A car is born - Cupra

22 October 2018

AN entirely new car company is created this week, and its first offering is a sporting SUV with an asking price of just under £36,000.

Cupra is the name of the new performance arm of Spanish motor maker SEAT, just like DS and Citroen, or Infiniti and Nissan.

It really started when Toyota launched its luxury brand called Lexus, which was an instant success.

Others have tried and faltered, such as Ford’s upmarket Vignale brand, which is currently being heavily discounted to shift stocks.

By sharp contrast sporting examples of Citroen’s DS brand are being eagerly snapped up, so SEAT reckons its worth taking a punt at doing likewise.

This is why the mainstream SEAT Ateca model gets a new look and a new name of Cupra Ateca, with a premium price tag to match.

The order book opens today with the claim of being one of the highest performance 150mph SUVs available when first deliveries arrive here early next year.

Visually it differs from standard SEAT versions with its distinctive  CUPRA body styling, exclusive diamond cut alloy wheels, glossy black exterior details and a new bonnet logo that bears a passing resemblance to the Dacia badge.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine generates 300bhp of power and 400Nm of torque that equates to a 0-60mph acceleration time of about five seconds.

This engine comes with a raucous sound and is equipped with a newly developed seven-speed DSG gearbox plus a 4x4 traction system.

Not unlike the look achieved by the detailing of the DS, the grille features a honeycomb effect, with the CUPRA letters in matt aluminium on the lower grille. There are also black brake callipers, sports-style rear bumper, copper CUPRA boot logo, four exhaust pipes, rear diffuser and special 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.

Glossy black details adorn the roof rails, wing mirrors, window frames, side mouldings, wheels, front grille, front and rear diffusers and spoilers.

The interior gets a leather sports steering wheel with copper stitching, and there are black Alcantara seats with copper stitching and an embossed logo.

The pedals are finished in aluminium and the climate control air vent frames and the central console are finished in gloss black, plus Alcantara door panels.

The newcomer will launch with a standout package that includes metallic paint and a three-service package included.

Standard equipment includes keyless entry and start, wireless charger, eight-inch touchscreen navigation, dynamic chassis control and park assist.

The small number of options include a BeatsAudio sound system and  20-inch wheels and Brembo brakes plus a panoramic glass roof.