2022 Cupra Born electric car: pictures, specs, details and release date

Cupra's electric hatchback – a sister model to Volkswagen's ID.3 – will be capable of 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds and goes on sale in early 2022

Cupra has fully unveiled its first fully electric car: the Born. This rear-wheel-drive hatchback is a sister model of the Volkswagen ID.3, capable of 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds and will arrive in the UK in early 2022. The fastest-accelerating Born features a 228bhp electric motor, while other variants will produce either 148 or 201bhp; every model has the same 310Nm maximum torque figure.

Under the sporty-looking bodywork is the same MEB platform that serves as the basis for the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4, the Skoda Enyaq iV and the Audi Q4 e-tron. The Born also has the same range of battery sizes as the ID.3, being available with either a 45, 58 or 77kWh unit.

Cupra Borns equipped with the 77kWh battery will have a maximum driving range of 335 miles and can be recharged at speeds up to 125kW. So if you find a fast enough public DC rapid charger, you can add 62 miles of range in only seven minutes. We expect the entry-level Born will be capable of charging up to 50kW, like the entry-level ID.3 model.

In addition to the launch models, we also know that Cupra is interested in developing an even faster, all-wheel Born variant. We expect this version of the Cupra Born will use the same powertrain as the Volkswagen ID.4 GTX and forthcoming ID.3 GTX, which was recently hinted at by Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter in a post on social media.

Exact prices for the Cupra Born range will be announced later this year. It'll be available on a subscription model as well as the usual finance options – similar to the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8.

Cupra Born range, battery, power and performance

The Born will be available in four variants. The entry-level model has a 45kWh battery and produces 148bhp and 310Nm of torque from a single electric motor powering the rear wheels. It'll be capable of 0-62mph acceleration in 8.9 seconds, and a maximum driving range of 211 miles. The next variant features a larger 58kWh battery, plus an electric motor with a total output of 201bhp and 310Nm of torque. Cupra Borns featuring this powertrain will cover 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. 

The fastest-accelerating model in the Born range uses a 228bhp motor combined with a 58kWh battery. This variant is capable of 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds – or 31mph from a standstill in 2.6 seconds – which is quicker than both the Vauxhall Corsa-e and MINI Electric. Both versions of the Born equipped with the 58kWh battery will be capable of 260 miles on a single charge. The final Cupra Born variant uses the same 228bhp electric motor, but paired to the larger 77kWh battery already seen in the long-range variants of the VW ID.3 and VW ID.4. This model has a maximum range of 335 miles.

Certain versions of the Born can charge at up to 125kW, meaning you can add 62 miles of range in under seven minutes if you find a fast enough DC rapid charger. However, we expect the more affordable versions will only be able to charge at 50kW, much like the entry-level Volkswagen ID.3s. Cupra has also made efforts to give the Born a sportier character than the rather sensible ID.3. The Spanish car is available with Dynamic Chassis Control, allowing you to switch between four driving modes: Range, Comfort, Individual and Cupra. 

It also boasts 50:50 weight distribution, speed-sensitive power steering and a regenerative braking mode that's capable of producing 0.3g of braking force. Cupra has emphasised the time it spent refining the feel of the brakes in the Born, particularly when transitioning between regenerative braking and using the brake discs.

However, we expect there will be a ‘hot’ version of the Born released later down the line, likely using the same powertrain as the forthcoming Volkswagen ID.3 GTX electric hot hatch. While neither cars’ specs have been confirmed, the recently revealed ID.X prototype gave us a good idea of what both might be capable of; it featured the same dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup as the ID.4 GTX, with 324bhp and a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds.

Design

The design of the Cupra Born has remained largely unchanged from the original El-Born concept that Cupra's sister brand SEAT unveiled a few years ago. There are a few similarities with the Volkswagen ID.3, particularly in regards to the roofline, C-pillar and the short overhangs at the front and rear.

However, the Cupra is certainly sportier all round, with more aggressive front and rear bumpers. The rear also features a diffuser below the full-width light strip. Cupra’s signature copper accents are also present on the Born in several places, including the front grille, side skirts and even the alloy wheels seen in these first images. 

Interior

Inside, the copper accents continue and the cabin features the same 12-inch infotainment screen as the Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid plug-in SUV. This is standard across the Born range and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher-spec Borns will also come with an augmented reality head-up display – likely similar to the system we’ve tested on a pre-production version of the Audi Q4 e-tron SUV.

The Born’s interior also uses recycled materials, with the centre sections of the seats made from plastics found on beaches and upcycled into yarn. Optional Dinamica microfibre is available for the door panels, along with upholstery that's made from the polyester fibres found in T-shirts and plastic bottles.There are two bucket seats up front, space for three passengers in the rear and a boot capacity of 385 litres.

Price, equipment and on-sale date

Like other models in the Cupra range, the Born comes as standard with lots of safety systems, including pre-crash assistance, predictive adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition. Additional safety features available, likely in the form of equipment packs, include 'Travel Assist' semi-autonomous driving capability, side and exit assistance, a top-view camera and emergency assistance. You’ll also be able to use some of the Born’s functions through the My Cupra smartphone app, including remotely monitoring the rate of charging and checking the amount of charge left in the car, as well as pre-setting the climate control and pre-loading destinations into the sat nav. 

Six paint colours will be available, as well as alloy wheels ranging in diameter from 18 to 20 inches. Normally the Born requires 215mm width tires, but certain alloys can be fitted with 235mm rubber. Prices for the Cupra Born haven't been confirmed yet, but we expect the entry-level model will start at around £40,000. The car will go on sale later this year, with UK deliveries to begin in the early part of 2022.

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