Wondering how Cupra will set itself apart from Volkswagen, Skoda, and Audi in Australia? Here’s your answer.
The Spanish performance brand is on track to touch down in Australia during the middle of 2022 with three models, two of which will be offered with plug-in hybrid power.
The latest Volkswagen Group plug-in hybrid range has previously been off the table for Australia, so Cupra bringing two options Down Under is a big deal.
Having launched as a standalone brand (rather than a performance trim on Seat cars) in 2018, Cupra sold more than 27,000 cars in 2020.
The Formentor is the brand’s biggest car overseas, accounting for around two thirds of all sales.
Pricing for the range will start just above $40,000 and is expected to top out just above $60,000 in Australia.
The Leon is Cupra’s answer to the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R, offered with three pure petrol and one plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Plug-in hybrid power will be a big point of difference in the Cupra range.
The Leon eHybrid pairs a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine making 110kW of power with an electric motor pumping out 85kW, hooked up to a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Combined peak power is 180kW.
Claimed range on the WLTP test cycle is up to 60km, and the 100km/h sprint takes 6.7 seconds.
Plugged into a wall box you’ll be fully charged in 3.5 hours.
The headline petrol engine is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque, hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Those are Golf R outputs, but the Leon has a key difference: it’s front-wheel drive only.
The 100km/h sprint takes a claimed 5.7 seconds.
Sitting below it in the range is a version of the same car with a milder 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque, putting it in line with the Golf GTI.
Finally, the entry-level Leon will have a 140kW engine.
Overseas models aren’t actually offered with this configuration, but it’s likely to be a variation of the 140kW/320Nm engine being used in the base Formentor here.
If the Leon is the Spanish take on the Golf, the Ateca is a Skoda Karoq with more than a dash of Latin flair.
One model will be offered, with all-wheel drive and a 2.0-litre, 221kW/400Nm four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
The 100km/h sprint takes just 4.9 seconds, and flat out you’ll be doing 247km/h.
Optional equipment overseas includes Brembo brakes and an Akrapovic quad exhaust.
The Ateca rides on an adaptive suspension as standard, and sits lower than the related, non-performance Seat Ateca.
The Formentor is the first standalone Cupra model, a mid-sized SUV that sits alongside the Volkswagen Tiguan dimensionally.
Like the Leon, it will be offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain pairing a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, hooked up to a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Combined peak power is 180kW.
Claimed range on the WLTP test cycle is up to 55km.
On the petrol side of things, three all-wheel drive powertrains will be offered.
The entry-level model has a 2.0-litre petrol engine making 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque.
Moving up the range brings a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in 180kW or range-topping 228kW/400Nm guises.
The latter is good for a 4.9-second sprint to 100km/h.
Overseas, the Formentor is also available in VZ5 trim, with a 287kW five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and a claimed 4.2-second sprint to 100km/h.
It’s not coming to Australia, however. Just 7000 are being built, all of them left-hand drive.