Currently reading: How the CUPRA Born amps up electric driving
CUPRA’s all-electric performance hatch boasts plenty of potent power and sharper handing, with an even hotter CUPRA Born VZ on the way

Think electric cars are dull to drive? Think they’re big, heavy, underpowered, and lack the range to make them truly enjoyable? Well, that’s where the CUPRA Born begs to differ.

The CUPRA Born recently topped two Autocar EV group tests, one of which focused on handling and fun driving character, and that's a big part of the reason why we've just named it our Best Electric Car in the 2024 Autocar Awards. Our sister title What Car? also named the CUPRA Born its Best Small Electric Car To Drive in the 2024 What Car? Awards, alongside a glowing five-star review. So, it’s clear that there are plenty of reasons why the CUPRA Born bucks the ‘dull EV’ trend.

Now, the CUPRA Born is an even more compelling purchase, with a simplified model line-up and 0% APR for up to three years with a £4,500 contribution towards your finance deposit on Solutions PCP.*

We’ve talked all about the many reasons why the CUPRA Born is a standout electric car in its own right here. But what’s the secret to the CUPRA Born’s hot-hatch-baiting all-electric driving character? Let’s find out…

Learn more about the CUPRA Born

Amped-up all-electric acceleration

The CUPRA Born delivers impressive performance from the off. The core CUPRA Born V1, V2 and V3 models all use a rear-wheel-drive e-Boost motor that offers up to 230PS of potent electric power and 310Nm of punchy all-electric torque. And, yes, you read that right, the CUPRA Born is rear-wheel-drive. But more on that later.

The e-Boost feature gives you a quick burst of maximum power: either by pushing the throttle past the kickdown, or by pressing the ‘Cupra’ button on the steering wheel. As a result, the CUPRA Born can sprint from 0-62mph in as little as 6.7sec.

And don’t think that all of that added performance compromises the CUPRA Born’s ability to go the distance. With an official all-electric range that offers up to 266 miles as standard, all the way up to 372 miles on the CUPRA Born VZ with its longer-range 79kWh battery, you can be sure you’ll pack in as many smiles as miles on your next trip.


Read our review

Car review

Cupra’s first EV looks rather like a Volkswagen ID 3. Is the difference in the driving?

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Dynamic driving character

All that power and acceleration is fantastic. But what about when you get to the twisty bits: the area in which many performance-aspiring EVs let themselves down?

Well, first, as the CUPRA Born is just 4.3 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 1.5m tall, it’s smaller and more compact than the wave of SUVs that seem to form the bulk of new all-electric model launches. Equally, the CUPRA Born is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, which offers a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution. 

The fact that the CUPRA Born’s all-electric motor is mounted at the rear and drives the rear wheels gives it a unique sportscar-like feel in terms of power delivery. Then the CUPRA Born takes electric handling to the next level with its stiffer and more advanced suspension, which keeps body roll in check without compromising ride quality and comfort.

“A very appealing EV for the keen driver”

The road-test teams at Autocar and What Car? are pretty discerning when it comes to determining what makes a characterful-to-drive great-handling car. And they’ve got plenty of praise when it comes to the CUPRA Born.

“If you’re looking for an affordable EV that feels fairly small, spry and manoeuvrable, the CUPRA Born hits those marks,” Autocar said in its recent affordable EV group test. “There’s a cutting-edge subtle but present sense of cornering balance and throttle adjustability to the handling that gives lie to the claim that all EVs are dull, prosaic, uninteresting cars to drive.”

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“Being rear-motored and rear-wheel drive, there’s a sense of natural poise about the way it gets down a road and around a corner. It’s powerful enough in its own right to feel urgent and athletic when you want it to. It feels lighter on its feet and more sweetly balanced as it changes direction. It deploys and carries speed in a way that doesn’t have you looking down at your remaining range and questioning whether it’s sensible to be ‘enjoying’ driving your EV quite as much as you may be

“There is, in short, a deeply impressive ‘just rightness’ about this car which only becomes clearer when you drive it back-to-back with its rivals on an interesting road. That makes the CUPRA Born a very appealing EV for the keen driver.”

That was an opinion shared by What Car? in its five-star review: “The CUPRA Born rails against the idea that small electric cars have to be boring. CUPRA has positioned the CUPRA Born as a sportier option – both through its more aggressive look, and the way it drives. The steering, suspension and brakes have been tuned to make the car more engaging. You’ll appreciate the tweaks that make the CUPRA Born sharper and more fun. The result is a more engaging driving experience. It’s an absolute breeze to steer through town and easy to thread smoothly down a B-road.”

Perfect for going the distance

All that performance matters little if a car is impractical to use. So, let’s focus on the other reasons why the CUPRA Born is a great driver’s car.

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First, the CUPRA Born is comfortable to drive over long distances. “The CUPRA Born is beautifully judged in respect of comfort,” Autocar said in its four-star review. “The standard [passive suspension] set-up is on the firm side, but not excessively so, soaking up the bumps without disturbing the balance. Just as important as the ride are the seats, and in our CUPRA Born V3 they didn’t disappoint. The sports seats are luxuriously padded but supportive and offer a decent amount of lateral support without being hard to get in and out of.”

As the What Car? road-test team added in their five-star review: “The CUPRA Born is a reasonably comfortable electric car and does a good job of absorbing lumps and bumps in the road. With precious little noise from its electric motor, it’s very quiet at town speeds. Pick up the pace, and it’s still impressively hushed.”

It’s also incredibly efficient. The CUPRA Born V1, V2 and V3 models all come with a 59kWh battery which boasts an official figure of up to 266 miles of all-electric range. The CUPRA Born V3 also offers the option of a larger 77kWh battery that delivers up to 348 miles of all-electric range if you feel the need to go further.

The CUPRA Born is also incredibly fast to charge, meaning you spend less time standing still and more time enjoying the drive. The CUPRA Born V1 offers 165kW charging speeds as standard, letting you charge from 10% to 80% in as little as 24 minutes on a compatible ultra-rapid DC public charger. The CUPRA Born V3’s larger 77kWh battery offers faster charging speeds up to 175kW. On a compatible ultra-rapid DC charger that could top you up from 10% to 80% in as little as 28 minutes. 

There’s also plenty of space for people and luggage. “The CUPRA is roughly the same length as the Volkswagen Golf and is just as roomy in the rear,” What Car? said in its five-star review. “There’s space for at least a six-foot passenger to sit behind someone equally tall without feeling squished. At 385 litres, the CUPRA Born’s boot is about the same size as the Volkswagen Golf’s and will be fine for such daily duties as carrying a small buggy, the weekly shop or a weekend away.”

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Coming soon: the CUPRA Born VZ

So, the CUPRA Born is already a great electric performance car. But what’s next for CUPRA’s all-electric hot-hatch? Want something even brisker and even more compelling to drive? Then check out the newly announced CUPRA Born VZ. 

VZ stands for ‘veloz’, meaning ‘fast’ in Spanish, and the CUPRA Born VZ boosts the CUPRA Born’s performance significantly – delivering 326PS of power (40% more than the other models in the range) and up to 545Nm of torque (a staggering 75% more than other CUPRA Borns). That means 0-62mph in as little as 5.6 seconds.

You’ll also notice the chassis changes made to the CUPRA Born VZ compared with the rest of the range. Its dynamic performance has been sharpened even further with upgraded DCC Sport suspension, more responsive steering, and an improved brake pedal feel, while the 20in alloy wheels use wider high-performance tyres. You can appreciate all of that – and the CUPRA Born VZ’s vastly upgraded tech – from the enhanced cup bucket seats, which offer a more sporty driving position, and are trimmed in a blend of upcycled Seaqual yarn and rich-feeling Dinamica.

And, last but not least, the CUPRA Born VZ also boasts an even-larger-capacity 79kWh battery that offers up to 372 miles of range, and which can be topped up from 10% to 80% in as little as 26 minutes on a compatible ultra-rapid 185kW DC charger.

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So, whichever CUPRA Born you’re picking from V1 to VZ, it’s clear that it challenges the thinking that electric cars are dull. The hardest decision will be picking which one is right for you.

Learn more about the CUPRA Born

* With Solutions Personal Contract Plan. Maximum 36 month contract. Minimum 10% Deposit. Maximum 40% Deposit. 18s+. Subject to status & availability. T&Cs apply. Available when ordered by 30 September 2024 from participating CUPRA Retailers. Indemnities may be required. Subject to changes in vehicle or equipment prices. Not available in conjunction with any other finance offer and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Accurate at 07/2024. Freepost SEAT Financial Services.

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