In Berlin, Seat’s sporty daughter Cupra has unveiled the Tavascan, its first all-electric SUV coupe, and its second BEV model. Based on the Volkswagen Group MEB platform, the Cupra Tavascan will launch in 2024 and will be available with either 210 or 250 kW, the latter being the highest power yet for the platform.
Two power versions and the most powerful version has a two-motor all-wheel drive. Previously, the all-wheel drive models based on the MEB platform were available with 190 or 220 kW. Cupra did not explicitly confirm this, but the increased system power is probably due to the new drive unit on the rear axle.
New generation motor
Until now, that electric motor (in the Cupra Born, for example) produced 150 kW. However, the new generation APP550, first introduced in the VW ID.7, has an output of 210 kW. And that is exactly the power that Cupra specifies for the Tavascan with rear-wheel drive.
The top range of 250 kW output includes the additional drive unit on the front axle. The front motor (still an asynchronous motor) has an output of up to 80 kW, but the battery limits the system output. Since the Volkswagen ID.7 is not (yet?) available as an all-wheel drive model, the Cupra Tavascan is currently the most powerful MEB model.
While the rear electric motor is new, with more power, and better efficiency compared to other SUV coupes based on the MEB platform, such as the VW ID.5, Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback, or Skoda Enyaq iV Coupe, the battery is the same.
Familiar battery pack
Of the 87 kWh installed, 77 kWh can be used as net energy content. That gives the Cupra Tavascan with rear-wheel drive a range of 549 kilometers, according to WLTP (benefitting from the higher efficiency of the new APP550 drive).
The all-wheel drive should still be able to complete 517 kilometers on one charge. By comparison, the 150 kW rear-wheel drive ID.5 offers 534 kilometers, while the 220 kW ID.5 GTX is said to have a range of 520 kilometers.
The maximum charging power is 135 kW. The battery can thus be charged from 10 to 80% in “just under half an hour,” promises the press release. AC charging is not mentioned in the announcement, but anything other than the familiar 11 kW onboard charger of the already-known MEB models would be a surprise.
Further ID.7 Inspiration
The interior also has similarities to the ID.7, although the overall atmosphere and trim is much sportier. But the infotainment touchscreen measures 15 inches diagonally, “the largest so far in a CUPRA model.” and the same as in a Volkswagen ID.7. The current MEB models have to make do with ten- or twelve-inch screens. The infotainment system’s revised menu navigation also originates from the ID.7.
“Back when we presented the Tavascan concept at the IAA in Frankfurt 2019, it was our dream car – a manifesto for everything we wanted Cupra to become,” said Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths. “Since then, we’ve kept believing that if we dream it, we can create it. Well, today, that dream comes true.”
“Today is all about Cupra’s passion for transforming dreams into a reality,” Griffiths added. “Cupra is still a young brand. And yet, in just five years, we have hit one record after another at a remarkable pace, thanks to our drive and determination. Since the launch of the brand, Cupra has sold over 300 000 cars and is the fastest-growing brand in Europe. The brand achieved record sales in Q1 2023 with over 46 500 units, driving the profitability of SEAT”.
The Cupra Tavascan will be manufactured at Volkswagen Group’s Anhui plant in China for global markets. The company hopes to sell more than 70 000 vehicles per year of it, starting in 2024.
The ‘Exponential Impulse’ event in Berlin was also the platform chosen to unveil the Cupra DarkRebel, “a fully virtual sports car with unfiltered Cupra DNA”.
“The Cupra DarkRebel brings Cupra’s DNA to the maximum without any boundaries. It is not a prediction but rather a provocation, showing that design is a dialogue, not a process, the ultimate interpretation of our vision,” says the press release. The virtual car concept is defined by sharp lines and the proportion of a sports car combined with a shooting break architecture.
That’s why Cupra has created a Hyper Configurator, where the Cupra followers can push their creativity. This Hyper Configurator enables them to create their very own versions of the show car and influence the final design of a physical model that will be presented in the near future.
“We have created an entirely new way of collaborating and developing the future of our sports cars,” said Jorge Diez, Director of Design for Cupra. “We are inviting everyone to create their own version of the DarkRebel and influence the final design of the car. It is entirely Cupra style, a complete challenge of the norm.”
The DarkRebel can be configured through the Metahype, the brand’s space in the metaverse, or via the website www.cupraofficial.com.
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