Written by Theo Koenig - October 27, 2020
Edited by Asaf Kedem
After receiving an incredibly positive reaction at the Geneva Motor show last year, Cupra went ahead and announced the production version of the el-Born in June of this year. Now the car, wrapped in cameo disguise, is being spotted running tests along the Nurburgring in Germany. Despite the fact that Cupra has remained extremely tight-lipped regarding the specifics, we hope that it is a sign that things are materializing for the upcoming launch in 2021.
For those who are unfamiliar, Cupra is the high-performance brand of SEAT, which is itself a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group and up until 2018, Cupra was known as SEAT Sport. Headquartered in Barcelona, Cupra still build for and participate in several current racing events. It is worth mentioning that the recently presented, 100% electric Cupra E-Racer, is a truly impressive machine, however, it is not related in any way to the el-Born.
The el-Born, Cupra’s first all-electric commercial vehicle, will be able to hit 0-50km/h in 2.9s and travel up to 500km on a single charge. It will feature a 77kwh battery and include fast-charging capabilities, with 30 minutes of charging translating into 260km of distance (although the chargers required for this were not specified). What we further know is that the el-Born will be powered with the MEB (Modular E-Antriebs Baukasten) electric chassis that is also used by VW vehicles such as those in the ID family. Production will take place at the VW Zwickenau Plant in Germany, and according to rumors, will begin in Quarter 4 of 2021. The bad news for our non-European readers is that the el-Born has so far only been announced for Europe.
At first glance, the Cupra el-Born looks like a blend between a VW ID.3 and a Peugeot 207. The angled front lights, the distinctive aerodynamic lines along the side, and the intricate design of the hubcaps all emit the emblematic features of a sports car. Cupra’s experience with racing vehicles has clearly also influenced the interior design. From the “bucket seats” to the steering wheel, and even the inclusion of a heads-up display (transparent display that presents information to the driver within line of sight of the road), the interior is meant to feel like that of a high-performance vehicle. That being said, by maintaining a rather minimalistic design, along with the expensive materials and the black, blue and gold color-scheme, the the el-Born retains an undeniably luxurious appearance.
Auto Trendy's take:
First thing to address is the fact that the el-Born is designed to resemble an aggressive, luxurious ID.3. It is interesting to note that SEAT had previously also announced an el-Born concept vehicle, before all designs were shifted over to the Cupra brand. If the el-Born is anything to go by, then it appears that Cupra will take over the sportier-designed vehicles in the VW Group. Not only would this allow the VW family to cover the market using different brands and price points, but it also offers the financial advantages of sharing parts and production sites.
The lack of details aside, aesthetically-speaking, the el-Born is a magnificent car. Both the interior and the exterior seem to really complement each other. The market for affordable but sporty electric vehicles is quite sparse, so it remains to be seen whether the demand is truly present. This will not deter SEAT-Cupra, however, who have together announced 5 new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to be launched throughout 2021. This is the latest example of how the VW Groups’ transition towards electrification is taking place company-wide. VW’s image of the future is electric, and they will waste no time in making sure they are at the heart of it.