Cupra UrbanRebel concept previews entry-level EV for 2025
Cupra's entry-level EV will be built in Spain and share its platform with the Volkswagen ID.1 and ID.2
Cupra, Skoda and Volkswagen are all launching affordable electric cars in 2025, based on the same platform. While we’ve yet to see more than a sketch of the latter two brands’ budget zero-emissions offerings, Cupra has provided us with our best look yet at its entry-level EV: the UrbanRebel.
The concept car you see here wears the same UrbanRebel name as a radical electric racing-car concept Cupra unveiled in 2021, and has a similar silhouette. However, the new car reigns things in a little with four doors for added practicality, and a ride height much more suitable for encountering speed bumps and potholes. Unsurprisingly, the motorsport concept’s enormous rear wing has also been ditched.
That said, the new UrbanRebel still has a full-width rear light bar with an illuminated Cupra logo, a split roof spoiler, chiselled body lines, short overhangs at the front and back, the brand’s signature copper accents and an aggressive front end design that picks up where the Cupra Born left off. Compared to the rounded design language Volkswagen will employ for its entry-level EVs, the Cupra is set to be more athletic-looking.
According to Cupra sources, the UrbanRebel concept’s looks are roughly 95% representative of the eventual production car, with a few tweaks to the door handles and mirrors expected. We also expect there to be some other minor changes made to the car before it enters production in three years’ time.
The cabin in particular is likely to be different in the roadgoing model, as the concept’s futuristic cockpit features Gameboy-esque controls on the steering wheel, a total of three screens for the driver and an ultra-thin central infotainment touchscreen. The production car could still get a ‘floating’ centre console, bucket seats, recycled materials and touch-sensitive operation of the climate control as seen here, but we’ll have to wait until the 2025 launch to know for sure.
According to Cupra boss, Wayne Griffiths, while the production car’s interior will be different, it’ll retain the concept’s sporty focus. “Everything will be orientated around the driver – we don’t do big screens for passengers, the big screen is for the driver and the whole console and experience should be orientated towards the driver,” he said. “We’ll do all the autonomous and safety assistance features that people want, but you should always be able to switch it off to have some fun.”
Under the metal, the UrbanRebel sits on a new platform called ‘Small MEB’ that'll also underpin Skoda's entry-level EV plus Volkswagen’s Polo-sized ID.1 and a VW crossover called the ID.2.
In the concept car, a single electric motor drives the front wheels only and produces 231bhp, which is enough for a 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds. A range of up to 273 miles on a charge is claimed, however figures for the production versions could well be more modest in order to keep the price low.
The UrbanRebel concept measures 4,036mm nose-to-tail, with a wheelbase of exactly 2.6 metres, and is just 1,975mm wide. For context, that’s about the same width and length as a Peugeot e-208 or Vauxhall Corsa-e, but the Cupra is slightly taller, at 1,576mm. The much longer wheelbase should also help maximise cabin space, although no passenger or luggage space figures have been disclosed as of yet.
The Cupra UrbanRebel will be built at the brand’s Martorell factory in Spain, alongside its sister models from Skoda and Volkswagen. Griffiths previously hinted that the entry-level EV would cost just over €20,000 (around £17,000 at today’s exchange rate) when it goes on sale in 2025 – slightly higher than the ID.1 and ID.2’s expected price tags.
Potential rivals for the Cupra UrbanRebel include other compact EVs like the Smart #1, electric Renault 5 hatchback and Renault 4 crossover, the new MINI Electric debuting in 2023 and the fully electric crossover that MINI is set to launch later this year. The Fisker PEAR has also been teased with a sub-£25,000 price tag, however, that car will be much larger than the UrbanRebel – roughly the same size as the Kia Sportage.
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