New Cupra Tavascan is an 'unconventional' new coupe-SUV

21 Apr 2023
Cupra Tavascan

The bold new Cupra Tavascan has been revealed as a performance-honed coupe-SUV offering up to 250kW of power and a range of up to 341 miles – with its makers claiming it can “reinvent electrification” by proving EVs can be “fun and sexy”.

The Spanish brand first revealed the dramatically styled Tavascan in concept form in 2019, but at that stage it had not been confirmed for production. The finished machine features styling that is largely unchanged, and which will be reflected on future models from the firm.

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Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths, said the the machine represents a “dream come true”, adding: “There are so many purely rational electric cars coming to the market. That’s not what Cupra is about.”

The Tesla Model Y-rivalling Tavascan will be Cupra’s second production EV after the smaller Born hatch, and shares the same VW Group MEB platform as that model. At 4644mm long and 1861mm wide, the Tavascan sits between the Volkswagen ID 4 and Skoda Enyaq machines that share the same platform.

Two powertrains will be offered. The entry-level rear-drive variant uses a single rear-mounted motor producing 210kW, while there will also be a twin motor all-wheel-drive VZ version that uses a 210kW motor at the front and an 80kW unit at the rear to offer a total system output of 250kW.

Q&A: How Cupra is creating its electric reinvention

The VZ version will run in rear-drive mode most of the time, with the front motor called into action when the machine detects torque requirement from the front wheels. That held give it a 0-62mph time of 5.6secs.

Both machines draw energy from a 77kWh net battery, which gives the single-motor version a range of 341 miles, which drops to 321 miles for the all-wheel-drive VZ. The battery can be charged at speeds of up to 135kW.

Cupra says it has also put emphasis into ensuring that the Tavascan can deliver on its performance brief, with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems that give the ability to adapt the chassis to individual driving preferences.

The exterior design as described as “unconventional” by Cupra design boss Jorge Diez, and is intended to reinforce the firm’s position as a ‘challenger brand’. The front end is dominated features large triangular lights, and a bold, angular ‘shark nose’ front end that includes a large Cupra logo. Notably, it will be one of the first cars in Europe to go on sale with an illuminated badge, which was prohibited under EU rules until recently.

The side sculpting features a ‘helmet’ concept with the A-pillar based on the positioning of the A-pillar, along with styling elements inspired by the Cupra Tavascan XE machine that competes in the electric Extreme E series.

There’s a choice of 19, 20 and 21in wheels, while the rear design features a large rear diffuser to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Inside, there’s a large 15in infotainment touchscreen – the largest yet featured in a Cupra model – that comes with what is called a ‘retro illuminated’ touch car to control the climate settings and volumes. 

There’s a 5.3in digital driver info display, and the machine also features a Senheiser audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. It comes with a range of driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control and car-to-x technology that enables it to receive information from other vehicles.

While the Tavascan was developed at Cupra’s base in Barcelona, it will be manufactured at the VW Group facility in Anhui, China.

While UK pricing it yet to be confirmed, it is expected to be in the region of £40,000.


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