport, CUPRA and Individual.

The Formentor is excellent over the tarmac with a truly premium finish to the ride quality. It’s sharp on the turn in with some lean but driving dynamics are genuinely sporty.

Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 6.4 litres per 100 km. With more regular charging, the car could be run even more efficiently. It takes between 3 and 5 hours to charge the battery at 3.6 kW.

CUPRA Formentor is available as petrol, diesel or hybrid electric
CUPRA Formentor is available as petrol, diesel or hybrid electric

Did you like it?

Yes I did! The Formentor is exactly what CUPRA needed – the first car uniquely developed and designed for the brand with an on-trend plug-in hybrid powertrain, premium finish and sporty crossover styling.

This car commands a polished image and futuristic presence. Designed as a crossover, but a sporty one, the Formentor does grow on you. Finished in black with copper accents around the exhaust pipes, it’s menacing and different. Striking just the right poise for a fledgling challenger brand that is aiming high.

A great range of engines means that it remains quite an accessible option in today's market.

2021 sees CUPRA add Formentor to its plug-in hybrid line-up, alongside CUPRA Leon e-HYBRID, which will be joined later in the year by el-Born, the brand’s first all-electric model.

The car is great. The challenge is of course building a brand and gaining that recognition, but CUPRA are well on their way now as the Formentor feels truly exclusive and unique.

The CUPRA Formentor VZ on sale now!
The CUPRA Formentor VZ on sale now!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: CUPRA Formentor VZ e-Hybrid 245hp DSG
Price: 
€50,130 including grant
Engine: 
1.4-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 245 hp
Torque: 400 Nm
Top speed: 210 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.0 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
32-35 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€140 per year


Niall Phillips, Brand Director for CUPRA and SEAT Ireland, with the new Formentor

CUPRA Ireland Announce New Dealers

Niall Phillips, Brand Director for CUPRA and SEAT Ireland, with the new Formentor
Niall Phillips, Brand Director for CUPRA and SEAT Ireland, with the new Formentor

CUPRA Ireland has announced four new retailers in the key strategic locations of Cork, Dublin, Galway and Waterford, taking the number of retailers for the brand across Ireland to eight.

The current CUPRA retailers, Bright Airside (North Dublin), James Barry Motors (Limerick), Johnson and Perrott, Mahon Point (Cork) and McCoy Motors, Lucan (West Dublin) will be joined by new retailers Finbarr Galvin Ltd. (Cork), George Corbett Motors (Waterford), Spirit Motors (South Dublin) and Monaghan & Sons (Galway).

Each of the retailers will provide an exclusive CUPRA area to display the product range. Each CUPRA retailer will have a dedicated CUPRA Specialist, a brand expert who has received specialised training from the CUPRA factory in Martorell, Spain. The dedicated CUPRA Specialist is the only point of contact throughout the sales and aftersales process for the customer, with the aim of providing a bespoke and premium personal service.

The CUPRA brand first appeared in Ireland in 2018, with the CUPRA Ateca the first model to go on sale here. Since then new models have been added including CUPRA Leon, Leon Sportstourer, and the Formentor.

The CUPRA Formentor, CUPRA Leon and Leon Sportstourer are now also available as e-HYBRID models.

The announcement of four new CUPRA retailers prepares the brand for the arrival of CUPRA’s first 100% electric car, CUPRA Born, which is due to have its world premiere later this month and will arrive in Ireland in late 2021.

The  brand’s second 100% electric model, the CUPRA Tavascan, will join the range in 2024.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director for CUPRA and SEAT Ireland, said:

“It’s a very exciting time for CUPRA Ireland as we add to our network of CUPRA retailers. Since the brand’s launch in 2018, it has seen significant growth, which was marked with the launch of CUPRA’s first standalone vehicle – the CUPRA Formentor in January and the arrival later this year of the brand’s first 100% electric vehicle, the CUPRA Born. With plans to increase our retail network further in Ireland by 2022, we look forward to adding more CUPRA retailers to our network as the brand continues its expansion across Ireland.”


The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland

CUPRA Formentor Arrives In Ireland!

The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland
The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland

CUPRA Ireland has launched the new CUPRA Formentor to the Irish market, priced from €37,135.

It goes on sale with a range of engines, including plug-in hybrids and high performance versions.

The launch of the Formentor is the first, original, stand alone model for the new CUPRA brand, and joins the CUPRA Ateca, CUPRA Leon, and CUPRA Leon Sportstourer.

The Formentor is named after Mallorca’s Cap de Formentor and is pitched as a unique proposition with no direct competitors. It will be available from CUPRA’s four retailers in Dublin, Limerick and Cork.

The CUPRA Formentor range starts from €37,135 for the 1.5-litre 150hp TSI model with a 6-speed manual transmission, rising to €40,885 with a DSG transmission.

At the top of the petrol range is the flagship 310hp 4Drive VZ model for €64,425.

There are two, 2.0-litre TDI diesel models with 150hp. The version with a 6-speed manual gearbox costs €39,135, while the DSG 4Drive version costs €45,975.

Pricing for the 204hp e-Hybrid starts from €39,895, with the more potent 245hp version starting from €50,130 including SEAI grant. The Formentor e-Hybrid integrates a system that combines a 150hp 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, a 115hp electric motor and a 13 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery to offer the best of both worlds in terms of performance and emissions. In the case of the 245hp version, 0-100km/h is possible in just 7 seconds, yet CO2 emissions are rated at just 32g/km. This model can also drive up to 54 kilometres on electric power alone.

Inside the new Formentor
Inside the new Formentor

CUPRA Brand Director Niall Phillips, said:

“CUPRA has a bright future ahead. With the addition of the new CUPRA brand, we are now a company with two distinct brands, both brands have completely different target groups, and both take on very separate roles in the Volkswagen Group. The Formentor will be a door opener to new customers that look for exclusivity, contemporary design and innovation.”

Phillips outlined the positioning of the CUPRA brand as sitting between the mass and premium brands, with a range that will expand beyond the current line-up, especially in terms of electrification.

“CUPRA will gain significant volume growth and market share relevance in the Irish market over the coming years as the Product, Electrification, Awareness and Retailer Network become more established," he said.

There are plans to double the retailer network by the end of the year.

The brand has also outlined pricing for the new Leon CUPRA PHEV models, with the 1.4-litre TSI 245hp version starting from €41,210 and the Sportstourer models starting from €42,060 including SEAI grant. This model is expected to be the top-selling Leon CUPRA and will offer a full-electric range of 52km, with CO2 emissions of 28.9-32.4 g/km.

There have been a range of new additions to the CUPRA Ateca model, too, with the new 2.0-litre TSI 300 4Drive DSG costing from €66,065.

There will be a total of seven new Electric and Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) models across the SEAT and CUPRA range, with the fully electric CUPRA Born model coming to Ireland in early 2022.

The CUPRA Tavascan fully electric SUV is also set to join the CUPRA range in 2024.

The new Cupra Formentor is available with plug-in hybrid technology
The new Cupra Formentor is available with plug-in hybrid technology

The new CUPRA Formentor plug-in hybrid

CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID Pricing

The new CUPRA Formentor plug-in hybrid
The new CUPRA Formentor plug-in hybrid

CUPRA Ireland has confirmed that the new CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID will go on sale in Ireland in March, priced from €39,895 including grants and VRT relief.

The CUPRA Formentor is the first car uniquely developed and designed for CUPRA. Production of the brand's new Formentor plug-in hybrid has just begun. There will be two versions, one with 204 PS and the other with 245 PS.

The company is now taking orders for the CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID in its 245 PS version, while the 204 PS version will be available in the coming weeks. Both versions use a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, electric motor and a 13 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery, with up to 54 km available in electric mode.

Pricing for the e-HYBRID in Ireland starts at €44,895, but drops to €39,895 with the application of the available SEAI grant of €5,000 to private customers. The more potent 245 PS version starts from €55,130 but drops to €50,130 for private customers with the SEAI grant applied.

The 245 PS CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID comes with additional standard equipment with exclusive 19” machined alloy wheels, aluminium pedals, CUPRA bucket seats, dynamic chassis control, exit warning and side assist.

The Formentor range starts from €37,135 for the 1.5-litre TSI 150 hp model.

The launch of the Formentor follows the CUPRA Leon e-HYBRID and the CUPRA Leon e-HYBRID Sportstourer, meaning the brand will have a total of four plug-in hybrid versions on the market.

The CUPRA el-Born, the brand's first all-electric model, will also join the range before the end of 2021.

SEAT and CUPRA Ireland Brand Director Niall Phillips said:

"The CUPRA Formentor will be key to the success of the CUPRA brand in Ireland and is likely to account for over 50% of sales in 2021. We know from the SIMI figures this year that the PHEV segment is growing significantly, up 105% compared to the same period in 2020. Hence, the Formentor e-HYBRID is likely to be of interest to anyone that covets performance twinned with an electrified vehicle's environmental benefits.”

Inside the new CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID
Inside the new CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID

The new CUPRA Formentor arriving in Ireland this December

CUPRA Formentor To Go On Sale This December

The new CUPRA Formentor arriving in Ireland this December
The new CUPRA Formentor arriving in Ireland this December

CUPRA has confirmed that the all new CUPRA Formentor will go on sale here from December. Following the launch of the CUPRA Ateca and the CUPRA Leon, the Formentor is the first vehicle exclusively designed and developed by the brand.

We are told that pricing will start from €35,945 for the 1.5-litre TSI petrol with 150 hp and from €37,845 for the same model with a DSG automatic gearbox..

There will also be a high performance Formentor VZ with a 2.0 TSI petrol engine with 310hp and four wheel drive, priced from €57,910.

There will also be a 2.0 TDI diesel with 150 hp and two plug-in hybrids: the e-Hybrid 1.4 TSI with 204 PS and the Formentor VZ e-Hybrid 1.4 TSI with 245 PS.

The brand’s advancement in Ireland will be helped by the appointment of three new CUPRA retailers. Johnson and Perrott, Mahon Point Cork, McCoy Motors, Lucan, Dublin and James Barry Motors Limerick, will join Bright CUPRA Airside, Dublin to become CUPRA retailers offering an exclusive CUPRA area as part of the SEAT showroom.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director for SEAT and CUPRA Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to be introducing the CUPRA Formentor to the Irish market. It’s a very exciting time for the brand as we welcome three new CUPRA retailers to the network and launch an advanced premium crossover, the CUPRA Formentor - the brand’s first standalone vehicle. Since its launch in 2018 the CUPRA brand has exceeded expectations and with plans to increase our retail network further in Ireland by 2022, we’re really excited about the journey ahead and look forward to adding more CUPRA retailers to our network and models in the showroom as the brand continues to grow.”


The new CUPRA Ateca!

2019 CUPRA Ateca 2.0 TSI Review

The new CUPRA Ateca!
The new CUPRA Ateca!

Caroline drives the new CUPRA Ateca!

CUPRA is making a welcome return to Ireland, this time as its own standalone brand. It’s not long ago since SEAT sold a number of hot CUPRA versions of the Ibiza and Leon in Ireland. But in 2018, CUPRA launched as a singular brand within the Volkswagen Group, with plans for a line-up of tasty new performance models. The first of these to debut here is the amazing CUPRA Ateca.

New CUPRA cars, inspired by SEAT’s award-winning motorsport division, will be available exclusively from Airside CUPRA, Ireland’s only specialist CUPRA dealer.

What is it?

Based on the rather suburban Ateca SUV, the new CUPRA Ateca is anything but suburban. Priced from €49,990, the CUPRA Ateca is powered by the stunning 2.0 TSI turbo petrol engine with 300 HP! Four wheel drive as standard makes the best possible use of that power in an SUV and there’s also a slick shifting DSG gearbox that does nothing to dull down the fun.

Under the bonnet of the CUPRA Ateca, there's a 2.0 TSI petrol engine
Under the bonnet of the CUPRA Ateca, there's a 2.0 TSI petrol engine

The new CUPRA badge is out of this world and is placed around the car. My test car looked fantastic in Black Magic and drew many admiring glances though the car lacks some recognition – most people haven’t a clue what it is other than it looks fast! There’s a special honeycomb grille, glossy black trim, full LED headlights, 19” alloys, four magnificent exhausts at the rear. The CUPRA name is spelt out on the lower grille and at the rear. This car is COOL.

The CUPRA Ateca also has a fantastic interior that’s really well appointed. There’s sophisticated Alcantara trim on the door panels and on the sports seats. Copper stitching and carbon fibre effect trim also feature. A full digital instrument panel is a fine addition and is supported by the 8-inch touchscreen navigation system in the centre of the dash.

Driving the new CUPRA Ateca

The CUPRA Ateca has an independent front suspension setup using MacPherson struts and a multilink rear. The adaptive suspension system – Dynamic Chassis Control – provides a setup that can be adjusted to the driver’s needs from comfort to firm and sporty. The CUPRA Ateca also gets larger front and rear discs, at 340mm and 310mm respectively, giving greater confidence in the SUV.

The interior of the new CUPRA Ateca
The interior of the new CUPRA Ateca

The newly developed seven-speed DSG transmission has been engineered to offer a sportier feel with faster, smoother and more precise changes. The CUPRA Ateca also features launch control. All-wheel drive 4Drive technology analyses road conditions in real time and progressively delivers power at each moment to the wheels that need it. The CUPRA Ateca is clearly smart also!

On the road, the CUPRA Ateca is shockingly quick and fun to drive with the 2.0 TSI giving a fabulous performance here. It pulls hard like a hot hatch with 400Nm of torque and 0 to 100kmh in just 5.2 seconds. The CUPRA Ateca is more than reminiscent of a Golf R. It imitates the hunkered down feel of a hot hatchback well, but in the corners the higher centre of gravity means it doesn’t feel quite as planted. The CUPRA mode is the most hardcore drive setting and gives the car a ferocious soundtrack to match the bad boy looks.

So would you buy it?

The cool thing about the CUPRA Ateca is that it’s still a very on trend and practical SUV. There is seating for five and a generous 485 litre boot. So it can be your not so guilty pleasure.

The CUPRA brand doesn’t have immediate recognition now with its new badging and dissociation from the SEAT brand so that may hold the car back somewhat in Ireland. However within the Volkswagen Group, this is a fantastic machine and very well placed. A petrol powered performance vehicle with all the practicality of an SUV and the engine and performance of a hot hatchback. The CUPRA Ateca is a fantastic debut and signal of intent from the new performance brand.

The CUPRA Ateca is really very good!
The CUPRA Ateca is really very good!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: CUPRA Ateca 2.0TSI DSG 4Drive
Price:
€49,990
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
300 hp
Torque: 400 Nm
0-100km/h: 
5.2 seconds
Top speed: 247 km/h
Fuel economy:
8.5-8.9 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
168 g/km
Motor tax: 
€570 per year

 


The CUPRA Ateca is coming to Ireland!

CUPRA Ateca Pricing For Ireland

The CUPRA Ateca is coming to Ireland!
The CUPRA Ateca is coming to Ireland!

SEAT Ireland has announced details of pricing and arrival time in the Irish market for the new CUPRA Ateca, the first model in SEAT’s new dedicated CUPRA sports car brand.

The new CUPRA Ateca is available to pre-order now and will be available to test drive at Airside CUPRA, Ireland's only specialist CUPRA dealer, from January 2019.

Prices for the CUPRA Ateca start at €49,990.

The CUPRA Ateca has a turbocharged, direct-injection, four-cylinder 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine that produces 300 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Power is delivered through a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission and 4Drive all-wheel drive.

According to SEAT, as the SUV market continues to expand, the CUPRA Ateca will create its own niche upon its introduction to the Irish market from January 2019.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director at SEAT and CUPRA Ireland commented, “We are thrilled to be welcoming the CUPRA Ateca to Ireland in January next year. It marks the birth of our new CUPRA brand, which we are very excited about.

The introduction of the CUPRA Ateca and indeed the CUPRA brand allows us to target a new customer base, and we are very confident that it will resonate with Irish motorists. The introduction of this new SUV as part of our new brand, is a defining moment and key milestone which we are very proud of.”