Cupra Ateca attacks

17 December 2018

THE eagerly-awaited Cupra Ateca takes to the roads today, with a mission to make a success of an entirely new brand within the Volkswagen empire.

Arriving with an asking price of just under £36,000 for this most sporting of SUVs, Cupra is the name of the new performance arm of Spanish motor maker SEAT, just like DS and Citroen, or Infiniti and Nissan.

It 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.

However, others such as Fiat’s Abarth are soldering on, 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 cars take to the roads today with the aim of being one of the highest performance 150mph SUVs available.

Visually the Cupra differs from standard SEAT versions with its distinctive body styling, exclusive diamond cut alloy wheels, glossy black exterior details and a new bonnet logo.

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 arrives 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.

Just 25 Cupra dealers will have been appointed by next summer, which is a double-edged sword.

The small number of specialist dealers creates an air of exclusivity, although it can preclude some potential punters with no dealer within a reasonable distance.

As an incentive to be among the first to take the plunge, the first 160 British buyers will get limited-edition gifts.

These include a Cupra Member Box made from carbon fibre that includes a carbon fibre key cover and wrist band.