2021 Cupra Born electric car revealed: price, specs and release date

New all-electric Cupra Born hatchback can travel up to 335 miles on a single charge...

2021 Cupra Born front

On sale: Late 2021 | Price from: £33,000 (est)

Will a rose by any other name smell as sweet? We’re about to find out, because while the Cupra Born is a new electric hatchback in its own right, it shares a lot with a car we’re already familiar with.

That’s the Volkswagen ID.3, our Small Electric Car of the Year and an excellent foundation for the new model. The Born itself is the Spanish brand’s first all-electric car and looks similar to the el-Born concept unveiled a couple of years ago; the slim LED lights, large (up to 20in) alloy wheels and a swept-back roof will certainly get you noticed on the school run.

2021 Cupra Born rear

2021 Cupra Born battery, power and range

Buyers have three battery sizes to choose from, all familiar from the ID.3. The entry-level choice is a 45kWh battery pack promising a range of up to 211 miles on a charge, which beats the 168 miles the rival Nissan Leaf can manage with its 40kWh battery. It’s connected to a single 148bhp electric motor that can get the Born to 62mph in 8.9sec.

The mid-rung option is a 58kWh battery with a 201bhp or 221bhp electric motor. The 221bhp version has a 0-62mph sprint time of just 6.6sec, but whichever power output you choose, the range stays the same, at 260 miles.

The range-topping Born pairs the more powerful motor with a 77kWh battery for a range of up to 335 miles. That’s further than the considerably more expensive Tesla Model 3 can take you between charges in Standard Range Plus form.

The Born supports charging at speeds of up to 125kW, meaning you can top up the 77kWh battery fast enough to add 62 miles of range in as little as seven minutes (if you can find a suitably powerful charging point). Charging from a home wallbox charger or using a three-pin plug will take a lot longer.

2021 Cupra Born interior

2021 Cupra Born interior

The Born’s interior is based on the ID.3’s but has a bit more colour and flair about it. The centrepiece is a standard-fit 12.0in infotainment touchscreen on the dashboard, and you can connect your phone wirelessly using Apple CarPlay/Android Auto if you don’t want to use Cupra’s own system.

There’s the same 5.3in digital instrument display that’s found in the ID.3 and an augmented reality head-up display that can project important information such as sat-nav directions directly on to the windscreen. 

The on-board technology also includes a nine-speaker Beats audio system, a wireless charging pad for your phone and a voice assistant that can be woken by saying “Hola, Hola” or pressing a button on the centre console (we suspect most drivers will do the latter).

2021 Cupra Born interior

Cupra has used recycled materials for parts of the Born’s interior, including seat fabric made from marine plastics and an optional door trim that reuses fibres from old clothing.

As in the ID.3, you select gears using a rotary knob that’s positioned on the side of the instrument binnacle, so there’s more space on the centre console to store your odds and ends. The Born’s 385-litre boot matches the ID.3 exactly and slightly beats that of the Leon family hatchback; a couple of holiday suitcases or the weekly shop won’t pose a problem.

The driver assistance and safety kit includes a Travel Assist system that combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance to help the car maintain its own position on the motorway, as well as blindspot monitoring and a self-parking system.

2021 Cupra Born side

2021 Cupra Born price

Pricing has yet to be announced, but we’d expect the Born to cost slightly more than the equivalent ID.3, meaning a starting price of around £33,000 is likely. Entry-level versions of the Born should qualify for the Government’s £2500 grant for electric vehicles – and that’s certainly a rosy deal for potential buyers.

The Born joins the Ateca and Formentor SUVs in the Cupra line-up, and we are expecting the larger Tavascan electric SUV in around 2024, plus a smaller electric hatchback a year later.

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