The sporty-looking entry-level Cupra UrbanRebel city car is set to go into production in 2025.
Following the reveal of its wild UrbanRebel city car concept at last year’s Munich Motor Show, Spanish brand Cupra has refined the recipe further to provide us with a closer glimpse of what the compact all-electric model could look like when it goes into production in 2025.
Compared with the Munich show star, which sported a huge rear wing and swollen wheel arches, the second generation of the Cupra UrbanRebel looks much more refined (and production-relevant as a result) without losing its sporty intent.
The car’s surfacing is still extreme, with two distinct lines creating a sporty looking bonnet that flows forward to a deep bumper sporting a large concave surface that gives the impression of a conventional grille. This is actually blanked off with minimal intake surface to boost the UrbanRebel’s drag coefficient and improve efficiency.
There are more sharp lines in profile, flowing from the front wheel arch to the rear corner of the window line, which give the UrbanRebel a heavily raked, athletic look. It’s underscored by a sharp crease that wraps around onto the rear wings from the tailgate – which sports a smooth-surfaced design, a full-width lightbar and large ‘Cupra’ lettering.
According to Cupra sources, the UrbanRebel’s current look is around 95 per cent representative of the eventual production car, but expect tweaks to the car’s door handles and mirrors, plus a few other minor areas by the time the car hits the road in three years.
Speaking to Automotive Daily at the unveiling of the original UrbanRebel concept in Munich last year, Cupra President Wayne Griffiths told us that “The car is a deliberate statement. I think there’s a need out there to do a car for the next generation who are really enthusiastic about cars – and that’s what we do at Cupra.
“We do cars that people love, but not necessarily what everyone likes – we like to provoke so this is a provocation, obviously overstating what we will end up doing as a series car. But it’s very close; if you take the tail off the back then you’re very close to where we are on the series design.
“So the Cupra Rebel will stay very rebellious in the series car – it’ll be very sporty. The inspiration will remain on the series car and we will bring that in 2025.”
The interior on the other hand is much more futuristic, with a large floating centre console and a sporty dash design with invisible air vents; the cabin is illuminated by LED lights. A large central screen sits on top of the dash running what looks like a Cupra-styled infotainment system on a “curved kinetic display”.
A pair of sporty leather bucket seats and copper-coloured metal trim pieces complete the look, while Cupra says that the UrbanRebel features “advanced recycled polymers and bio-based materials throughout the cabin.”
According to Cupra’s boss, while the production car’s interior will be different, it’ll retain the concept’s sporty focus: “Everything will be orientated around the driver – we don’t do big screens for passengers, the big screen is for the driver and the whole console and experience should be orientated towards the driver.
“We’ll do all the autonomous and safety assistance features that people want, but you should always be able to switch it off to have some fun.”
Underneath the pumped-up body sits the VW Group’s forthcoming front-wheel drive “Small MEB” platform, and Cupra claims that the battery is big enough to deliver a range of up to 440km despite not outlining its capacity in kWh; the Volkswagen ID Life concept – also unveiled in Munich last year – is based on the same underpinnings and features a 57kWh battery for a claimed range of up to 400km.
The Cupra’s front-mounted motor delivers 172kW for a claimed 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds, although top speed has not been confirmed.
Given Cupra’s position as a sporty brand, its compact EV will sit below the larger MEB-based Born as a rival to the forthcoming Alpine R5 and MINI Electric.
At 4036mm long the UrbanRebel is slightly shorter than sister brand’s SEAT Ibiza supermini (4059mm), while the concept’s 1975mm body is significantly wider than the Ibiza’s, which measures 1780mm at the widest point of its bodywork.
The 2600mm wheelbase is longer than its supermini sibling too, which measures 2564mm between axles on the Ibiza. This should improve packaging for passengers and offer more rear legroom, not to mention plenty of space to house the UrbanRebel’s battery in the floor of the chassis. No passenger or luggage space figures have been outlined.
Griffiths also told us that “Cupra’s job is really to conquer the next generation of younger customers – we’re a brand for today and now; a contemporary brand for the next generation who are looking for something really cool, desirable, emotional that has fantastic design and a really sporty and driver-orientated experience.” This will have a bearing on the UrbanRebel’s price.
Cupra has confirmed that the UrbanRebel will go into production at its Martorell factory in Barcelona and will go on sale in 2025. Griffiths previously hinted that the production car would cost just over 20,000 euros (just under AUD$30,000 at today’s exchange rate) when it goes on sale. “Volkswagen is talking around €20,000 [for the production version of its ID. Life]; with Cupra we’re positioned above the mass market but below the premium market so somewhere in between.”
However, the automotive sector is still experiencing chip shortages and uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine, which could impact the car’s price when it eventually goes on sale.