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First ride in Cupra Born: Finally a breath of sport in an electric car

First ride in Cupra Born: Finally a breath of sport in an electric car

The Cupra brand has established itself within the Volkswagen Group as a dealer for the sharp seat company, which also owns its own cars. Now joined by the Formentor is the Born Model, named after the El Born district of Barcelona, ​​famous for its history and architecture. It’s the first electric Cobra and the automaker invited us to Barcelona for a ride.

First flight in Cupra Born

Photo: Cobra

father Technically it is a Volkswagen ID.3 In another package, but that didn’t stop me from looking forward to it. why? Because the world still lacks the electric equivalent of a sharp hatchback. We’ve got a Porsche Taycan GT or a Tesla Model S Plaid, then nothing for a long time, and then there are regular electric cars that deliver feelings just like a fridge. Yes, some of them ride well, and some of them, especially the already mentioned Tesla brands, are very powerful, but that’s it.

But the VW Group has always been able to offer cars on one platform that were different enough not to say it was just a disguised car from another brand. See, for example, the fact that it is based on a regular Volkswagen Golf IV. generation, then the Audi TT also led.

First flight in Cupra Born

Photo: Cobra

Even today, he can do it with the MQB platform, but we’re still waiting for that in the electric MEB. The Cupra brand wants to manufacture sports cars; Attica led the way, Formentor too, so I can’t help but look at the Born seeing that it’s going to be the first electric car…well, maybe not a real sharp hatchback, but at least a much more fun car. It increases when the right axle is driven.

The changes are not only visual

I like Born from both sides, it looks a bit like an alien in the front, but at the same time it’s aggressive enough, and in the back there is a slight streak across the width of the car – the taillights are amazing by the way, note their details – also the interesting rear shock absorber in a different color which is a hint from the publisher.

First flight in Cupra Born

Photo: Cobra

In terms of aerodynamics, its shape and details work well, the air resistance coefficient of 0.27 is more than a suitable value. With aerodynamics in the first place, the wheels were also shaped – here we come to the first change in terms of the functionality of the car when driving, which happened compared to ID.3. For an additional fee, 20-inch wheels can be had with tires 20 mm wide, 235 mm wide instead of 215.

Another change was to reduce the chassis by 15mm in the front and 10mm in the rear, and of course resetting the suspension characteristics. As I soon discovered, even with the giant wheels—a piece I packed, but no wider tires—the ride is comfortable, the car doesn’t bounce on uneven ground and I can lean on the chassis beautifully.

I like how, thanks to a perfect 50:50 weight distribution on the axles, it has a graceful arc in the corners, even though the long, thick A-pillar completely limits my vision for left-handers as I sit in the car for a very high sporty ride. And also how the rear axle helps me get out of a corner without having to wash with torque across the steering wheel.

Unfortunately, different versions of the car also had different tires and used Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance. I think it’d be good at efficiency, but not so good at gripping, and Born started sliding on dry asphalt before I wanted a sporty-driving car. It’s predictable, legible and easy to grip, but I can imagine that the Continental Sport Contact or the Michelin Pilot Sport, which have other demonstration cars worn at the event, would make it possible to show more in the corners.

The strongest version is not quite sharp

Another change is the increase in the maximum power of the most powerful variant compared to the ID.3 from 204 to 231 hp, which is combined with centimeters larger front brake discs – their diameter is 340 mm instead of 330. This is good, but the power has a hook – 231 hp in e mode -Boost alleged for a maximum of 30 seconds, and only if the battery is sufficiently charged and has the correct temperature. Other times he has 204 hp.

231 horses can be recognized.

Photo: Cobra

I wondered if I considered it a really more powerful version of the drive when it only worked occasionally, but in the end I couldn’t find a reason not to. The car is slightly modified and in that half a minute you can safely accelerate from zero to the limit, which is limited to 160 km / h as in other cars with single-axle driving on the MEB platform.

Especially if you actually push the gas to the floor – just by pressing the so-called start button on the last centimeters of the throttle hitting those few horses – the higher power can be observed above the ID.3 204k speed over the hundred kilometres.

The wheels are also designed with minimal air resistance.

Photo: Cobra

However, 231 horsepower for the Cupra brand is not a lot, and the base 150 horsepower is not at all. Acceleration to a hundred the most powerful version takes 7 seconds if a 77 kWh battery is installed; With a lighter 58 kWh battery 6.6 seconds.

But I think a different tuning of the throttle response can improve the time. Even in the steepest driving position, the Burneo lacks instant strong pull from comfort or very low speed, even if you hit the throttle to the floor. The acceleration is too smooth and slow for this car to wear the Cupra badge.

The design of the taillights is very successful. However, the third brake light is on the roof, not in the fifth door line.

Photo: Cobra

Unfortunately, the onset of the braking effect is similarly tepid. The car tries to recover energy from braking as much as possible, which is noble, but this means that most of the brake pedal movement is not applied to much by the car. The hefty weight certainly has its share in this too – with a smaller 58kWh battery, the newborn weighs around 1.8t and the one I ride is heavier due to the larger 77kWh battery.

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However, the “my” version has one superlative, which should be mentioned in the electric car. Larger batteries – and perhaps even those worn by Continents, when I think about it – are part of the Range package with the 231k motor, which combines the vehicle’s charging capability of up to 170 kW with a fast charger. So far, no other car on the MEB platform can do this much, and other versions of the Born finish at 120 kW.

Wrappers from sea waste

In addition to the environment in the form of zero exhaust emissions, there are also many other aspects that are modern today. First of all, the automaker boasts that the vehicle is CO2-free at the time of delivery to the customer — according to information at the press conference, including battery production and material extraction. Then the balance depends on how you get the electricity you charge the car.

Seaqual fabric is made from plastic waste from the sea.

Photo: Cobra

Of course, other things look ecological, like seat covers. The piece I’m riding is fitted with a “vegetable” microfiber that is very nice to touch and shape, thanks to the holes in the tubes of different sizes, through which the copper colored fabric can be seen. The automaker assured me that they tested the lids thoroughly enough to not rip through these holes after fifteen or twenty years of use.

However, the texture in the basic equipment, called Seaqual, is interesting. It’s made of plastic waste pulled from the sea – literally. The Cupry supplier takes this waste from the fishermen and processes it into pellets, then forms and covers it into fibers. I have not sat in it, but it is very pleasant to the touch, although it is plastic.

The question is how it will sit in the 30-degree summer heat, but nevertheless this item comes to me as a great idea and I would like this cover to extend to as many corporate cars as possible. There is a lot of plastic waste in the seas.

The head-up display and instrument panel are excellent.

Photo: Cobra

In addition, there is, of course, a small instrument panel inside, including the reverse gear selector, which we know from Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4. It has a new display design, but other than that it’s fun to use and beautifully readable. It’s a little worse with the touch controls on the steering wheel—the weird sensitivity means I have to care more about moving a finger to add or subtract speed in adaptive cruise control than I’d like.

The center display is identical to the Formentor, which means three slightly configurable diagonal squares in the display and unlit touch control underneath. The device is of course a navigation with an internet connection and the tested widget also has a giant display with augmented reality, which works in the same way In the recently tested Audi Q4 e-tron sportback It’s beautiful and useful, but it’s not perfect.

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The curtain is useful not only to cover the contents of the case.

Photo: Marek Badni, News

The driver’s station is turned slightly towards it to create the impression of a cockpit. It works, but it spoils a little with the relatively high seat behind the wheel, due to the battery in the floor. However, I have to praise one thing a lot – the central tunnel is usually attached to the dashboard, so I have a place to rest my right foot.

At the same time, the front box curtain and drink holder – I’m so surprised it’s here, in order to save costs via worry, I didn’t expect many VWs to serve it – act as an impromptu phone holder in the right position. It’s located here a little crookedly, but it doesn’t move, even when I’m driving sharply.

Sharp, not sharp hatchback

The Bourne is undoubtedly a very successful car, and just as I had hoped, it’s also a more straightforward electric car. Therefore, he can find a decent number of clients. But there is a catch – it can’t be really sharp.

First flight in Cupra Born

Photo: Cobra

The Cupra brand has set really high standards with its previous models, and it is clear that it is not easy to reach them on the basis of the MEB platform. It is of course possible that there is still room for improvement, for some Born R, but according to the information available, the ATV cannot be built on this version of the MEB platform, which would have just over 300 hp, as expected in the case of the Škoda Enyaq RS or Volkswagen ID .4 GTX.

It can be on par with these cars Tavascan production, which is expected in 2024. Until then, the Born – with the right tires, of course – is a fun ride if you want an electric car and want to drive fast through regions.

Burning Cobra With e-Boost & Range packages
synchronous electric motor
the above. performance:
170 kW / 231 k
the above. torque:
310 N
Li-Ion, 77 kWh
From zero to 100 km / h:
7 s
maximum speed:
160 km/h
Average Consumption as per NEDC:
Not yet known *
Traveling according to WLTP: up to 540 km*
Shipping time: 35 min (5-80%, 170 kW DC fast charger, CCS2 connector)
Operating / Maximum Weight:
Not yet known *
Length x width x height:
4322 x 1809 x 1540 mm
Basic baggage size:
385 liters
Powered axle:
* – The tested version has not yet completed smoothing for traffic, so some technical data is unknown.