Spanish automobile model Cupra might be on sale in Australia across the center of this yr, with three fashions protecting 9 drivetrain mixtures.
Owned by Volkswagen, the newcomer is being offered by Volkswagen Group Australia, which already sells Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen regionally.
Nonetheless, not like these well-established manufacturers, the Spanish minnow was solely shaped in 2018 and plans to do issues very in a different way, aiming for a rising area of interest effervescent away between the mainstream gamers and luxurious manufacturers.
Styling and efficiency are key pillars for Cupra, as are emotion and keenness.
The model additionally gained’t be hiding from its Spanish heritage, with every mannequin – Leon, Ateca and Formentor – named after a big a part of Spain.
“One thing that sits on the very reverse nook on this planet to home equipment,” is how Cupra Australia model director Ben Wilks describes the aspirational newcomer.
And Cupra shouldn’t be going for giant gross sales volumes, as a substitute attempting to tempt those that need to drive one thing thrilling and totally different.
“We’re not a model for everyone,” Wilks mentioned.
“We’re not a model that’s designed to be preferred by everybody; we’re a model that desires to be beloved by some.”
With nearly no historical past to talk of and no model recognition in Australia, Cupra has an uphill battle — but it surely’s one thing Wilks sees as a optimistic in what’s a fast-evolving automotive world.
Plus, Volkswagen already has expertise in establishing new manufacturers with Skoda, which began tentatively in 2007 earlier than constructing its method to mainstream standing.
“We’re not a model that’s anchored prior to now,” Wilks mentioned.
“We’re not trying in direction of our historical past, we’re trying in direction of our future.”
Three fashions might be offered in Australia, the Leon small hatchback, Ateca small SUV and Formentor mid-sized crossover.
Whereas every slots into an present market phase, every brings a particular look with European aptitude and a few sporty particulars and angles.
Cupra has additionally liberally utilized copper-coloured accents inside and outside as a “key a part of the model id”.
And tools ranges might be excessive, with perks comparable to digital instrument clusters and heavily-bolstered sports activities seats a number of the many options that might be normal.
Whereas the designs are distinctive, there’s extra familiarity beneath the pores and skin.
Cupras will use drivetrains and automobile architectures from mum or dad firm Volkswagen.
All will initially be powered by four-cylinder turbo engines of various capacities (1.4-2.0-litre) and outputs.
Two of the 9 mixtures on provide will embody a plug-in hybrid system teaming with an electrical motor to permit EV working for as much as 60km.
Probably the most reasonably priced mannequin would be the Leon, which is concerning the measurement of a Volkswagen Golf and must be priced within the low-$40,000 bracket.
It will likely be out there with the selection of 140kW, 180kW and 221kW outputs, every front-drive.
The Leon will even be offered as a 180kW plug-in hybrid in a position to cowl as much as 60km on electrical energy earlier than needing recharging.
The Ateca compact SUV will come solely as a 221kW four-cylinder turbo all-wheel drive and can slot in the course of the line-up.
The automobile anticipated to account for many Cupra gross sales is the Formentor, which might be offered as an all-wheel drive with 140kW and 228kW outputs, or a front-drive with 180kW.
It would even be supplied with the 180kW front-drive PHEV system permitting all-electric driving for as much as 55km.
Electrification is seen as core to the Cupra model shifting ahead.
“Electrical autos will kind an vital a part of the Cupra vary sooner or later,” Volkswagen Australia supervisor of product and companies Jeff Shafer mentioned.
The Born EV hitting European roads later this yr is excessive on the wishlist for Australia, as is the Tavascan EV SUV due by 2024.
Cupra gained’t have conventional dealerships however “shops”, a few of which is likely to be in procuring centres or different heavily-trafficked areas.
Plans are to have 10-20 stand alone shops initially, with at the very least one slated for Perth.
Servicing and after-sales assist might be offered by a few of greater than 180 Australian places at present dedicated to Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi.