Cupra launches 300hp Ateca and first race car


A few weeks ago we got the badge; now we get the car to stick it on. Or the first of them at any rate, as you'll be hearing a good deal more from Cupra in the next 18 months as SEAT attempts to take its nascent performance brand from marketing wheeze to genuine contender.

The metamorphosis will require rather more glamour than can be contained in a go-faster Ateca - but of course that's where the sales volume is, and given its parent's long term flirtation with loss-making, Cupra will be encouraged to turn a profit almost from the off.


From that point of view, there is nowhere better to start than a compact SUV; nor is there likely to be any harm in powering the thing with what is essentially a Golf R's engine and gearbox. Seat has plenty of experience with the 2.0-litre TSI unit and seven-speed DSG, of course - the same 300hp powertrain appears in the Leon Cupra ST, along with the 4Drive all-wheel-drive system.

Naturally, in the Cupra Ateca (a name destined to seem arse about face for quite some time) there are Snow and Off-Road settings added to the onboard drive modes in case there's a kerb to mount on the school run - although the manufacturer also promises that tweaks have been made to the adaptive suspension which will befit the car's Cupra mode.


Don't expect anything too stringent though; the new model may well be good enough for 62mph in 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 152mph, but when 'going shopping' and 'traveling with lots of luggage' are listed in the press material, it's fair to say that we're not talking about a rallycross car here.

Not that anyone has told the designers that, mind. It says rather a lot about the Ateca that considerably more attention appears to have been paid to it's styling than the underbody. Around the new badge (which still looks like something from the Marvel Universe) the standard add-ons have been assembled: honeycomb effect, gloss black, matt aluminum, diamond cut alloys - you name it. There's even a Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack. And an interior one, too.

Just in case that all started to seem a bit too show-and-no-go, Cupra has included a few kickers alongside the Ateca. Most interesting is the TCR, the brand's first racing car which will begin competing later this year. Going racing is obviously a decent way for the brand to start earning its spurs, and, being based on a Leon, the car looks rather good.


Also in the near future is the prospect of an ST version of the recently revealed (and promptly sold-out) Cupra R. Somewhat confusingly, this will be sold without its sibling's 310hp output, but with the 4Drive system it was denied - making it less a bonafide R and more a styling pack for the aforementioned Cupra wagon. Which will still be badged as a Seat.

Once you've got your head around that, the brand is keen for you to think about the Ibiza and Arona in Cupra costume (because it's almost certainly happening in both cases) and we'd lay good odds on seeing a Mii too if the Up GTI really takes off. A busy future then. In time, we'll know whether or not it's a bright one.

 

 

 

 



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Comments (86) Join the discussion on the forum

  • housen 22 Feb 2018

    k

  • Nickp82 22 Feb 2018

    Similarly to the Leon Cupra R, I want to like the Ateca Cupra, but based on the pictures just don't.....


  • IanCress 22 Feb 2018

    Article said:
    Around the new badge (which still looks like something from the Marvel Universe) the standard add-ons have been assembled: honeycomb effect, gloss black, matt aluminum, diamond cut alloys - you name it. There's even a Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack. And an interior one, too.
    I always liked the Cupra variants as they went under the radar. No 'blingy' bits. Looks like that idea has gone out of the window now.

  • andrewparker 22 Feb 2018

    This bronze metallic thing is going to age terribly, and that logo is absolutely awful.

  • GTEYE 22 Feb 2018

    I might be wrong but I don't think Porsche would have quite the same image they have today if they had started with the Cayenne.

    To be honest I don't get this, it's got no image, it looks tacky - the small SUV market would be better served by a (less powerful) Tiguan IMHO

    And why on earth did they not launch the brand with the Leon Cupra R? Surely that would have been a bit more "Cupra"?

    Edited by GTEYE on Thursday 22 February 15:21

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