Cupra, the Spanish high performance brand now owned by VW, has launched its first ground-up electric car into the Australian market – part of its plans to sell electric vehicles only by 2030.
The Cupra Born is also the first EV in Australia with 500km of range with a price starting with a five in front of it, and it seemed strangely appropriate that the media test drives for such a landmark car should take place in the heart of Australia’s brown coal country, in Gippsland Victoria.
The test drive was held at a track in town of Yallourn in Gippsland, best known for its big brown coal power plants and their chimney stacks.
The Yallourn coal generator is due to close in 2028, and the other brown coal generators at Loy Yang will probably be gone a few years later. Many hope that Australia’s car fleet can experience just a rapid transition, and EVs like the Cupra Born will play a key role in how consumers respond to the challenge.
The key statistics with any EV is its range, acceleration and price.
The Cupra Born delivers around 500km of range from its 82 kWh battery pack, and delivers acceleration of around 7 seconds to get from 0-100km/h – slower than a Model Y but fast than a VW ID.4.
Prices start at $59,990 before on-roads, so in that sense this electric hatchback is a bit of a game changer given the range that it delivers. Lower priced EVs in Australia have much shorter ranges.
It means that in various states and territories, the Cupra Born will also be eligible for state rebates of up to $3,000, as well as stamp duty exemptions that deliver a benefit nearly that much. with some up to $3,000 on cars under $68,000
The first batch is expected to arrive in March/April 2023.
Cupra has its roots in a name that may be more familiar with readers, SEAT. It’s the high performance brand and with such brands how it looks from the outside is just as important as to how performs within.
And before getting into the Born, I was impressed with its looks.
It has aggressive front and rear styling, which is reminiscent of some European sports cars.
Inside, the steering and the instrument cluster highlight the minimalist design language with many golden accents, which is what one of the newest car companies in Australia is known for.
The seats felt comfortable and the steering wheel offered a good grip. The sports pedals highlighted the sportiness that Cupra is aiming to deliver.
Test driving the Cupra Born on the track matched the styling. The steering is sharp around corners and connects well with the road. The suspension also was sporty but not an uncomfortable ride.
The clean small trip screen behind the wheel was not distracting at all when concentrating on the road and offered speed and drive information in a minimalistic way.
We had five laps of the track and it was a fun ride. I was quite impressed with the fit and finish of the product. It’s in a segment of its own and shows that the future of “hot hatches” in Australia might not be with ICE vehicles after all, but with new electrics like this Cupra born.
The pricing and specifications are listed below.
CUPRA Born Pricing
$59,990 plus on-road costs
- ACT – $61,990 drive-away
- NSW – $62,490 drive-away
- QLD – $63,490 drive-away
- VIC – $64,990 drive-away
- SA – $64,490 drive-away
- TAS – $66,490 drive-away
Full Cupra Born Specs
- 82kWh battery (77kWh useable), with 170kW eBoost, 310Nm
- 511km Range (WLTP).
- AC: up to 11kW
- DC: up to 170kW Fast Charging
- Node 3 (32A) Cable
- Netallic Paint (Glacial White, Geyser Silver, Quasar Grey, Rayleigh Red) or Standard Paint (Vapor Grey)
- 385L boot volume
- 19″ Black and Copper Typhoon Alloy wheels
- Tyre Pressure Warning System
- 7 Airbags (Front, Side, Curtain, Centre)
- Heated power folding mirrors
- LED Headlamps
- Front Fog Lights integrated into headlamps
- LED Tail lights
- Dusk sensing lights
- Light Assist (Auto High Beam)
- Rear tinted windows
- Rear Roof Spoiler
- 5.3″ Digital Cockpit
- 12″ Infotainment System with DAB+
- Wireless Phone Charging
- Apple Carplay and Android Auto (wired)
- 2 Front and 2 Rear USB-C ports
- Leather heated multifunction steering wheel and Satellite buttons
- Ambient interior lighting
- SEAQUAL front bucket seats
- Floor mats
- Driving profile selection
- Sports Suspension
- Progressive Steering
- Keyless entry and start
- Alarm System
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Dual zone climate control
- Aluminium Pedals
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Front Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection
- Lane Assist
- Park Assist
- Side Assist with Rear Traffic Alert and Exit Warning
- Driver Fatigue Monitor
- Pre-Crash Assist
- Rain sensing wipers
- Top View Camera (360 Camera)
Riz is the founder of carloop based in Melbourne, specialising in Australian EV data and trends. He is a mechanical engineer who spent the first 7 years of his career building transport infrastructure before starting carloop. He has a passion for cars, particularly EVs and wants to help reduce transport emissions in Australia. He currently drives a red Tesla Model 3.