Anticipated as a concept with the Seat brand, the production version has lost the suffix “el” (which inextricably linked it to the historic district of Barcelona) and has also changed brands. Like Cupra, Born is the first series electric of the Spanish group controlled by the German giant Volkswagen. Between the exclusive Sitges and Barcelona, the top management – including the Italian Antonino Labate, who had been called by Luca de Meo to take care of it and who his successor Wayne Griffiths has confirmed as responsible – explain that this model is destined to give impetus to the change. A gradual conversion towards not only environmental but also economic sustainability. Because Cupra sells well (the estimate is 55,000 units delivered in 2021) and earns better. The margins are higher than those of Seat also thanks to the merchandising operation created around the brand, which in Milan as well as in Barcelona, Hamburg and Mexico has a space that is not only for sale (then the Amsterdam centers will also arrive and Lisbon).
With the Born, which benefits from the towing of the plug-in version of the Formentor suv coupé, Cupra is targeting the rich markets of northern Europe such as Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, which are particularly sensitive to electric models. Not surprisingly, despite the shortage of semiconductors, Cupra promises short delivery times, ie four months. The twin of the ID.3 must stand out to avoid overlapping (even the colors of the exterior differ) and be sportier. It is certainly more emotional. On the performance front, the two cars are very similar, but that’s not a bad thing. The Cupra Born has direct steering, efficient braking, and a bright, if not burning cue (what’s the point, anyway?). The interior finishes accompanied by soft plastics and a large central touch screen confirm the premium aspiration of the Catalan brand. The perplexities concern the new controls inserted on the steering wheel, which after a period of adaptation the manufacturer promises to be functional, the positioning of the knob on the right side behind the steering wheel that allows you to choose the type of gear and rear visibility linked to dimensions and shapes of the rear window.
The zero-emission compact shines for convenience: virtually everyone has room, even the rear center passenger. It is stable, has a balanced set-up and it doesn’t take long to get used to the rear-wheel drive. With the supplementary boost of the 231 horsepower versions, you need to be even more careful: the starting point from 0 to 100 per hour takes place in 6.6 seconds. The boot capacity fluctuates between 385 and 1,267 liters, lower than models with a conventional engine, but in line with the current electric offer, regardless of the type of body.
With the combination of battery size and engine power, Cupra is convinced that it will be able to meet the needs of the new generation of customers. To which it offers a 5.3 ” digital dashboard integrated into the steering wheel and offers, for a fee, the head up display with augmented reality. According to the manufacturer, not even the charging times are destined to be a concern: with 7 minutes at the socket you can gain up to 100 kilometers of autonomy and even when the battery is full at 5% with just over half an hour of refueling it reaches 80%. As standard, the Born is already lowered by 15 millimeters at the front and 10 at the rear compared to the standard height of the Meb platform, but will also be available with the adaptive adjustment of the DCC suspension (optional not yet available at the moment). The driving setting selector allows you to choose between Range (which has a positive effect on mileage), Comfort, Performance and Individual modes. On the 231 HP e-Boost variant there is also the exclusive Cupra version. Each mode modifies the responses of the engine, steering and suspension (up to 15 levels).
CUPRA BORN – the card
What is that: it is the first electric powered by the Spanish Seat group on the modular electric platform of the group, the MEB. In fact, it is the twin of the Volkswagen ID.3 compared to which it measures six centimeters longer and almost thirty millimeters less in height. The Cupra designers have worked hard to try to mark the differences, enhanced by the copper solutions that recall the brand also inserted in the rims and inside the passenger compartment. When fully operational it will be in the price list with four levels of autonomy (340, 420, 424 and 540 kilometers) also based on the size of the battery.
Dimensions: length 4.32 meters, width 1.809, height 1.54, pitch 2.768.
Rivals: Nissan Leaf, Peugeot e-2008, Volkswagen ID.3, Tesla Model 3
Engines: the debut on the Italian market takes place with the 204 hp variant and 310 Nm of torque equipped with the 58 kWh battery of net capacity for a declared range of up to 424 kilometers. Then will come the 150 hp versions with 340 km of mileage (45 kWh accumulator) and the 231 ones. These are the e-Boost (with additional cavalry up to a maximum of 30 ”) with 420 or 540 km of autonomy (77 kWh battery).
Benefits: interior finishes, acceleration, trim.
Defects: rear visibility, position of the “gearbox” control.
Production: Zwickau (Germany)
Prices: Cupra launches the Born starting from 295 euros per month (the government bonus would almost entirely cover the initial installment of almost 11,500 euros) for the 204 hp non-entry level version and 58 kWh battery. The price list currently starts at € 38,900, but the debut is accompanied by a discount that reduces the price to € 37,250. The first cars will arrive in dealerships in November, while customers will begin receiving them by the end of the year.