New Cupra DarkRebel is an electric sports car that will be honed in the metaverse

22 Apr 2023
Cupra DarkRebel

Cupra has revealed a wild new digital-only concept called the DarkRebel, which might sound like something out of Star Wars but actually previews a two-seat electric sports car that could serve as a future halo model.

Images of the new ‘virtual sports car’ were displayed during the reveal of the new Cupra Tavascan coupe-SUV. With a stretched bonnet and a cabin pushed right to the back of the car, the Spanish firm claims the model combines elements of a sports car and a shooting brake.

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The styling of the DarkRebel builds on that of the new Tavascan, and also has echoes of the UrbanRebel concept that previews the firm’s entry-level electric hatch due in 2025. The interior features buckets seats and what the firm terms a ‘gamified’ steering wheel and shifter.

Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths said that the DarkRebel represented “the next step” and “the ultimate interpretation of our values”. He told reporters: “It is mysterious and stands out from the crowd”.

Cupra says that the DarkRebel is “not a prediction, but rather a provocation”, adding that “design is a dialogue, not a process”. That’s because, for now, the DarkRebel will exist only within Metahype, Cupra’s new online ‘metaverse’ concept. 

Basically, that means Cupra has launched an online ‘Hyper Configurator’ for the DarkRebel, where people can go and play around with colours, materials and finishes for the car “without the limitations of physical feasibility”.

Data gathered from users playing with the configurator will then be used to influence the design of a physical DarkRebel model that will arrive in the coming months. So if you’ve ever fancied being a car designer, here’s your chance. Sort of.

There is not indication yet of what will underpin a production version of the DarkRebel concept, or of a timeline for it to escape the meteverse and appear in real life. Cupra is part of the Volkswagen Group, which means it could site on the proven MEB architecture also used by the Tavascan and a host of other models. But it could also give Cupra access to the performance PPE architecture being developed by Audi and Porsche.

Depending on timelines, the VW Group is also working on an SSE platform that fuses elements of the two existing architectures and is designed to be more flexible and cost-effective. 


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