Cupra Australia has high hopes for its first all-electric vehicle.

    The sporty Spanish upstart has claimed this week it expects the new Cupra Born, the brand’s first all-electric vehicle, will become Australia’s best-selling European-made EV in 2023 – provided logistics and supply remains as is.

    As of the end of April, Cupra’s local division will have already secured 600 examples of the Born for production, with the first units being delivered to customers imminently. The brand has confirmed it has now secured 700 builds in total thus far.

    “With the strong market we actually expect the Born will be the best-selling European-built EV in Australia this year, unless something unforeseen happens with logistics or supply,” said Jeff Shafer, head of product and planning for Cupra Australia.

    Beyond the already confirmed 600 units earmarked for production for Australia – of which more than 500 are already accounted for – the local arm says it is effectively “unrestricted” in terms of supply.

    In a later interview with CarExpert, Mr Shafer said if all goes to planned, there should be more than 1000 Borns coming to Australia in 2023.

    “When we launched in December, we took a bunch of pre-orders and we had about 400 units initially. Off the back of the strong reception, the factory gave us additional production – as of this week, we will have over 600 units built,” said Mr Shafer.

    “We’re actually still pushing for additional production and lifting even the projection for the year. Barring any unforeseen issues, it should be over 1000 units for the year and right now we don’t have any issues taking and fulfilling orders.”

    Mr Shafer noted that while supply from the factory isn’t an issue currently, there are still some challenges with logistics which contribute to a slight wait on new orders being delivered.

    “If you ordered today, we generally place the order in the following week, and then it’s about a month until it’s built.”

    “Logistics is the big drama with the wharfs at the moment. You could be looking at three to four months [wait], but it could be longer based on what we’re seeing with ships and wharfs at the moment,” Mr Shafer continued.

    “We don’t want to be taking orders that are just going to sit in an order bank and never be built, so if that ever becomes the case we’ll turn them off – but we’re definitely open [right now].”

    Should Cupra achieve its sales projections for the Born, the company would be doing similar volume to the Chinese-built MG ZS EV, which in 2022 managed 1119 registrations. Market leader Tesla is averaging a little over 1000 deliveries per month of its Model 3 sedan, for reference.

    The Cupra Born arrives in Australia as a single-spec offering, priced from $59,990 plus on-road costs – the same as the 221kW Leon VZx petrol hot hatch and 180kW Leon VZe plug-in hybrid.

    Drive-away pricing varies by state, as outlined below.

    2023 Cupra Born drive-away pricing:

    • ACT: $61,990
    • NSW: $62,490
    • QLD: $63,490
    • SA: $64,490
    • VIC: $64,990
    • WA: $66,490

    Note: The above drive-away pricing does not include state- and territory-based EV rebate schemes.

    Power in the Cupra Born in Australia comes from a rear-mounted electric motor developing 170kW and 310Nm, hooked up to a 77kWh (usbable) lithium-ion battery pack.

    Cupra claims its “rear-wheel drive hot hatchback BEV” will do the benchmark 0-100km/h sprint in 7.0 seconds, or about half a second off the 180kW Cupra Leon VZ (6.4s). The brand notes that straight-line speed isn’t the Born’s only focus, adding “most importantly driver engagement through the steering and rear-drive chassis”.

    The brand likes to highlight it offers the only EV under $60,000 with over 500 kilometres of range, with the Born quoting up to 511km on the WLTP test cycle riding on standard 19-inch wheels and eco tyres.

    Opting for the Performance Package ($2600), however, drops that figure to 475km due to the larger 20-inch wheels and wider (235mm) Michelin Pilot Sport 4 performance tyres.

    Stay tuned for our Australian launch review of the Cupra Born, coming 19:00 AEST on May 4.

    MORE: Everything Cupra Born

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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