Cupra UrbanRebel to be named Raval

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Cupra confirms its entry-level electric car will be named the Raval when it arrives in showrooms.

The production version of the Cupra UrbanRebel EV will be named the Cupra Raval. The nameplate references a province in Barcelona.

The Cupra UrbanRebel – revealed at last year’s Munich motor show as a racy supermini with an outlandish, touring car-style aero package – has evolved into an ultra-compact urban SUV for production.

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The Raval will be the firm’s third all-electric production car, following the existing Volkswagen ID 3-based Cupra Born hatchback and dramatically styled 2024 Cupra Tavascan crossover into dealerships in 2025, and with similarly aggressive design cues that nod to Cupra’s extant billing as the Volkswagen Group’s accessible performance brand.

However, while the original concept highlighted that “racing is at the core of Cupra’s DNA”, the model revealed here is a much closer preview of the car that will go on sale in three years.

The Raval is the first of three technically identical entry-level EVs due from the VW Group, with closely related but differently styled siblings on the way from Volkswagen and Skoda. Together, the three cars essentially replace the Volkswagen E-Up, Skoda Citigo-e iV and Seat Mii Electric at the entry point into their respective manufacturers’ growing EV line-ups.

The trio have long been promised to start from around the $32k mark, which would make them among the cheapest mainstream EVs on sale. But Cupra has confirmed that in line with its more upmarket brand positioning, the Raval will command a premium over its Volkswagen and Skoda siblings.

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All three will be built at a dedicated new factory in Martorell, Spain, and sit atop a specially adapted version of the MEB EV platform currently used by the majority of bespoke VW Group EVs (save for the J1-based Audi E-tron GT and Porsche Taycan). The chief differentiator over that familiar architecture is that the ‘Small MEB’, as it is called, is much shorter; as deployed here under the UrbanRebel, it gives a wheelbase of just 2600mm – roughly equidistant between that of the ID 3 and e-Up – with a view to enticing city-dwelling EV buyers and keeping costs down, while still giving room for four occupants.

All up, the UrbanRebel measures 4036mm long by 1975mm wide and 1576mm tall, making it a close match for the Ford Fiesta Active, for context. It now sites 218mm proud of the ground, much higher than 2021’s ultra-low concept, which will enhance visibility all round and facilitate ingress and egress.

Cupra highlights the two ‘tension lines’ on the bonnet, the muscular creases along the sides and the blacked-out A-pillar (which, it says, gives the visual effect of a motorbike helmet) as defining features of its design. The influence of the Born is clear – down to the wraparound LED rear light bar and chunky but decorative rear diffuser – but not being based on an existing sibling car means the Raval is much more bespoke in its conception than the Born.

That Volkswagen and Skoda’s recently previewed entry-level EVs appear to adopt a radically different silhouette from the UrbanRebel is testament to a concerted effort from VW Group brands to differentiate the styling of cars based on shared platforms. Certainly, while similar in its raised supermini positioning, the original straight-edged Volkswagen ID Life concept – also shown at Munich last year and based on the same platform as the UrbanRebel – was completely visually unrelated to Cupra’s car.

Early performance figures from Cupra peg the front-driven Raval’s power output at a maximum of 172kW, which it says is good for 0-100km/h in just 6.9 seconds. Whether the brand will offer cheaper, less powerful variants or a performance range-topper remains to be seen, but Volkswagen has previously hinted that the platform could play host to more potent drivetrain arrangements.

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