Long used as a sign of SEAT's performance focused cars, CUPRA has now been officially announced as a new brand with its own distinct identity. In celebration of their launch, CUPRA have started by unveiling their first road-going model - the CUPRA Ateca - and by launching their first touring car.
Using lessons learned from SEAT's motorsport division (now ran entirely by the CUPRA brand), CUPRA will develop models alongside SEAT with a particular focus on uniqueness, sophistication and performance. As with past CUPRA models, the new independent brand will continue to create cars that are aimed at driving enthusiasts.
Talking of the new CUPRA brand, Luca de Meo - SEAT President - said:
"CUPRA is a big opportunity for SEAT, for our customers and for the business.
"The whole project has surfaced as the dream of a group of people who were looking for a way to conquer a new group of car lovers".
As part of their standalone identity, every car in the CUPRA range will wear the brand’s new, tribally inspired, logo and not SEAT branding like past CUPRA variants; CUPRA say that the new logo represents the brand’s values of passion, precision, determination and courage. Announced alongside the CUPRA brand, the first car to wear this new badge will be the all-new CUPRA Ateca.
Powered by a 2.0-litre turbo engine that produces 296bhp and 295lb ft of torque, CUPRA’s version of SEAT’s best-selling crossover aims to offer both performance and day-to-day practicality. Two things that it certainly does very well; there’s no end of space in the cabin but, combined with a double-clutch gearbox and four-wheel drive, that engine will get the CUPRA Ateca from 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds.
Ensuring that the CUPRA Ateca offers more than just straight line potential, there’s also adaptive suspension, a louder four-outlet exhaust and the option of four-piston Brembo brakes. All of these elements add up to a low centre of gravity and hot hatchback performance in a practical SUV form.
Completing the package, the performance orientated mechanics of CUPRA Ateca have been complimented with a redesign to both the exterior and the cabin. On the exterior, sportier design comes courtesy of special CUPRA branding, wider intakes, gloss black grilles and CUPRA wheels.
Heading inside, Alcantara has been used to upholster the door panels and seats whilst the centre console and various other elements have been crafted from gloss black aluminium.
The final part of CUPRA’s launch celebration comes in the form of their very first racing car – the CUPRA TCR. Competing in the TCR series during 2018, the new racing car features all of CUPRA’s new branding and demonstrates a different exterior design to that its road-going CUPRA counterpart. The brand will hope to take the lessons learned with CUPRA TCR and utilise them in future models.