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Born to be electric: First drive in Cupra’s new EV impresses

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The Cupra Born

The Cupra Born

The Cupra interior is compact but roomy

The Cupra interior is compact but roomy

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The Cupra Born

This week I got a chance to briefly drive Cupra’s first electric car, the Born.

A rival for the likes of the VW ID.3, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Kona, the Born will cost from €31,440 when it goes on sale early next year.

They say they expect the stylish newcomer to “shake” up the EV market.

It is built on the VW Group MEB platform and draws heavily on the mothership’s technology, as you would expect; it has the underpinnings of the likes of the Volkswagen ID.3.

It’s compact but roomy. The rear-wheel drive hatch is 4,322mm long, 1,809mm wide and 1,540mm high.It has a wheelbase of 2,767mm.

Being part of the Volkswagen Group, Cupra it has to differentiate itself from the likes of SEAT and it attempts to do so on spec, styling with a view to filling the gap between mass-production and premium.

Certainly the exterior styling is a major distinguishing factor and will no doubt be focussed on when it comes to the sales push.

The interior on the version we drove was a bit plasticky up front and I wasn’t mad about the infotainment display.

But I wouldn’t condemn it for that either. There are, for example, strong equipment levels all the way through and I think that and the price will attract attention. As, of course, will the looks.

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It is also certainly playing the green card with sustainable materials such as Dinamica and Seaqual made from recycled marine plastics on board.

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The Cupra interior is compact but roomy

The Cupra interior is compact but roomy

The Cupra interior is compact but roomy

A quick nip into Wicklow in the 58kW-battery version showed it to have a nice turn of foot and the roomy cabin was nicely quiet.  The boot, at 385 litres, is more than decently sized too. It’s a nice car.

There is a choice of power bases: 150PS output, 204PS and a 231PS e-Boost pack (0-100kmh in 6.6 seconds).

Three battery options – 45kWh, 58kWh and 77kWh – have claimed ranges of 350km, 424km and 540km respectively.

The Born paves the way for more EVs from Cupra. It will be followed by the all-electric Tavascan SUV in 2024 and an urban EV in 2025. They hope to be 100pc electric by 2030.

Charging time? On a 170kW network, the Born can fill from 5pc to 80pc in just 35 minutes, the makers claim.

On the technical front, the electric motor slots above the rear axle with the battery between the axles. The driving modes are: Range, Comfort, Performance, Individual and Cupra (e-Boost only).

A raft of assistance systems includes predictive adaptive cruise control, travel assist, side and exit assist, traffic sign recognition, emergency assist, and pre-crash assist.

The head-up display projects key information onto the windscreen and helps to avert distraction.

The 12-inch infotainment system lies within the digital cockpit arrangement.

Owners can access online services, downloadable apps and service elements as well as remote access and charging via the My Cupra app.

Cupra in Ireland describes the Born as a ‘real game-changing car’ for the brand.

Prices for the imminent newcomer will start from €31,440 for the 45kWh battery version. The 58kWh model will kick off from €35,550, and from €39,000 on the e-Boost trim.

And the 77kWh version with e-Boost will start from €42,650. All pricing includes the SEAI grant and VRT relief.

With so much emphasis on EVs these days the new Cupra could hardly have been Born at a better time.


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