Welcome to Seat…AHEM, Cupra’s new touring cars. Based (we suspect quite loosely) on the new Cupra Leon, the black/copper-coloured car, which has an actual engine, will compete in the WTCR series alongside racy versions of the Audi A3, VW Golf and so-on. The white/blue car, meanwhile, has no engine – it’s been built to compete in the new all-electric eTCR series which, after a few trial events this year, starts proper in 2021.
eTCR and WTCR are supposed to be equals – not like Formula One and Formula E, which are technically bedfellows, even though one series is much faster and more prestigious than the other. In essence eTCR cars will be WTCR cars, just with batteries and e-motors instead of a turbocharged petrol engine.
The rules haven’t quite been worked out yet, but it’s thought teams (besides Cupra, just Hyundai and one ambitious privateer have so far signed up to race in eTCR) will use identical motors and batteries, meaning chassis setup and driver skill are what it’s all about.
In WTCR, teams are allowed to supply their own engines, so long as they’re at most 2.0-litres and produce no more than 345bhp. The new Cupra Leon Competición produces 335bhp, giving 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 162mph.
Which makes it precisely half as powerful as the e-Racer, which is capable of 671bhp and 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. As eTCR is supposed to stay on-par with WTCR, it’s likely peak power will only be available in qualifying, and the cars limited to around 400bhp in race-trim. Which we’ve tried via Hyundai’s Veloster eTCR.