Is this electric car a real old school GTI?

Cupra has become a trademark in its own right, in particular to instill a sporting spirit in cars that have been removed or could have been removed from the Seat catalog. Does El Born illustrate this philosophy well within the Volkswagen Group?

Caution

For obvious safety reasons, we do not recommend that you attempt to push the Cupra Born or any other vehicle to its limits on open roads.

Life is a precious commodity that must be preserved, either for oneself or for others.

As with professional pilots, no driver is immune to the unexpected or an error of judgment. Driving electrically too and above all means inventing another way of driving.

Little history

In 2019, Seat unveiled its el-Born concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show with the aim of making it the second electric car in its 2020 catalog, after the Mii cloned in the Volkswagen e-Up !.

Equipped with a ” sports and emotional drawing “, According to the terms of the annual report of the group chaired by Herbert Diess, elements of ID.3 had to be collected, starting with the famous MEB platform reserved for connected vehicles. Finally, marketing began a year later, under the Cupra logo.

Today, for a common torque of 310 Nm, two engine powers are available: 150 kW (204 hp) for the Born V at our disposal, and 170 kW (230 hp) for the Born VZ. Specifically, these endowments allow to complete the exercise from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.3 and 6.6 s respectively.

They share a battery with a useful energy capacity of 58 kWh (62 kWh in total), for a range in the combined cycle WLTP of between 388 and 417 km, depending on presentation and options. The range is expected to expand in the coming months.


A sporty look?

Does Cupra Born look sporty? Max Freyss was asked this question. He noticed the 20-inch alloy wheels treated in black and rose gold. ” Twenty inches, it’s sporty, and we have pretty thin tires “This print is completed with a fairly low ground clearance, a rounded ceiling and 2 artistic options.

First, on each side, a piece of black plastic with patterns. By enlarging the glass, it provides fluidity. Then the gray side thresholds add dynamism.

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On the front, the optical drives look aggressive. ” They give the vehicle a very nervous shape Says our videographer. The rear bumper with fins completes this range well, as does the intense light strip. Max Freyss prefers the white Nevada (option at 640 euros) of the model we have at our disposal, the blue Aurora (955 euros).

On board

Probably a bit loaded when you’re used to a Tesla Model 3, the Cupra Born’s dashboard happily mixes different materials. There is a gray reminder of the plastic part on the back room panel. The 2 additional tablets are easy to read.

In today’s cars, steering wheels are subject to styles that are not necessarily unanimous in use. This is the case of this electric compact where the protrusions come to frustrate the fineness of the hoop. Bucket seats offer a good balance of support and comfort. They are heated and massage, and are equally appreciated with each of the 4 modes of driving Individual, Performance, Comfort and Range.

It was the latter that Max Freyss initially tried. To promote autonomy, it limits performance, softens the suspensions and moderates the consumption of the heating-air conditioning system.

Take advantage of all the performance

Unlike the range, the performance mode releases the engine. The ride and cushioning of the Cupra Born steering wheel will be reinforced for more precise driving. Our videographer’s preferences go to Gamma and Comfort. ” We really like to ride it. Even in Range mode, it’s hard for us to get out of a roundabout “he says, pointing to the propulsion behavior of the electric compact.

The driving position seems relatively high for a car that has a fairly low ground clearance. Which is significant for dominating the road. However, it is changing to Performance that Max Freyss will drive the Cupra Born. He noticed ” an acceleration from 0 to 80 km / h quite sharp “However, he laments: Beyond that, we get the impression that it lacks a little juice. We think he doesn’t push much anymore “.

However, the machine fulfilled its promises reaching 0-100 km / h in 7.24 s on our timer. On the ascent to the Saverne Pass, even on foot on the ground (while respecting the speed limits) and in Performance mode, the machine was a bit disappointing.


The limits of the Cupra Born

Amazing first limit for a car that wants to be sporty: a top speed of 160 km / h. ” It could be at least around 180 mph “However, he points out the disadvantage of installing 20-inch-wide tires: higher fuel consumption, which has a negative impact on range, and less absorption of roughness on the road surface.” can make the vehicle relatively uncomfortable.

This last point, however, contradicts Max Freyss’s essay: Even in performance mode, which reinforces the suspension, it is still very comfortable, and perhaps too comfortable for a sports car. “.

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In his twelve-minute video, he points out the Cupra Born regeneration device that does not allow the vehicle to be immobilized just by lifting the foot of the accelerator. That’s why you have to depress the brake pedal.

And without ESP

With a fairly low center of gravity, the electric compact sticks well to the road, even when wet. ” We can still have fun. It’s still nice to drive, it’s dynamic “Judge our videographer.

With ESP inhibited, tires can start to squeak quickly if you tickle the machine too much. His behavior is still fairly neutral, however, and we did not notice a tendency to chase from behind.

With this model, we have the power we need to keep it manageable for motorcyclists. The 230 hp version should bring a little more, though I think it’s still too weak “compares Max Freyss.

Conclusion

Is the Cupra Born a sports car? On the outside, it does show a hint of it. with a very aggressive look ahead and a few specs here and there “, identifies our testator.

Unfortunately, the engine does not follow. He is not a Cupra, in the strict sense “He decides. That doesn’t stop him from finding this car.” very nice, very comfortable, at the same time dynamic, with recovery and the comfort you seek.

We invite you to find on Youtube the chapters of “Max goes electric” as well as our connected car tests. By subscribing and agreeing to receive notifications, you will receive a prompt notification of our new posts.


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