New Cupra Tavascan flagship electric SUV to launch in 2023
Cupra’s hotly anticipated halo SUV will be the brand’s second all-electric car
Cupra has confirmed the all-new Tavascan electric SUV will launch later this year before the first examples of the Spanish brand’s flagship EV arrive with customers in 2024, five years after the Tavascan debuted in concept form.
The first official images of the production model were shared in 2022 and indicate it will share plenty of styling cues with the UrbanRebel – Cupra’s forthcoming entry-level EV – as well as its Born electric hatchback. The sharp design hasn’t changed too much from the original concept, including the wide black front grille panel and sloping roofline.
The brand has also given us a 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 dashboards to the centre console. Of course, Cupra’s signature copper trim is present, while the large central touchscreen and compact digital instrument panel are likely to be the same ones found in the other Volkswagen Group EVs.
No technical details for the Tavascan have surfaced yet, but we mentioned it will sit on the very familiar MEB platform used by the Skoda Enyaq iV, Volkswagen ID.4 and about half a dozen other electric cars at this stage. It’s possible the Tavascan will use the dual-motor setup and 77kWh battery from the VW ID.4 GTX which offers 295bhp, all-wheel-drive and a range of around 300 miles.
The MEB platform will receive a series of updates very soon however, which the Tavascan could benefit from. The new Volkswagen ID.7 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".
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