The Cupra Born comes with the best that the VW ID.3 has to offer, and then some moreby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 07:54
Cupra, SEAT’s performance brand, has rolled out an electric hatch called Born. At its core, it’s a Volkswagen ID.3 but the brand has done well to not give it away easily. The Born is based on the el-Born concept that was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. This electric hatch looks similar to the ID.3 on the inside, but a lot more aggressive on the outside. It even comes with a performance package that makes it more powerful than the Volkswagen EV. While the VAG won’t matter which brand sells more as long as the volumes come from the same auto group, but will the Cupra Born cannibalize into the ID.3’s sales?
2022 Cupra Born - The Volkswagen ID3’s Worst Nightmare
Cupra Born Exterior
On the outside, the Cupra Born looks smart and bold when compared to the ID.3. It doesn’t have the bubbly shape that the Volkswagen EV does. The grille on the bumper is big and wide and gives the Born a rather conventional fuel-powered car vibe. The side profile, in my opinion, looks the best. The door-mounted wing mirrors, the indents on the bottom half, of the doors, and compact dimensions make it look sporty. The Born will be available with 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels and in six different finishes combined.
The Born even seems to have a better ass than the Volkswagen ID.3. The full-width LED strip is a trend in EVs, but it looks pretty cool here. The black section on the bumper along with the diffuser-esque cuts at the bottom doesn’t look out of place. So, in the looks department, this Cupra product beats the Volkswagen. As for the dimensions, the Born is 170 inches long, 71.2 inches wide, and 60.5 inches tall. It has a 108.9-inch long wheelbase.
The Cupra Born will be available in six different exterior shades:
- Vapor Grey
- Glacial White
- Geyser Silver
- Rayleigh Red
- Quasar Grey
- Aurora Blue
Cupra Born Interior
On the inside, the Born will remind you of the ID.3, especially the cabin layout. But, many unique touches make it feel a lot sportier. It comes with sports bucket seats and a sweet steering wheel.
Unlike the ID.3’s 10-inch touchscreen system, the Cupra Born features a 12-inch floating touchscreen system.
It features a small digital instrument cluster, but Cupra justifies it by offering an augmented reality head-up display system. A nine-speaker Beats audio system can also be had.
The interior can be had in various colors. You can also opt for Dinamica, an eco-friendly micro fiber, in either dark blue or grey shade for seats and door panels. On the sustainability front, a lot of the Born’s equipment is made of recycled parts. The central part of the seats, for instance, are manufactured from Seaqual Yarn made from upcycled marine plastic.
The Cupra Born offers a cargo space of 13.6 cubic feet. The space after flipping down the seats is not given. Since the automaker has not mentioned this, I now doubt if they can even be folded down or not. They can be flipped right, Cupra?
Cupra Born Powertrain
The Cupra Born is based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform. It even shares most of the power specs. The Born comes with a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle, but in different states of tune. T
he base model will make 148 horses and 229 pound-feet of torque. These are the same specs as the ID.3 Pure Performance trim. It takes 8.9 seconds to sprint to 62 mph from rest.
The next trim makes 201 horses and the same 229 pound-feet of torque. This is identical to the ID.3’s Pro Performance trim. Here, the Born will gallop to 62 mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds. But, this is where the difference between the two lies.
The Cupra Born can be had with an E-Boost Performance package that churns out 228 horses and the same 229 pound-feet of twist. The 0-62 mph time is reduced to 6.6 seconds in this case.
|Maximum power||Battery (net capacity)||Maximum Torque||Electric range||0-62mph (100km/h)|
|148 HP||45kWh||229 LB-FT||211 miles (340km)*||8.9 secs|
|201 HP||58kWh||229 LB-FT||260 miles (420km)*||7.3 secs|
|228 HP (with e-Boost^)||58kWh||229 LB-FT||260 miles (420km)*||6.6 secs**|
|228 HP (with e-Boost^)||77kWh||229 LB-FT||335 miles (540km)*||7.0 secs|
Cupra Born Battery and Range
The base model is powered by a 45 kWh battery pack that comes with a WLTP-estimated range of 211 miles. The higher output variant will be offered with a larger 58 kWh battery pack. The WLTP-estimated range for this is 261 miles, whether you opt for it with the E-Boost package or without it. This trim can be had with a larger 77 kWh battery pack that extends the range to 336 miles as per the WLTP cycle. But, the 0-62 mph time falls to seven seconds because of the extra weight of the battery. Another classic case of range or performance conundrum.
The batteries support 125 kW fast charging too. You can add 62 miles of range in just seven minutes, and from five- to 80-percent in 35 minutes. Apart from the DC fast-charging, it also supports the standard AC charging.
Cupra Born Price
Cupra hasn’t revealed the prices yet, but anything in the ballpark of €30,000 for the base model should be a good price for the Born.
Cupra Born Competition
It goes without saying that the Cupra Born will lock horns with the Volkswagen ID.3 when it arrives. They might be pretty much the same under the skin, but they are both a threat to each other’s existence. With stuff like the E-Boost Performance Package, better exterior looks (although they can be subjective), and better tech features – bigger touchscreen infotainment system, Beats audio system, AR head-up display, etc. – the Cupra Born has the edge here. The power outputs and the range are identical, but it’s the other niceties that make the Cupra Born a better product. The price is not revealed yet, but it could be a deciding factor if the Born ends up being significantly more expensive. As long as the difference isn’t more than 10-percent, the Born will be our pick. The Volkswagen ID.3 starts at around €30,000.
Read our full review on the Volkswagen ID.3
Any EV in the sub-$70,000 bracket, be it a hatch or a sedan, needs to go through the Tesla Model 3. Comparing the Cupra Born with the Model 3 would be like comparing apples to oranges, but such is the Model 3’s dominance in the EV market. The Model 3 comes with a motor mounted on the rear axle that churns out 283 horses and 317 pound-feet of torque. The Standard Range Plus model offers an EPA-estimated range of 250 miles. It is powered by a 75 kWh battery pack and takes about 8.5 hours to recuperate when connected to a 240-Volt charging point. The car takes 5.3 seconds to 60 mph and has a top speed of 140 mph. In the U.S., the Model 3 starts at $38,000 and goes all the way up to $55,000.
Read our full review on the Tesla Model 3
Cupra Born Driver-Assistance Features
The Cupra Born comes with a host of driver-assist features. Some of them include:
- Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control
- Travel Assist
- Side and Exit Assist
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Emergency Assist
- Pre-Crash Assist
The Born is designed at developed at Cupra’s headquarters in Martorell, Barcelona, and will go into production at the Zwickau plant in Germany from September 2021.