VW Group’s first EV hot hatch revealed

Hot VW Group MEB-based electric hatchback points toward spec for VW’s own ID 3 hot hatch.

The next production model from Cupra – Seat’s now-separate performance brand and owned by VW Group – will be a sporting version of the el-Born electric hatchback.

Although the brand is not in Australia, the model rides on the same platform and is built alongside the VW ID 3 which will arrive in Australia. There’s potential that VW’s ID 3 will gain some of the sporty elements and drivetrain revealed here.

Shown today ahead of a full launch in 2021, the Cupra el-Born is said to bring “sustainable mobility with a unique character and dynamism” and will be the first performance-oriented version of the modular MEB electric platform in the Volkswagen Group’s range. Cupra has been chosen to launch the el-Born instead of Seat, as was originally intended.

Only a scant amount of technical detail for the el-Born has been released. The EV will be powered by a 77kWh (82kWh gross) battery pack that sends power through a rear-mounted electric motor of undisclosed output.

Cupra promises a range of up to 499km on a single charge, with rapid-charging making it capable of receiving 259km worth of charge in 30 minutes. That’s significantly more than the el-Born was expected to launch with in Seat form; the Seat el-Born concept features a 62kWh battery for a range of 420km.

Although no 0-100km/h time has been released, Cupra is quoting a 0-50km/h time of 2.9sec. For reference, the Seat concept promised a 0-100km/h time of 7.5sec from a 150kW electric motor.

The el-Born will bring features that first appeared on its Volkswagen ID 3 sibling, including an augmented-reality head-up display, while Cupra-specific detailing includes sports bucket seats and a racier steering wheel design with driving mode buttons.

The el-Born will be manufactured alongside the ID 3 at the Volkswagen Group’s plant in Zwickau, Germany.

Lawrence Allan

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