Cupra Born

The Spanish startup has its sights set on success with its new EV. By John Challen


Cupra Born

The Spanish startup has its sights set on success with its new EV. By John Challen

The shift to electric vehicles doesn’t just mean a new power source for manufacturers to contend with – in many cases there are brand-new companies to promote. It’s fascinating to think that, in the not-too-distant future, the likes of Cupra and Polestar could become the household names that their sister companies are today.

In the case of Cupra, it has been a more gradual shift to its first EV, the Born. The company has stayed close to its SEAT roots, with the likes of the Cupra-branded Ateca, Leon and Leon Estate. However with the Formentor and now the Born, it has standalone models and with the latter being Cupra’s first EV, the strategy is becoming clearer.

In 2021, the company sold 7,600 cars in the UK and this year that figure is set to double – supply permitting. Indeed, Born is expected to register three times the anticipated new customer orders at launch. Developed on Volkswagen’s well-used – and much loved – MEB platform, the Born is rear-wheel drive, helping to push the fun and entertaining envelopes.

Suspension has been lowered compared to other cars built on the platform – such as the Volkswagen ID. 3 – by 15mm at the front and 10mm at the rear. Meanwhile, tyre offerings are upgraded with the option of larger versions with more lateral grip.

Born is powered by what Cupra is calling “one of the most advanced electrified powertrains” ever engineered. There are four battery options, bringing ranging from 150hp to “up to” 232hp. Kicking off the range is the 150hp Born, which has a 45kWh battery and offers 310Nm of torque. The theoretical driving range (WLTP) is 211 miles and drivers can reach 62mph from a standstill in just under nine seconds. Moving on, there’s the most sensible fleet choice in the form of the 204hp, 310Nm model. The 58kW battery enables a driving range of 260 miles and a 7.3-second zero to 62mph time.

The two other models in the range get an ‘e-Boost’ tag, which brings a third battery size (77kW) into the equation. Still topping out at 310Nm of torque – and with a zero to 62mph time of 7.0 seconds – that range-topping model enables a potential driving range of 335 miles.

Sitting below the e-Boost model is a 58kW version that offers a range of 260 miles, but a faster (6.6 seconds) zero to 62mph time.

In Borns that are powered by the 58kW or 77kW battery, drivers using a 125kW charger potentially add 62 miles of range in seven minutes. As a result, charging from 5% to 80% takes just 35 minutes.

The new model ticks some impressive sustainability boxes for Cupra, with the car being delivered “net CO2 neutral”. Essentially, energy from renewable sources is used in the supply chain and the remaining emissions are offset by “environmental and project investments”, says the manufacturer. Meanwhile, the central section of the front seats is made from a yarn created from upcycled marine plastics. A second recycled material is used (as an option in certain models) on the door pillars and upholstery.

Which model is right for you?

There is plenty of choice when it comes to the Cupra Born. Four battery options, three trim levels and six colours await those in the market for one of the electric Cupras.

The base model – V1 – cars offer a decent spec, such as a 12-inch infotainment system, multi-function heated steering wheel predictive adaptive cruise control and rain sensing wipers as standard. Go up a grade to V2 and it adds tinted rear windows – if they’re your thing – heated front seats and that impressive augmented reality head-up display. The range-topping V3 gets you all of that – plus more – with 20-inch wheels, bucket seats that offer 12-way adjustability and a massaging function.





Cupra Born


On the road, the Born lives up to its billing as being fun to drive – comfortable, decent performance and does more than enough to stand apart from its Volkswagen stablemate. It does, however, retain the frustrating touchscreen-heavy – and buttonless – infotainment system. And, on our test car, the buttons that were available on the steering wheel only worked intermittently. On the flipside, one impressive addition is the augmented reality head-up display system, which makes following directions almost dummy-proof!

With two more new models already confirmed for near future, these are promising times for Cupra – with Born being a decent start to the brand’s EV offerings.


WHAT IS IT? Hatchback

HOW MUCH? from £34,715

HOW FAR? 211-335 miles

HOW LONG TO CHARGE? 5-80% 35 minutes (120kW DC rapid charger)

Key fleet model Born 150kW

👍 performance, AI head-up display

👎 frustrating infotainment system; rear seat space

7-word summary A Volkswagen ID.3 with added Spanish flair

Also consider Volkswagen ID.3, Peugeot e-208, Mini Electric

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