Cupra has become a brand in itself, especially for instilling a sports spirit in cars that have been or could have been taken from the Seat catalog. Does Born illustrate this philosophy well in the Volkswagen Group?
In 2019, Seat presented its electric-Born concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show with the aim of making it the second electric car in its 2020 catalog, after the Mii cloned the Volkswagen e-Up !.
Equipped with a ” sporty and emotional drawing “, According to the terms of the annual report of the group led by Herbert Diess, it was to take up elements of ID.3, starting with the famous MEB platform reserved for connected vehicles. Finally, marketing began a year later under the Cupra logo.
Today, two engine outputs are available for a standard torque of 310 Nm: 150 kW (204 hp) for the Born V at our disposal and 170 kW (230 hp) for the Born VZ. Specifically, these talents make it possible to complete the exercise from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.3 and 6.6 s, respectively.
They share a battery with a useful energy capacity of 58 kWh (62 kWh in total), for a range in the combined WLTP cycle of between 388 and 417 km, depending on presentation and options. The range should be expanded in the coming months.
A sporty look?
Does Cupra Born have a sporty look? Max Freyss asked himself this question. He noticed the 20-inch alloy wheels treated in black and rose gold. ” Twenty inches, it’s sporty and we have pretty thin tires “, He appreciates. This impression is completed by a fairly low ground clearance, a rounded roof and 2 artistic choices.
First on each side a black piece of plastic with patterns. Extends the pane, it brings liquid. Then gray side thresholds add dynamism.
Cupra Born: the compact electric is shown for less than € 30,000 in Germany
On the front, the optical devices appear aggressive. ” They give a rather edgy shape to the vehicle », Says our videographer. The rear bumper with fins completes this range well, as does the hefty light strip. Max Freyss prefers the white Nevada (optional for 640 euros) of the model at our disposal, the blue Aurora (955 euros).
Probably a bit of a strain when you’re used to a Tesla Model 3, the Cupra Born’s dashboard happily mixes different materials. There is a gray reminder of the plastic part in the rear quarter panel. The 2 extra tablets are easy to read.
On current cars, the steering wheels are subject to styles that are not necessarily unanimous in use. This is the case on this electric compact, where dents come to counteract the finesse of the hanger. Bucket seats offer a good compromise between support and comfort. They are heated and massaging, and are equally appreciated with each of the 4 driving modes Individual, Performance, Comfort and Range.
It was the latter that Max Freyss initially tried. To promote autonomy, it limits performance, softens the suspensions and moderates the consumption of the air-conditioning system.
Take advantage of all the performance
Unlike the Range, the Performance mode releases the engine. Cupra Born’s steering wheel travel and damping will be stiffened for more precise driving. Our videographers’ preferences go to the Range and Comfort options. ” We really enjoy riding it. Even in Range mode, we have a hard time getting out of a roundabout “, he says, noting the propulsion behavior of the electric compact.
The driving position appears relatively high for a car that has a fairly low ground clearance. What is important to dominate the road. However, it is by switching to Performance that Max Freyss will push Cupra Born. He noticed ” an acceleration from 0 to 80 km / h quite powerful “. He regrets, however: Besides that, we have the impression that it lacks a little juice. We feel that it is no longer pushing very hard “.
However, the machine kept its promise by reaching the 0-100 km / h of 7.24 s on our stopwatch. In the ascent to the Col de Saverne, straight to the floor (with respect to the speed limits) and in Performance mode, the machine was a bit disappointing.
The boundaries of Cupra Born
First amazing limit for a car that wants to be sporty: a top speed of 160 km / h. ” It could at least be around 180 km / h “, Assesses our tests. However, he points out the disadvantage of fitting wide 20-inch tires: higher consumption, which has a negative effect on autonomy and less absorption of roughness in the road surface, which can make the vehicle relatively uncomfortable.
However, this last point is contradicted by Max Freys’ essay: Even in Performance mode, which tightens the suspensions, it is still very comfortable and perhaps too comfortable for a sports car. “.
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In his video of about twelve minutes, he points to the regeneration device on the Cupra Born, which does not allow the vehicle to be immobilized by simply lifting the foot from the accelerator. You must press the brake pedal for this.
And without ESP
With a fairly low center of gravity, the electric compact grips the road well, even when wet. ” We can still have fun. It is still good to drive, it is dynamic “Judging by our videographer.
With the ESP inhibited, the tires can quickly start to squeak if you source too much in the machine. Its behavior, however, remains fairly neutral, and we did not notice a tendency to chase from behind.
” With this model, we have just the power we need to keep it manageable by motorists. The 230 hp version must give a little extra, although I think it is still too weak “, Compares Max Freyss.
Is the Cupra Born a car with sports genes? Externally, it actually presents a look that suggests it. with a very aggressive look up front and a few specs here and there “, Identifies our tests.
” Unfortunately, the engine is not included. It’s strictly not a Cupra “, He decides. Which does not stop him from finding this car” very pleasant, very pleasant, all the same dynamic, with recovery and the comfort he is looking for.
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