NEW – This concept announces a “zero emission” city car in 2025 within the new coat of arms of the Seat brand.
The Urban Rebel sports prototype presented at the Munich Motor Show in September 2021 is being extended with its road version prefiguring an electric city car launched in 2025. This new version of the Urban Rebel was unveiled during a strategy presentation seminar Cupra for years to come. Launched under the presidency of Luca de Meo with a view to increasing the selling price of vehicles, this new brand could well become one of the best assets of the Volkswagen group.
Most of Seat’s electric offensive will be based on this new coat of arms symbolized by an inverted and virile copper-colored triangle. By 2025, Cupra will launch the Terramar, the Tavascan and the Urban Rebel. The latter, based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB Small platform, measures 4.03 m. Its very elaborate and very dynamic lines are an extension of the sporting positioning of the Cupra firm. The hollow sides and the side rib which starts from the wheel arch and goes up to the rear window represent the main originalities of this design. The SUV influence shows through the high beltline and raised ground clearance.
Unlike the first Urban Rebel concept which had two electric motors, the road version is content with a single machine installed under the front hood. It delivers a power of 166 kW (225 hp), which can be considered largely sufficient for a car dedicated mainly to urban and suburban use. At this stage, the battery capacity has not been revealed but the manufacturer announces a range of around 440 km. It is already established that the MEB Small platform will give rise to other city cars within the other general brands of the Volkswagen group.
TEST – The first “zero emission” vehicle from the young Spanish brand in the Volkswagen galaxy, the Born comes in the form of a dressed up and spiced up ID.3.
The Born? It proceeds from the cross-badging method used by automotive groups and which consists of marketing the same model, with some differences, under several brands. This is how the ID.3, Volkswagen’s electric compact, was born at Cuprade la Born. Cupra? Emanating from Seat, this young brand – abbreviation of Cup and Racing – symbolized by an inverted and virile copper-colored triangle aims to market vehicles with a sporty sound and high technological content. Based on the modular MEB platform developed by Volkswagen for most of its electric models, the Born differs from the ID.3 with more aggressive shields, tapered headlamps and redesigned side sills.
A new kind of sport
The sportiness of the Born is also expressed through a VZ version with a chassis lowered by 15 mm at the front and 10 mm at the rear. This adjustment serves an electric motor delivering up to 230 hp (+ 26 hp) for 30 s, provided a kick-down is triggered or Cupra mode is activated and the battery is more than 80% charged. In use, the difference is not obvious, but the Born VZ reaches 100 km/h in 6.6 s, 0.6 s less than the basic version. It adds superior agility stemming from the ability to partially or fully disable the Electronic Stability Control (ESC). As for autonomy, the sinews of battery electric vehicles, it varies according to driving style. Our vehicle’s computer indicated 238 km for 96% battery (58 kWh). Far from the 414 km announced by the manufacturer. The Born accepts up to 170 kW of charge on a fast terminal to recover 100 km in 7 min. It will take a little more. The Ionity consortium, of which the Volkswagen group is a part, cannot currently deliver all the power promised.
The brake pedal signaling itself through variations in assistance, the firmness of the suspensions (Cupra mode) and the one-piece bucket seats draped in suede finish paint the portrait of a new kind of sports car.
Motor: Synchronous electric with permanent magnets, 230 hp, 310 Nm
NEWS – Sign of a paradigm shift, six finalists run on electric power. France is represented by two models.
A phenomenon that was still unthinkable a few years ago but which testifies to the paradigm shift that the European Commission wants to impose on us, six of the seven vehicles qualified for the final of the Car of the Year election are electrically powered. As for the seventh, the Peugeot 308, it will be available in a 100% electric version in 2024. In the meantime, the compact Lion sedan produced in Mulhouse is available in thermal (petrol and diesel) and plug-in hybrid versions.
Who will succeed the fourth generation of the Toyota Yaris awarded this year?
»SURVEY – What do you think will be the car of the year 2022?
The 61 European journalists taking part in this election, including a member of the editorial staff of Le Figaro, have, for the 59th selection of this institution that is the Car of the Year (Coty), overwhelmingly gave their votes to electric vehicles. If one of the six EVs in the field wins, it won’t be the first time the Coty has recognized this technology. It was in 2011 that the Coty awarded its trophy, for the first time in its history, to a zero-emission model, the Nissan Leaf. It will take eight years for a second vehicle, which runs on electric power (Jaguar i-Pace), wins the election. For the past two years, the Coty has rewarded vehicles that offer electrified versions – Peugeot 208 and Toyota Yaris. Can history repeat itself in 2022 and once again reward an electric model?
The supreme reward will not escape an electrified vehicle anyway, the Peugeot 308 having in its catalog of plug-in hybrid versions. Usually giving pride of place to city cars, the 2022 selection has only one vehicle in this category, the Cupra Born, the cousin of the Volkswagen ID.3. This is the second time that the young brand from Seat has reached the final of the election. Among the finalists, the Skoda Enyaq is based, like the Born, on the VW group’s MEB platform. Korean brands, who dream of winning the cup, present two vehicles in the final, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. As for Ford, which has not been on the podium since the 2012 Focus, it hopes to chase away bad luck by hoisting the Mustang Mach-E on the top step of the podium, an electric SUV that has no Mustang other than the name.
Unless the surprise comes from the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric which will be launched next year and whose price is already announced around 36,000 euros at the entry level.
The seven finalists will be the subject of a (last) confrontation during the month of February, before the final vote. The results will be delivered on Monday February 28 in Geneva.
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NEW – Derived from the VW ID.3, the Born crossover takes the Spanish manufacturer on the road to electric.
The electric traction chain? This is one of the reasons that led the manufacturer Seat to create the Cupra brand, based on the observation that it would be difficult for it to sell cars over 40,000 euros and nearly 50,000 euros under. his label. After vitaminized versions of the Ateca and Leon, then the new Formentor crossover which has no equivalent in the Seat range, Cupra reveals its first 100% electric vehicle. Born, that’s its name, has a template similar to the Volkswagen ID.3 with which it shares the MEB platform and most of the technical characteristics. It promises. How to differentiate tomorrow all the models of the Volkswagen group which will share the same elements? Apart from brand image, design will be the main source of differentiation. In this little game, the Born is rather successful with a balanced silhouette based on the architecture that makes it possible to overcome overhangs.
With a length of 4.23 m and a width of 1.80 m, the Born rises to 1.53 m, 30 mm more than the ID.3 and 30 mm less than the Formentor. As on the other models of the Cupra brand, there are some touches of copper, its signature color. The very elusive pavilion takes up the codes of a coupe.
Inside, the dashboard is close to that of the Volkswagen ID.3 and it has been put in Cupra sauce. The choice of materials and colors creates a more sporty atmosphere. We thus find the same digital instrument cluster facing the driver but the central infotainment screen benefits from a slightly different ergonomics than that of the VW. Cupra takes care to specify that the bucket seats are covered with a fabric made from recycled marine plastics. This is also the case for suede which is made from recycled materials.
The technology refers to VW. The water-cooled lithium-ion battery is installed in the base. Three models will be offered, corresponding to respective ranges of 315, 420 and 540 km: 45, 58 and 77 kWh. The first powers a 110 kW (150 hp) engine. The 58 kWh accumulators can be combined with 150 or 204 hp engines. In both cases, the electric motor is installed at the rear, making the Born a rear-wheel drive. Anxious to defend a sporting image, Cupra will crown the range with a VZ1 version. The power is increased to 230 horsepower, which allows the Born to reach 100 km / h in 6.6 seconds (with the 77 kWh battery). This model can also be ordered with the 58 kWh battery.
At the risk of repeating itself, the main challenge behind the wheel of these electric vehicles will be to be able to recharge serenely. The Spanish manufacturer ensures that it can recover 100 km every 7 minutes by charging at an intensity of 125 kW on an ultra-fast terminal of the Ionity network. When the battery charge level has dropped to 5%, it will be possible to recover 80% in 35 minutes. The Cupra Born will be marketed in the course of 2021.
TEST – Spearhead of the new Spanish brand, this family model has no equivalent on the market.
It is not his first attempt. Italian Luca de Meo has become a master in brand creation. At Fiat, he relaunched Abarth. At Seat, he transformed the sporting signature Cupra – short for Cup and Racing – into a brand in its own right. And now at Renault, he dreams of Alpine becoming the French Ferrari.
Each time, the strategy stems from the same ambition: to increase the average selling price of the range. With Cupra, symbolized by an inverted and virilized copper-colored triangle, de Meo used great means. Not content with rebadging bewitched Seat models, he has paid for the luxury of developing a vehicle that will not have its equivalent within the parent company. Taking its name from a cape located at the northeastern tip of the island of Mallorca, Formentor does not leave you indifferent. With a few features borrowed from the latest Seat, this vehicle triturates with a certain brilliance the theme of the SUV to deliver a crossover that seems to have flirted with a coupe.
Camped on 19-inch wheels and lowered by 100 mm compared to the Ateca, the Formentor is more like the enhanced sport sedan – barely 60 mm higher than the Leon – than the leisure vehicle that the ecologists want to remove from the landscape. And to give shape to the Cupra recipe, this new vehicle first arrives with the 4-cylinder 2-liter TFSI 310 horsepower that it shares with the Audi S3. Six engines will eventually be added to cover a multitude of needs: gasoline, diesel and plug-in hybrid, from 150 to 245 horsepower.
When the doors open, the Formentor reminds us of its origins. Economy of scale requires, despite air vents and upholstery stitching highlighted in copper, the Cupra logo in the center of the steering wheel, a multimedia system based on a maxi-format touch screen (12 inches) and full bucket seats ( + € 1,500 in petroleum blue leather), the dashboard refers to the latest Leon. With its good and bad sides. Navigating the screen menus is so risky that we regret the removal of all the buttons, especially those for the air conditioning. The presence of plastic, especially in the lower parts, testifies to the desire to tighten prices. Honor is safe. As with Ferrari, the starter button is on the steering wheel and the customizable digital instrumentation regales the driver by showing a huge tachometer in the center of the screen, the torque and power used in real time and the Gs undergone at acceleration.
From the Leon and the VW Golf 8 with which it shares the MQB Evo platform, the Formentor inherits the latest technologies in terms of comfort and safety. Well seen: the main ones are standard. This is the case of the hands-free opening, including the rear hatch which lifts by passing the foot under the bumper, the reversing camera, smartphone charging by induction, adaptive cruise control, reading signs, automatic braking, lane keeping and blind spot monitoring. The Formentor does not forget that it remains a family vehicle. The rear space is generous both in length to the knees and to the headroom and the trunk offers a satisfactory capacity of 420 liters.
From the first kilometers, the Formentor VZ 310 delivers sensations quite similar to an Audi S3, apart from a raised driving position. Combined with a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 2-liter turbo is distinguished by its smoothness and flexibility. The acceleration is similar to that of a GT – 100 km / h is reached in 4.9 seconds – and the pick-ups, assisted by a comfortable torque of 400 Nm, are always vigorous. After dropping the kids off at school, enjoying the engine temperament on a twisty road is hardly a punishment. This crossover turns flat and connects the curves with great confidence. The all-wheel drive contributes to this, allowing perfect traction, especially in the rain. Steering wheel-operated Cupra mode, the steering, suspension, gearbox and engine adopt sporty settings. The sensitive vertebrae will appreciate the controlled damping which varies, it is undoubtedly exaggerated, the firmness on 15 levels! To take full advantage of the temperament of this crossover, we recommend upgrading the equipment with Brembo brakes (+ € 2,250) including large diameter front discs (370 mm) and 4-piston calipers.
Launching a new brand is always a risk. In the case of Cupra, it is calculated. The new Spanish brand can draw on the technology and know-how of the VW group. With the Formentor, Cupra is not far from having achieved a masterstroke. It enters a booming SUV market with successful dynamic styling, family versatility and a price / performance ratio unmatched on the market. There remains a black point: this crossover is penalized by a penalty of 7,851 euros.
Under the double influence of the rebirth of old brands and the emergence of new ones, the automotive landscape is in upheaval.
The automobile is experiencing a new lease of life. Without going back to the time of its genesis, at the beginning of the last century, when the embryonic market counted several hundred manufacturers, the automobile has more and more brands. The proof that, despite the crises which follow one another, the rolling thing remains an object of the present and the future. In recent years, the market has welcomed more new logos than it has lost. If some are reminiscences of the past, others are creations ex nihilo. In any case, you will have to familiarize yourself with these newcomers who bloom like mushrooms. Their emergence responds to different logics that could be divided into three categories.
The first concerns the resurgence of deities from the past. This is the case with Bugatti. Resuscitated, for the first time, at the dawn of the 1990s, by Romano Artioli and Jean-Marc Borel, the Alsatian brand was saved a second time from sinking in the summer of 1998 by the omnipotent boss of the group
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NEWS – Cupra, the sports model brand of the Spanish Seat, has won the tender to equip the intervention brigades of the National Gendarmerie.
It’s time for the Renault Megane RS to retire. In service since the end of 2011, the French sedans will soon give way, in part, to the Leon Cupra. The Spanish manufacturer won the call for tenders launched by the National Gendarmerie in 2019 for a period of four years. By the end of the year, Cupra, Seat’s performance and sports model brand, will deliver, by the end of 2020, 17 Leon Cupra to the Rapid Intervention Brigades of the National Gendarmerie. When he crosses these vehicles on our highways, Luca de Meo, the former boss of Seat who has become the boss of Renault, will no doubt smile. Without slipping into chauvinism at all costs, will the National Gendarmerie be able to unveil the criteria that decided it to choose a Spanish model rather than a French car?
Renault nevertheless continues to offer the Mégane RS in the catalog. With a power of 300 hp, it displays performance similar to the Cupra. The Spanish model is powered by a 290 hp 4-cylinder 2 turbo, reaching 100 km / h in 6 seconds and the maximum speed of 250 km / h. After investigation, it seems that the level of CO emissions2 is one of the main reasons for excluding the Mégane. Indeed, according to the WLTP standard, the French sedan rejects 184 g / km of CO2 while the Spanish sedan is satisfied with 146 g / km. The difference in penalties to be paid is enormous: 230 euros for the Leon against 5,404 euros for the Mégane. When we know that the Spanish brand won the call for tenders for 4 years and that gradually the entire fleet of the BRI will be changed, we can understand the arbitrations made.
To meet the BRI’s missions, the Leon Cupra were prepared by the bodybuilder Gruau. In addition to the “Gendarmerie” silkscreen printing, the Spanish sedans have received internal and external communication equipment, sound and light signals, reinforcement of the windows and the rear screen. The rear shelf is also equipped with a light panel allowing the dissemination of messages. The gendarmes thus have a panoply of 40 programmable messages in 6 languages (French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish) and allowing the arrest of offenders.
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