These days it’s not really enough to merely be a fast car. You have to have a gimmick, a party trick, a gadget. Whether it’s Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode, the Sport Chrono overboost function in a turbo’d Porsche or AMG’s wake-the-dead Race Start mode, carmakers have got good at using soulless microchips to give fast cars more character.
Sounds like Cupra’s going to have a crack at a motorsport style overtaking function, now.
Yes, in order to really stick it to that dawdling middle-lane hogger you’re about to blast past, Cupra’s new El-Born EV, due for release later in 2021, will apparently feature a push-to-pass boost button, according to Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths.
“I would say we call it ‘impulse’; you can have power on demand. You have pure acceleration and then when you need it, a push-to-pass button to go faster,” he explains.
The El-Born is basically Cupra’s version of the VW ID.3. Meanwhile, it’s an open secret that Volkswagen is developing an R-badged hot hatch version of the ID.3, likely to feature four-wheel drive and in excess of 300bhp.
So, how will the Spaniard stand apart, besides its styling?
“Things like ‘boost on demand’, the sporty suspension, the steering, the brakes, the whole handling experience. And we’re looking to do even higher powered versions of the Cupra El-Born,” says Griffiths.
“I’ve driven both [the ID.3 and the El-Born] and I think the Cupra is ‘a Cupra’. It is important that the Cupra stays authentic, in terms of handling. Pure electric cars that are designed in a different way, and when you get into cornering, handling, braking, steering, I think there’s a big amount of differentiation you can create there.”
Meanwhile, Wayne also tells us the rumours of a souped-up Cupra Formentor powered by the 2.5-litre 5cyl turbo wallop of an Audi RS3 engine are true. It could be something of a last hurrah for combustion-powered Cupras, and it’ll be here in 2021, with around 400bhp.
Just think of the exhaust warble…