Welcome, internet, to the brave new world of the electric hot hatchback. This is the Cupra El-Born, and it’s exciting for a couple of reasons. One, it’s the first hot hatch spun from the Volkswagen ID.3’s platform. You’d expect plenty of others will follow. Two, it’s proof the Cupra line up is going to be about so much more than SUVs.
Technical details are pretty sparse at the moment, with Cupra releasing a small bundle of stats that are fairly new to the hot hatch world. It’ll do 310 miles on one charge from a 77kWh battery, while you can juice it up to around 160 miles of range with a 30-minute rapid-charge.
There’s no claimed power output just yet, though logic would suggest it’ll present a jump on the ID.3’s 201bhp. Not only because this is an overtly more sporting thing, but because the VW achieves a 342-mile range with an identically sized battery. Cupra hasn’t claimed a 0-62mph time for the El-Born, either, but it’ll hit 31mph in a quoted 2.9secs. Which is pretty flipping brisk, really, and a stat that bears far more relevance to real life if we’re being honest.
The El-Born’s other big news is that it’ll be the first car on the VW Group’s electric hatch chassis to deploy DCC adaptive damping, linked to a suite of drive modes and a ‘Cupra’ button that surely stiffens the setup and frees up all the power.
It’s a much more assertive looking thing than the Seat El-Born concept we saw back in 2019, deploying the Cupra brand’s grey’n’bronze styling cues to dramatic effect, though we’d be surprised if a slightly more sensible Seat version didn’t follow it into production in due course. Interesting that we see the Cupra version in showroom guise first, though.
More spec numbers should arrive in due course, giving us a little time to wrap our heads around the idea of hot hatches going fully electric. In a dinky, supposedly light class of car, it surely makes more sense than a hybrid, right? Or do you beg to differ?