CUPRA BORN: Not all its rivals are Born equal….

CUPRA’s new electric offering has been ‘charged’ with taking up the mantle from SEAT of delivering a car with a sporty accent.

The Spanish arm of the VW Group used to be up to the job themselves, but now the standalone brand is fully plugged into the task.That’s why you’ll find the new low slung Born with its short overhangs looking a far more striking proposition than its closely related VW ID.3 stablemate, both inside and out.

The brand’s copper coloured highlighting is an obvious pointer, but when you’re offering a totally electric sporty hot hatch, it needs to be able to talk the talk and walk the walk.

In that respect, it feels a bit more up to the task than the VW, sitting square and true to the road when you decide to use the prodigious amount of immediate torque that’s available in any electric car.Born’s practical five-door hatchback body style gives it an advantage over smaller EV hatches like the MINI Electric which has less space and isn’t that much cheaper to buy.
What you’re buying into is renowned VW Group build quality and technology.

The interior boasts plusher suede finishes, front sport bucket seats, more copper detailing and an over-riding feeling of quality to the surroundings. You can tick the box for the first but the jury’s out on the second, as the same issues that affected the ID.3 with its slow-to react-touch controls are evident here. Three seconds for the sat nav screen to blink into life in the main central panel is lethargic to say the least, and the touch buttons on the steering wheel were like most of the unions in the UK at present – on strike.Cupra use their own software to run the Born’s onboard tech, but employs VW Group hardware. That makes changing something via the central screen more frustrating than it should be. You can be swiping through menus and find you’re also adjusting the volume or air-conditioning levels via the touch-sensitive panel at the base of the display. Something that should be cureable with a bit of head-scratching back in Spain.

It’s the first of a number of electrified models that Cupra will launch over the next few years; by 2025 we’ll also see the Terramar plug-in hybrid SUV, all-electric Tavascan SUV and the Urban Rebel city car.

Two battery options are available for the rear wheel drive Born; a 58kWh version with either 201bhp or 227bhp, or a 77kWh variant that delivers 227bhp and an increase in range from around 260 miles (for 58kWh models) to a claimed maximum of 340 miles from a single charge.It’s not only the distinctive, copper-coloured accents that help the Born stand out from the crowd. You can choose from V1, V2 or V3 specifications, with the higher grade trims adding premium touches such as bigger wheels, rear privacy glass, upgraded upholstery, heated front seats with a massage function and a driver’s head-up display.

Prices start from around £35,000 – add another £7,000 for a top-spec 77kWh model in V3 trim.
Born’s been designed with a younger buyer in mind, hence the tech and its low slung sporty look. A 21st century mildly hot hatch.


CUPRA Born 58kWh V3

Price: £38,390 (£38,955 as tested)
Engine: permanent magnet synchronous electric motor
Power: 201bhp
Torque: 228lb/ft
Transmission: single speed automatic
Top speed: 99mph
0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
Economy: 260 mile range
CO2 emissions: 0g/km

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