The Cupra Born is now under production in Zwickau, Germany, and preparations have started to bring the next Cupra EV to dealers. The second model will be the production version of the Cupra Tavascan Concept (also called Cupra Tavascan Electric Concept).
The Cupra Tavascan (codename: SE316/8) will be a compact SUV-coupe like the upcoming VW ID.5 and Enyaq Coupe iV models. It will likely be the most aggressive and athletic SUV in the VW Group family, though technically the same underneath. Expect around 90 per cent of the concept’s exterior design to make it to the production vehicle. The interior would be close to the concept, but we think the production model would have a significantly smaller (probably 5.3-inch) instrument cluster instead of the concept’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The vehicle is being designed and developed in Barcelona.
Tavascan Extreme E Concept keeps the ball rolling
There’s a gap of about five years between the Cupra Tavascan Concept and the launch of its production version. To maintain customers interest, Cupra has introduced the Cupra Tavascan Extreme E Concept. The Cupra Tavascan Extreme E Concept is a show car derived from the e-CUPRA ABT XE1, Extreme E team ABT CUPRA XE’s real all-electric off-road racing car, which French company Spark Racing Technology designed. The Tavascan Extreme E Concept has a completely new exterior with “100% Cupra DNA.”
Cupra says that the Tavascan Extreme E Concept hints at the design language for the production Tavascan. The company has changed the ABT CUPRA XE’s front and rear considerably to convert it into a new model. Unlike the donor, the Tavascan Extreme E Concept features LED headlights that form a group of three triangles on either side, lending the off-roader vigor. Look for the same copper accents on the production Tavascan SUV in 2024.
Cupra has constructed much of the body structure using flax fibres, which come from the flax plant. The company says that it is a technology that one could easily adapt to production vehicles. What that has to do with the production Tavascan SUV is something only time will tell.
77 kWh battery
The production Cupra Tavascan may come with three battery options, a 52 kWh unit consisting of eight cell modules, a 58 kWh unit consisting of nine cell modules, and a 77 kWh unit containing twelve cell modules. From the existing Volkswagen Group SUV models, we know that these battery packs have the potential to deliver a WLTP range of up to 346 km (VW ID.4), 390 km (Skoda Enyaq iV), and 537 km (Skoda Enyaq iV), respectively. Similar SUV coupe models can deliver a marginally higher range because of the better aerodynamics (due to a lower air drag coefficient).
Powertrain choices could include various single motor and dual-motor options. The single motors could offer 109-150 kW of power and 220-310 Nm of torque. The dual motors could generate 195-225 kW of combined power and 460 Nm of combined torque.
The Tavascan Concept debuted two years ago in September 2019, and just earlier this year, it received the green signal for production. Wayne Griffiths, the CEO of Seat and Cupra, announced during the Seat Annual Press Conference 2021 event that the company plans to launch a Cupra Tavascan SUV as its second EV in 2024.
The designing and development of the Cupra Tavascan will take place in Barcelona, Spain, Griffiths said. Road-testing has commenced already, Carscoops revealed with spy shots on September 15, 2021. However, the pictures are of an early prototype wearing the VW ID.4’s body, which means we can’t infer any design features from them.
Availability outside Europe
Cupra has said that it will sell the Tavascan in more countries, including those outside Europe. In 2022, the Spanish brand will be available in Australia to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region (the Cupra range has been available in New Zealand for a few months). Cupra feels the high middle-class income and the progressive Australian society suit its brand.
According to a report from whichcar.com.au, Cupra plans to pitch itself as a brand that deals in performance vehicles from the outset. Yet, eco-friendliness is a prime focus from the get-go. So, while it will enter the new market with three internal combustion engine models, it will offer two of them with plug-in hybrid technology right from launch.
Later, the Cupra Born will make it to Australia, as the brand’s Australian Director Ben Wilks says that bringing that EV there “is a matter of when and not if.” As for the future Cupra EVs, Wilks expects the Cupra UrbanRebel to be an “exciting” product for Australia and the Tavascan having an “enormous appeal.”
Cupra EV strategy
Cupra aims to become an EV-only brand by 2030. Since its launch three years ago, it has sold more than 100,000 cars and established a strong footprint in main European markets like Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, and France. The new brand is now present in Mexico, Israel, and Turkey, too. It won’t be easy to achieve the 100% electrification goal by 2030 as some of these new markets aren’t EV-friendly, but the DS rival will find a way to realize the goal.
Featured Image Source: Volkswagen Group