New CUPRA BORN e-BOOST Gives You More.
New CUPRA BORN e-BOOST Gives You More.
Spanish brand CUPRA (part of the Volkswagen Group) appropriately named their very first pure-electric production car ‘Born’. This stylish rear-wheel drive hatchback is a sister model of the Volkswagen ID.3, and it has elevated the CUPRA brand to the next level in terms of desirability. The CUPRA brand was formed as a development of the original ‘SEAT Sport’ moniker, and is an amalgamation of Cup and Racing. Originally, these were sporty variants of SEAT models, but today SEAT is a company with two clearly defined brands with separate vehicle line-ups. CUPRA is an unconventional and emotionally-charged brand, which is defined by the progressive design and performance of its electric models, and the new Born joins the Leon, Ateca and Formentor in CUPRA’s European model range.
Proven Electrified Platform.
Under the sporty-looking bodywork of the CUPRA Born is the same MEB platform that serves as the basis for the VW ID.3 and ID.4, the Škoda Enyaq iV and the Audi Q4 e-tron. What separates the CUPRA Born from its VW Group relatives is the cars standard Dynamic Chassis Control: a platform which sits 15mm lower at the front axle and 10mm lower at the rear axle, along with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with its own unique application which allows more cross-axle slip than other VW Group models. The Born also has the same range of battery sizes as the ID.3: with 58kWh or 77kWh capacities available. For now, all CUPRA Born variants send power to their rear wheels, but it is likely that CUPRA will launch an all-wheel drive Born that will use the same powertrain as its Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.5 GTX relatives. The Born is marketed in Ireland under the following model descriptions: Born 204hp 58kWh, Born e-Boost 231hp 58kWh, Born e-Boost 231hp (4 seat) 77kWh, and Born e-Boost 231hp (5 seat) 77kWh. Battery range is between 417km and 548km, depending on the model chosen.
Cabin & Boot.
The modern and spacious interior of the Born has some interesting design touches and materials, with copper trim details adding a dash of sportiness to the cabin, in a similar fashion to the exterior copper trim found on the front, rear and centre wheel caps of the car. An unconventional feature, shared with the VW ID.3, is having just two buttons for the four electric windows, with a third button to switch the controls between the front and rear windows. The well-designed boot in the Born measures in at a respectable 385-litres behind the rear seats, and there is even a small space under the floor at the back of the boot where you can stow the charging cable out of harm’s way.
Test Car Details.
My test car was a CUPRA Born e-BOOST 231hp 58kWh which looked striking in its Quasar Grey metallic paintwork with optional 20” Firestorm aero alloy wheels. Key standard features include dark tinted windows, full LED lights with ceremony & adverse weather function, sports suspension, CUPRA Drive Profile (including a steering wheel-mounted e-Boost button), CUPRA Bucket Seats with SEQUAL Yarn, heated front seats and steering wheel, 12” touchscreen with navigation and voice control, 5.3” Digital Cockpit, top view camera, front & rear parking sensors, advanced keyless entry & start, adaptive cruise control with follow-to-stop function, Light Assist (Auto Highbeam), and wireless charging, along with Traffic Sign Assist, Trained Park Assist, Intelligent Park Assist, Travel Assist 2.5, Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Change System and Exit Warning. In addition to the optional alloy wheels and metallic paint mentioned above, my test car was also fitted with an optional Beats Audio System, and a panoramic roof. An official battery range of up to 417km is impressive, and with a quoted battery consumption of 15.3 – 17.3kWh, it is quite possible that many owners will only have to charge their car once or twice a week. The car can be fully charged (0-100%) via a wallbox charger (11kW) in just over 6 hours, but a 10-80% charge from a DC 120kW fast-charge public station can be completed in as little as 35 minutes.
On The Road.
The permanent magnet synchronous electric motor in the CUPRA Born e-Boost 231hp 58kWh variant produces a hefty 310Nm of torque for instant acceleration right from the get-go, and this results in a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 6.6-seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 160km/h (where permitted). The Born’s quicker ‘progressive’ steering rack than the ID.3, along with its lowered suspension, ensure that power is applied to the road in a sure-footed, safe and predictable manner. The standard e-Boost drive mode enables the driver to tap into the maximum power available, and drivers can also choose between Range, Comfort, Performance and Individual drive modes to match their driving style or road conditions . The gear selector is located on the right-hand side of the driver’s instrument display (similar to the VW ID.3) and this can take some getting used to, but gets easier with practice. As well as ‘D’, there is a ‘B’ setting for increased levels of brake regeneration, along with Reverse (R) and Parking Brake (P) functions too. A well-judged suspension set-up provides the car with an excellent ride quality, with only the most severe potholes and bumps transferring the impacts through the car. The combination of a low centre of gravity and rear-wheel drive provides the Born with excellent handling characteristics, while the car feels agile and refined at motorway speeds.
Verdict and Pricing.
The CUPRA Born e-Boost is rewarding driver’s car that looks and feels sporty, with a comfortable, high quality and tech-laden cabin that is deceptively spacious. Pricing starts at €43,735 for the Born 204hp 58kWh version, and from €49,385 for the e-Boost variant tested – inclusive of VRT relief, an SEAI Grant, dealer-related costs and a CUPRA Care Pack that includes the replacement of brake fluid, pollen filter, front brake pads, front & rear wipers and 4 tyres). The CUPRA Born is an excellent all-round fully-electric family car that is highly commendable and truly desirable.