Cupra to launch two new segment-busting electrified cars

Screenshot 2022 02 22 at 11.30.59

CEO confirms new bespoke models will sit between traditional segments and feature totally bespoke design

Cupra will launch a pair of bespoke new models in non-traditional segments as it continues to carve out a distinct identity in the run-up to all-out electrification.

Previewed as part of a presentation on the brand’s fourth anniversary, the Seat-owned performance brand’s two new cars will follow the Cupra Tavascan and Cupra Urban Rebel EVs onto market, but are described as ‘electrified’, which suggests combustion could still play a role in their propulsion.

The brand has not given a date for their arrival, but says it will continue to offer hybrid powertrains until 2030, when it will go all-electric across its portfolio. They are likely to appear in 2026 and 2027, respectively. 

CEO Wayne Griffiths told reporters the cars will be “in segments that are growing, because we need the growth, and they will obviously – in a lot of cases – cross over. Don’t put them in a classical segment, there will always be a mixture – something different and unique – instead of just a classical SUV or a classical coupé or limousine.”

He added: “There’s a lot between those. You have all sorts of concepts: shooting brakes, sportbacks and all sorts of things that are possible. 

“Those two cars, from a Cupra perspective, have to add on, not substitute, so we have to stay away from the other cars. We’ve got quite a lot by then if you add it up: we’ve got Formentor, Ateca will probably still be around, we have the Tavascan, the Born and we have the small BEV, so there is still room for more cars, and we are looking at models for the future.”

The cars must also make sense as part of the wider VW Group portfolio, he added, while being “a bit special” to fit with Cupra’s enthusiast-focused image. 

Previews of the two new models suggest they will sit between the Born and Tavascan, in terms of their footprint. Griffiths would not be drawn on their positioning, but their silhouettes look broadly like those of an estate and a saloon.

It is possible the duo are linked to sibling brand Volkswagen’s upcoming electric saloon and estate duo, which were previewed with ‘Vizzion’ concepts in 2018 and 2019, but Griffiths is adamant that Cupra’s cars must be distinct propositions.

“Our strength is being part of the Volkswagen Group with all the technological platforms this group has,” he told Autocar. “We’re a very sporty brand so sporty solutions are good for us. 

“I think, however, at the end of the day, to be successful we need to do cars in the electric world like the Formentor today in the combustion world, with a real, specific DNA in terms of design and what the car stands for.” 

He said Cupra must go a “step further” than rebadging other VW Group products, suggesting future models from the brand will be completely clean-sheet designs, unlike the Born, which is closely related to the VW ID 3 with which it shares a platform. 

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