New Cupra Tavascan flagship electric coupe-SUV to launch in 2023
Cupra’s hotly anticipated halo SUV will be the brand’s second all-electric car, and we’ve had our first look at the production model
The all-new Cupra Tavascan electric coupe-SUV will launch later this year, before the first examples of the Spanish brand’s new flagship EV hit the street in 2024 – five years after the Tavascan debuted in concept form.
Now, we’ve had our best look yet at the Cupra’s forthcoming halo model via a selection of spy pictures. The car will sit on the familiar MEB platform used by the Skoda Enyaq iV, Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron, though instead of a boxy, conventional SUV shape, Cupra has gone for a more coupe-inspired look, with the Tavascan possessing a similar profile to the Volkswagen ID.5 and Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV.
As well as its coupe-SUV sister cars, we expect the Tavascan will serve as Cupra’s rival to the Kia EV6, Tesla Model Y, Genesis GV60 and forthcoming Polestar 4, which is also due in 2024.
The front end of the Tavascan is much sharper and more aggressive than the Volkswagen or Skoda, while the front bumper also appears to have large vents – likely to help cool the battery and motors underneath the car. Other elements we can pick out from these spy shots include the very angular roofline, sloping rear deck and subtle spoiler on the boolid.
The prototype spotted testing on icy roads was still wearing camouflage, but some official images of the production Tavascan were shared earlier in 2022. They indicate the flagship EV will share plenty of styling cues with the UrbanRebel – Cupra’s forthcoming entry-level EV – as well as its Born electric hatchback. They also show that the overall design hasn’t changed too much from the original concept.
Further to this, the brand has given us a brief glimpse at the interior, which it says will be quite a different environment to the other electric SUVs based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform. The cabin is defined by a floating bridge that flows from the dashboard to the centre console. Cupra’s signature copper trim is present, while the large central touchscreen and compact digital instrument panel are likely to be similar to the ones found in the other Volkswagen Group EVs.
No technical details for the Tavascan have surfaced yet, but it’s possible the Tavascan will use the dual-motor setup and 77kWh battery from the VW ID.5 GTX and Skoda Enyaq vRS which offers 295bhp, all-wheel drive and a range of around 300 miles.
However, the MEB platform will receive a series of updates very soon, which the Tavascan could benefit from. The new Volkswagen ID.7 also being unveiled later this year will be one of the first EVs to use the updated underpinnings, and according to Volkswagen, will be able to cover 435 miles on a charge.
VW’s incoming Tesla Model 3 rival also features a new 15-inch touchscreen and revised software, which could make their way into the flagship Cupra as well.
Cupra Tavascan concept
The Tavascan concept made its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was driven by a pair of electric motors – one on each axle – that produced a combined 302bhp; enough for a 6.5-second 0-62mph time. It also had a range of 280 miles, according to Cupra, thanks to a 77kWh battery.
Despite the Tavascan's performance intentions, Cupra said the SUV would offer “comfort for all occupants". The concept car’s interior combined structural carbon and "dynamic approaches to technology" to provide a balance between performance and practicality.
Cupra says the front end features vents to help boost range, while a diffuser at the rear also helps with aerodynamics. Meanwhile, the roofline of the vehicle provides what Cupra describes as “the presence of an SUV and the sleekness of a sports coupe.”
Inside, diffused LED ambient lighting greets occupants as they open the doors; the cabin is covered in contrasting leather, carbon and Alcantara trims. In addition, the Tavascan concept featured sculptural 3D leather bucket seats, as well as a wing-shaped dashboard that 'floats' across the front of the interior. Behind the steering wheel, there's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, supplemented by a 13-inch infotainment display and full smartphone connectivity.
According to Cupra, the larger screen can shift its focus, moving towards the passenger when needed. Speakers are also integrated into each of the bucket seats. The Tavascan takes its name from a village in the Pyrenees mountains on the border between Spain and France, which Cupra says is "unique due to its stunning landscape and surrounding nature".
New Ford Explorer electric SUV revealed in full
Top 5 best electric sports cars 2023
New Ford Explorer electric SUV revealed in full
New Volkswagen ID.2all previews £22k electric hatchback
Driver Power: The best electric and hybrid cars to own