The Volkswagen Group is committing to the long-term future of the Cupra brand in Australia, even as it enters one of the world’s most saturated markets.

“The biggest indication for commitment is that we are launching with those three models and multiple drivelines straight away,” Cupra’s Australian brand director, Ben Wilks, told CarExpert ahead of the brand’s launch announcement.

“We are not just coming in with just one car with a 228kW engine only, we are coming in with a range of engines and range of models and they are sitting in the biggest and most action-packed segments.”

Perhaps another indication of the brand’s long-term commitment is the limited markets in which right-hand drive Cupras are sent.

“If you consider the level of investment that’s required to bring those models to Australia, there are not a huge amount of right-hand drive markets,” said Wilks, who was formerly the general manager of sales for Volkswagen passenger cars in Australia.

“Australia is the very first to launch as a Cupra-only proposition, that’s important too, it’s a pretty long term plan unfolding there.”

As to how it will be perceived, Wilks says he is confident the Australian consumers will find the Cupra product appealing.

“We have to find success with customers first, but I am pretty confident based on the product and the way it feels and drives and how it offers something different,” he said.

“We are very fortunate to be able to work on this VW platforms, they are the envy of the industry in terms of underpinnings but what the team at Cupra do with the uniqueness of that execution is really exciting and it excites those enthusiasts who have a passion for driving and those people really get what we are trying to do here.”

Cupra will launch in the Australian market in early 2022 with a three-strong range comprising the Leon, Ateca and Formentor.

Alborz Fallah

Alborz is the founder of CarAdvice (sold to Nine and now Drive) and co-founder of CarExpert. He is an honourary adjunct professor & entrepreneur in residence at the University of QLD. He loves naturally-aspirated V8s, V10s and V12s and is in denial about the impending death of the internal combustion engine.

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