Born to be wild – how CUPRA has cracked the EV market


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Andy Pyle, content manager at pbmedia, attempts to tame the all-electric Cupra Born EV from Vospers Plymouth.

CUPRA might seem like the new kid on the motoring marques block.

Its badge has only been around since 2018, but that doesn’t mean SEAT’s sportier sibling doesn’t have pedigree.

The name CUPRA comes from mixing the words ‘Cup and Racing’ – a nod to the brand’s decorated rallying past.

CUPRA’s debut actually came back in 1996 with the launch of the SEAT Ibiza GTI Cupra Sport 16v.

In the years that followed, CUPRA stamped its mark on several popular SEAT models including the Leon and Ateca.

That led to CUPRA replacing SEAT Sport as the brand’s leading independent high-performance badge.

CUPRA has built a reputation for creating powerful cars, but it was only a matter of time before they moved into the electric market.

The result is the Born EV. 


What does the CUPRA Born EV look like?

The all-electric CUPRA Born is based on its cousin, the Volkswagen ID.3. We tested that in a previous edition of Profile and loved its fast throttle and smart tech.

Born EV takes that a step further with more aggressive lines, a meaner grill, and a darker, sportier interior.

Outside you’ll find, as standard, 18-inch ‘Cyclone’ alloy wheels, and LED headlights and taillights.

Inside is a 12-inch navigation system, a 5.3-inch digital cockpit, wireless full link smartphone integration, front sport bucket seats in ‘Black SEAQUAL’ yarn, a rearview camera, and adaptive cruise control.

The V2 model I tested had plenty of upgrades such as 19-inch ‘Typhoon’ alloys and multi-coloured ambient lighting. It also had a wireless charging pad in the centre console and multiple USB-C ports for devices.

I also liked the Copper interior detailing around the cabin which gave it a more sporty feel.


What is the CUPRA Born EV like to drive?

As you’d expect, the Cupra Born EV has much the same performance and range as the ID.3.

Having said that, the Born EV feels quick, really quick. Push your foot to the floor and there’s not a lot that’s going to beat you away from the traffic lights.

It’s available in the UK with two power outputs (204PS and 230PS) and two battery pack options (58kWh and 77kWh), delivering up to 264 and 340 miles (WLTP) of range respectively.

The 58KWH E-Boost model I drove had a 0-62mph time of around 6.6 seconds and even had a head-up display with speed and speed limit notifications.

It’s also extremely smooth, especially over the many speed bumps and potholes around Plymouth.

And because most of us are spending more and more time sitting in traffic, it’s nice to do so with no engine noise.

Switch to ‘B mode’ and you’ll activate the regenerative braking system. This means when you take your foot off the accelerator, the car will automatically brake for you.

Even in drive mode, when you lift off the accelerator the Born EV will automatically slow you down to match the speed limit in that area.


Why should you buy the CUPRA Born EV?

The Born EV has been a huge hit since its launch, with more than 31,000 sold in 2022 alone.

Once a niche marque, CUPRA’s bold styling has made it one of the most popular choices for UK customers.

It’s done that by offering plenty of tech, being fantastic to drive, and it certainly stands out in an ever-increasing and competitive world of ‘hot’ electric hatches.

That popularity is even more evident when you look at its growing list of accolades. 

Best Electric Hot Hatchback at the DrivingElectric Awards 2023. Company Car & Van Medium Electric Car of the Year 2023. Best Electric Car under £40,000 at Business Car Awards 2022. Best Electric Family Car at What Car? Electric Car Awards 2022…

You name it, the Born has won it. And it’s certainly not hard to see why.

Discover more about the Born EV and the rest of the CUPRA range on the Vospers website here.


Model: CUPRA Born EV V2 58KWH E-Boost

Colour: Aurora Blue

Price: From £40,045 otr

0-62mph: 6.6 seconds

CO2 emissions: 0 g/km

Electric range: 215 miles

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