Sporty Spanish brand Cupra is promising a giant battery and 310 mile range for its new electric hot hatch, curiously called the el-Born. It is revealed here in production form for the first time ahead of UK sales starting in 2021.
What Seat’s sibling brand is not promising – yet – is its power output and performance. The only indication so far of acceleration is 0-31mph in 2.9 seconds. By way of comparison a Golf GTI does it in around 2.0 seconds.
So maybe not so hot after all? We will have to wait to see about that, but given Cupra’s role in life to be a performance-focused brand, some level of spiritedness is guaranteed, along with what we now can see to be a successfully sporting take on hot hatch design.
What was first shown as a Seat concept in 2019 has been Cuprafied with wheels, trims and colourways all very typical of the brand. The result we reckon looks pretty cool with a strong Cupra personality. Incidentally it is reported that to begin with at least, the el-Born will only be available in this Cupra form, not as a Seat as well.
The look is a lot sportier than the Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatchback, on sale in the UK in a couple of months’ time, with which it shares the VW Group’s soon-to-be-everywhere MEB electric platform. That means this is one sporty hatch with rear-wheel-drive.
The motor is on the back axle, and while we don’t know its horsepower we can expect it to have more than the 204PS (201bhp) on offer in the VW. The modular nature of the MEB means battery capacity can range from 48 to 77kWh, and it is this maximum battery size that Cupra has gone for in the el-Born. At 82kWh gross, it’s almost as much as a Jaguar I-Pace offers.
As a result the el-Born should be good for 310 miles of range, says Cupra, plus the fast-charging ability to suck up enough juice in 30 minutes to take you 161 miles. Other things to look forward to include an augmented reality head-up display along and sports seats along with lots of sporty interior details.
Since it went from being Seat’s sporty nameplate to a brand in its own right in 2018, Cupra claims to have found its enthusiast niche, with models like the Cupra Ateca crossover helping sales hit 24,700 in 2019.