Two professional drivers, more than 3,000 kilometres of testing and a common goal: to ensure that the CUPRA Born is pure driving excitement. “Racing cars are the inspiration for all CUPRAs, and those who drive them best are racing drivers” says Marta Almuni, technical director of development of the CUPRA Born. This is how CUPRA Racing drivers Jordi Gené and Mattias Ekström contributed to the development of the brand’s first 100% electric car.
-Superior handling. “We want CUPRA cars to be precise, dynamic and to optimally convey the feeling of the road” explains Almuni. And she adds: “This is something that these professional drivers know how to identify very well, so we harness their experience and advice on the points we need to work on to deliver this sensation.” An experience that already began with the development of the CUPRA Formentor and on which the brand wanted to rely again to increase the performance of its first 100% electric car. According to Ekström, his role in this process is to “drive the car to the limit to see how it reacts, test its feel and relay these details on to the engineers.” This is the teamwork that is most valuable to Gené: “We drivers come from a world where there are no impossibilities” he says, “so we can bring a different kind of mentality and identify the sensations that will make the car more interesting and lead to a better experience for our customers.”
-From a frozen lake to the racetrack. In the early stages of development, the drivers tested the car on the most demanding terrains. “Dry, wet and icy asphalt, gravel, snow, dirt road and slick surfaces... we made sure that the car works everywhere” explains Ekström. That’s why he travelled to Lapland to carry out some tests on the tracks of a frozen lake. The aim was to get the car to transmit all the sensations to the driver. “The CUPRA Born is so versatile that it’s suitable for anyone, from the most cautious driver to a person looking for maximum driving fun” says Ekström. This is made possible by its Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), which can be switched instantly according to the driver’s needs, to Range, Comfort, Performance, Individual or CUPRA mode.
-Speed, power, and emotion. The drivers’ help in the development of the CUPRA Born has made it possible to create a very bold car. For example, “in safety conditions, such as on a closed circuit, the CUPRA Born allows the ESC to be disconnected to experience unfettered driving for an extra thrill” explains Gené. Another result of the joint work is e-Boost, “an occasional power boost that can be used with the CUPRA mode” says Almuni. This option provides an additional 27 PS at the desired moment between 80 and 120 km/h and will be available in the 204 PS version in 2022, resulting in an output of 231 PS (170 kW). “Electric cars can also be a lot of fun, and the CUPRA Born is proof of that” says the driver.
-Precision above all else. Another area that has been worked on is the steering. “The Born is CUPRA’s first rear-wheel drive car, so getting the steering precision was an added challenge” says Almuni. “The first time I grabbed the wheel it had lots of turn and taking corners was difficult, but now, with the progressive steering, we’ve managed to add a 100% CUPRA feel to the driving experience” adds Gené. Beyond power and steering, the brakes were also scrutinised by the drivers. Their contributions increased the pedal size and improved the feel, while optimising the distribution and even reducing braking distance.
150 PS (110 kW)
204 PS (150 kW) – e-Boost package available – 231 PS (170 kW)
77 kWh – 7.0 s acceleration (0-100 km/h) – Range around 540 km
58 kWh – 6.6 s acceleration (0-100 km/h) – Range around 424km
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