Cupra celebrates its four-year anniversary in Sitges with an atypical event. Atypical, because it presents three models that reveal the final design, transforms the prototypes into reality and makes them remain very true to the lines we had seen in the salons, precisely on the concepts that we thought would be deeply different. They’re called Terramar, Tavascan and UrbanRebel, but before we talk about them, let me tell you an anecdote.
Cupra is keen to talk about emotions when presenting its cars, but what are emotions? One possible answer could be the following: In a world of increasingly flattened cars, with the rise of anonymous designs from China, emotions could be seeing a car that we like so much that we get out of our own, drive on foot in the middle … to the traffic, knock on the driver’s window and ask him “sorry, what brand is that”?
This is exactly the scene that happened some time ago while I was trying out the Cupra Formentor on the occasion of the review. On the streets of Monza, I notice a car that has been following me for some time, but which can not reach me because there were three or four other cars in the middle between me and her. Confused, perhaps in love, the “stalker” decides to make his move as we stop at the traffic light: he gets out of his car and leaves it in the queue with the engine running, runs towards me and knocks on the window he asks me what the name of the SUV that had caught his attention was. When the sentence ends, the green light clicks, and as I shift gears to go, I answer: it’s a Cupra Formentoooooor …
What can I say, Cupra reached the goal. Not just because it confirms that it really takes 7 seconds to make the first impression, and those few moments were probably enough to win over the guy who decided to knock on my window. But also because the Spaniards managed to give birth to a brand at a time when it was said that it would be impossible to launch new brands, and they did so with much more international success than “the others”, the French: 200,000 units, more than expected and mostly thanks to Formentor. In 2021, the brand sold 80,000 cars.
CUPRA SERIES: YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW
Cupra started with Cupra Ateca and Cupra Leon, transition models followed by Formentor, the first with 100% Cupra DNA. Born has paved the way for the electric side of the Spanish brand, a side that will be the dominant one as Tavascan becomes the last thermal.
Cupra waves the flag of a modern brand that has no past ties to respect and embraces the values of today, not the values of yesterday, as well as not being too busy to intercept tomorrow’s while driving on trends.
They run fast towards sustainability, interpreted both by electrification and by attention to recycling and recycling, but they do not want to leave anyone on the sidelines, true to the mantra of inclusivity. For this reason, for example, the VZ5 remains in the lineup, which does not exclude fans of an era facing sunset and offering a 5-cylinder engine, a rarity in the world of modern cars.
By 2025 there will also be updates to the current selection, with restyling of Cupra Leon, Cupra Leon SP, Cupra Ateca and Cupra Formentor.
However, the tablet foot is pressed against the electrification that will materialize with the Cupra UrbanRebel. Terramar (2024) is the 4.5 meter long SUV built on the MQB platform, sporty look, cockpit oriented around the driver and transition phase motors: it will be endothermic, but the plug-in hybrid will have 100 km electric range.
THAT early 2024 they will bring to market Cupra Tavascan Are you 2025, UrbanRebel arrives. Compared to the concept, the car turns out to be very similar if we remove the racer external points we had seen here. During the celebration of its fourth birthday, Cupra actually reveals what the design of the production model will be, even in the interior:
The car has yet to be perfected, but what you see is what will be there, Cupra says. Moreover, again if the topic promises, with direct demand (will it really cost € 20,000?), it turns into the really popular electric, Cupra replies that it will be so, that the LFP will allow it, and that as long as there is a normalization of inflation that disrupts the entire planet, the exchange rate target will be reached. We are of course talking about the basic version and not the more powerful and with larger batteries.
What do we want from these numbers? A compact and sporty 4.03 meter car with 226 HP (166 kW) and up to 440 km of autonomy in the “long range” version. It goes from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.9 seconds.
During the round table conference with Antonino Labate, we then ask if Cupra wants to put itself in direct competition with Tesla, and the answer is interesting because the goal is more to challenge brands like Nio, to stop the Chinese advance with European proposals in the segment between the mass market and the premium market.
The challenge is demanding, also because Cupra wants to bring the passion for cars back to young people and in general will demonstrate that the electric can be linked to the concepts of passion and fun. Early users already know this, as they bought Tesla, Taycan and a few other battery-powered cars with performance-oriented driving dynamics. But will the masses in UrbanRebel find the key to convincing themselves to completely abandon gasoline?