After its official reveal a few days ago in Barcelona, the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show will be the perfect scene to present the CUPRA brand to the international public. The new sporty brand will have its own booth and will be standing next to SEAT. Just as it could be no other way, CUPRA is also going to go racing. CUPRA will take on all the responsibilities and work that until now were carried out by SEAT Sport. CUPRA will inherit SEAT’s involvement in the world of motorsport that has lasted for more than 40 years but, at the same time, it is conscious that the future of racing will move onto alternative powertrain systems. CUPRA’s objective is to pave the way and lead the change towards efficient and clean racing. With this in mind, the CUPRA e-Racer is going to have a very special leading role at the CUPRA stand at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. Since 2014, SEAT has been the main reference point in the TCR International Series with the Leon Cup Racer, not to forget that SEAT Sport produces all of the Volkswagen Group’s models that take part in the TCR (Audi RS3 LMS and Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR) at both regional and international levels.
The CUPRA e-Racer is a 100% electric racing car based on the petrol-powered Cup Racer. On top of being much cleaner and more environmentally friendly, the CUPRA e-Racer is much quieter; it has some impressive performance, perhaps even more than a traditional racing car. And the best thing is that it has many other advantages. To begin with, an electric motor is much simpler, requiring much less maintenance and above all, it is more efficient as it practically uses all of the supplied energy, while a combustion engine only uses, in the best case scenario, up to 30% of its fuel energy. Additionally, kinetic energy is harnessed to recover power under braking and in deceleration phases. As if that weren’t enough, acceleration is much better as an electric car has its maximum torque available from the moment the accelerator is pressed; no longer is it necessary to reach a certain level of revolutions per minute in order to achieve maximum performance. For the same reason, a gearbox is no longer necessary. The CUPRA e-Racer is a true motorsport car, delivering 300 kW of continuous power and up to 500 kW at its peak.
The CUPRA e-Racer’s intention is to match the performance of the conventional version to demonstrate CUPRA’s technological capabilities at all levels. Throughout 2018, specially chosen events will showcase the CUPRA e-Racer and a competition for purely electric touring cars is anticipated from 2019. The format, race duration and simply the way of experiencing these races for drivers, teams and fans will be completely different: much more active, incredibly dynamic, intense and exciting. CUPRA is a special brand designed to captivate car enthusiast looking for what the new brand has to offer: Uniqueness, Sophistication and Performance. CUPRA’s models will be as sporty and versatile as always, as fast on the track as they are comfortable and practical in day-to-day driving, but also more elegant and sophisticated. CUPRA is the reinterpretation of contemporary sportiness and individualization.
One of other main highlights at the CUPRA booth will be the CUPRA Ateca, which will make its public debut at Geneva. CUPRA Ateca is a SUV that signals the start of a new era and is the perfect car to launch CUPRA. It is a unique model in its segment, until now only reserved for premium brands. The new CUPRA Ateca’s 2.0 TSI engine delivers 300 PS (221 kW). It is one of the most technologically advanced engines on the market that works with a newly designed Otto Particulate Filter System to fulfil the latest Emission Legislations. This engine comes with an improved, more powerful sound, and is also equipped with a newly developed 7-speed DSG gearbox that has been developed to offer sportier gearbox feel with faster, smoother and more precise changes. The gearbox’s development has been modified to combine excellent performance with low levels of fuel consumption and emissions. The CUPRA Ateca comes with the 4Drive traction system, one of the safest, most advanced integrated traction systems. The 4Drive system analyses road conditions in real time, including the speed of the car, speed of each wheel, the steering wheel position and the driving style or mode to quickly and progressively deliver power at each moment to the necessary wheels. The 4Drive system is optimised to work together with all the driving modes: Normal, Sport, Individual, Snow, Off-Road and, of course, the CUPRA mode. When selecting the CUPRA mode in the Drive Profile, the engine reacts immediately with a refined sound, and the adaptive suspension (Dynamic Chassis Control) setup is adjusted to give a sportier edge to the car.
The standard equipment in the CUPRA Ateca is oriented towards three basic principles: technology, design and safety. That is why systems such as the keyless entry and start system, wireless charger, GSM signal booster, 360º top view camera, 8” touchscreen navigation system plus, dynamic chassis control -adaptive suspension-, digital cockpit, and park assist all come as standard. Highlights among the main optional extras include the Performance Pack, which includes 18” Brembo performance brakes in black, the Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack – rear spoiler and exterior mirror caps -, the Carbon Fibre Interior Pack – a moulded carbon fibre dashboard -, as well as leather seats. The exclusive CUPRA bucket seats will be available from mid-2019. With a low centre of gravity and a suspension system that perfectly combines efficiency with progressive, rapid and precise power steering, the new CUPRA Ateca comes with exceptional dynamic behaviour and fantastic ride quality. The CUPRA Ateca can reach a top speed of 245 km/h and go from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.4 seconds. Even though SUVs are growing in popularity, there are not many like the CUPRA Ateca on the market at this moment in time, and this is why it is going to be the first pillar of the brand that will close the gap even more between sporty SEAT versions and motorsport itself.