All-electric Cupra Tavascan coupe-SUV unveiled
Cupra has unveiled a new electric coupe-SUV to rival the Volkswagen ID.5 and Tesla Model Y
It wasn’t long ago when Cupra was just a small performance arm of SEAT. Fast forward to 2023 and it has now unveiled its third all-new model as a standalone brand: the Cupra Tavascan. This hotly anticipated electric coupe-SUV sits at the top of the Spanish maker’s lineup, boasting a striking design, a competitive electric range and the Volkswagen Group’s latest technology. It's due on sale this year at prices from around £50,000.
Speaking of VW Group, it’s safe to say the firm is making the most of its MEB electric platform; the Cupra Tavascan uses these underpinnings, making it a mechanical sibling (as well as rival) to the Volkswagen ID.5, Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron. It’ll also go head-to-head with other electric models like the Kia EV6, Tesla Model Y and the newly-revealed Polestar 4.
The Tavascan looks dramatically different from its Audi, Skoda and VW siblings. The front end is dominated by a large gloss black trim piece, giving the car a highly aggressive stance, while power bulges in the bonnet and several creases in the bodywork help to further assert the Tavascan’s sporty nature.
Eagle-eyed readers will be able to identify several similarities between the Tavascan and other models in the Cupra lineup; the triangular Matrix LED headlights are reminiscent of the electric Cupra Born hatchback, and there’s plenty of signature copper detailing, too. A lightbar at the rear is similar to that fitted to the petrol and hybrid-powered Cupra Formentor, though on the Tavascan, this is joined together by an illuminated version of the brand’s emblem.
Cupra Tavascan interior
On the inside, the Tavascan benefits from much of the updated technology that was recently introduced in the Volkswagen ID.7 flagship saloon. Sitting at the centre of the dashboard is a huge 15-inch touchscreen, which floats above a set of touch-sensitive (and thankfully, illuminated) climate controls. You might recognise the small digital instrument display from the smaller Born, as well as the rest of the steering wheel controls, which look to have been carried over wholesale.
The entire cabin is divided by what Cupra is calling the ‘central spine’ – essentially a raised centre console that’s designed to give the Tavascan’s cabin a sportier cockpit-like feel. As standard, all Tavascan models will get figure-hugging bucket seats – top-spec cars will get three choices of recycled textile or suede upholstery – while extensive ambient lighting shines through pin holes in the door cards.
Despite its coupe styling, the Cupra Tavascan still looks to be a relatively practical SUV; a flat rear floor should make it easy to seat three abreast in the back, while a 540-litre boot is only marginally behind that of the equivalent VW ID.5 GTX.
Powertrains, battery and charging
At launch, buyers will be able to choose from two powertrains: the 282bhp single-motor Endurance and the 335bhp VZ. The former utilises a rear-driven layout, whereas the dual-motor setup in the VZ provides four-wheel-drive grip and a 0-62mph time of 5.6 seconds.
Both versions of the Cupra Tavascan are powered by a 77kWh battery pack. In the Endurance model, this results in a WLTP range figure of 341 miles, which is more than what’s possible in the Tesla Model Y Long Range. The trade-off of the VZ’s extra performance is a slightly reduced range of 321 miles.
DC rapid charging at speeds of up to 135kW is standard across the Tavascan lineup; we think it’s a shame the Tavascan doesn’t get the same 200kW charging as the aforementioned ID.7, but Cupra says that it’s still quick enough for a 10-80% top-up in just under half an hour. A heat pump can be added for an additional cost to help boost efficiency in extreme hot or cold weather.
We expect the new Cupra Tavascan to go on sale later this year, with first deliveries in early 2024. Cupra remains tight-lipped when it comes to pricing, but it’s likely the Tavascan will start from around £50,000, putting it in-line with the equivalent Volkswagen ID.5.
Of course, the Tavascan is but one of several new electric Cupra models set to arrive in the coming years. We’ve already spotted a potential hot variant of the Cupra Born testing, while the UrbanRebel concept car is set to spawn a small production electric SUV that’s due on sale by 2025.
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