Cupra presents new all-electric Tavascan at Berlin E-Prix: "Will expand Formula E theme"
Cupra unveiled its next all-electric vehicle on Friday evening ahead of the Formula E Berlin E-Prix. After the "Born" small car, the Spanish brand is focusing on an SUV coupe for the new "Tavascan". The e-car is scheduled for market launch in 2024 and will be available in two power levels: 210 kW and 250 kW. The Tavascan is thus on a par with the performance level of the Formula E Gen2 vehicle. 'e-formula.news' was allowed to accompany the world premiere and ask questions about the future.
Who was at the Berlin E-Prix, will not have passed Cupra. No other manufacturer presented itself so large and spectacular. 1,400 guests from all over the world are said to have been on the invitation list. The Volkswagen subsidiary, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, had converted Hangar 6 of the former Tempelhof Airport into a modern event location that was also open to fans on race days. At times, long lines formed in front of the illuminated entrance tunnel.
We were already guests on Friday evening, when the Tavascan celebrated its world premiere. Various speakers gave insights into the development of the vehicle as well as Cupra's rapid economic rise in recent months. Racing driver Adrien Tambay, who won the all-electric ETCR title for Cupra 2022 and finally competed in Monday's Formula E rookie test for ABT Cupra, was also on stage.
The Tavascan VZ, with 250 kW of power and twin-motor all-wheel drive, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds. The battery, with a net capacity of 77 kWh, is said to provide a range of up to 549 kilometers according to the WLTP test cycle. When charging, the Tavascan is said to be able to refuel energy for 100 kilometers in seven minutes under optimum conditions. The maximum charging power is 135 kW.
Cupra in Formula E - board member Schuwirth: "We already transfer our experience"
Not entirely by chance Cupra chose the Formula E guest appearance in Berlin for its Tavascan presentation: "Cupra comes, after all, from Cup Racing - motorsport is a core competence for us," explained board member Sven Schuwirth in a media round, which was also attended by 'e-formula.news'. "If an emotional brand positions itself as sporty and emotional, but is not itself active in motorsport, that becomes untrustworthy at some point."
An important reason, he said, is also the transfer of technology between the racetrack and the road. "We transfer many of our developments in motorsport to series production as well. We already have the transfer of experience (with Formula E) now," says the Cupra COO. For example, he says, the brand is also integrating active and former racing drivers into its development work. Specifically, this applies to steering, for example, but also to the entire vehicle tuning.
After entry as ABT Sportsline's title partner a few months ago, Cupra is still in a "learning phase" in Formula E, he said. "After all, we have only just joined and are in our first season. Our Chief Development Officer Werner Tietz is involved, and we will expand on the topic," Schuwirth announced.
To date, Cupra is not yet involved technologically, as ABT will compete as Mahindra's customer team at least until the end of next season. We reported back in December on Cupra's ambitions to enter Formula E as its own manufacturer.
Aggressive "DarkRebel" design concept underscores sporty aspirations
In addition to the Tavascan, Cupra showed a virtual study called "DarkRebel" for the first time on Friday evening. The concept takes an extreme direction in design, relying on sharp lines and the proportions of a sports car combined with shooting-break architecture. Whether the car will ever appear in this or a similar form remains to be seen.
The DarkRebel rather looks like a marketing stunt. Cupra has developed a configurator in which fans can collaborate on the design of the study. Cupra says it wants to incorporate this input into the development. "We've created a whole new way of working together to develop the future of our sports cars," says design chief Jorge Diez. "We invite everyone to create their own version of the Cupra DarkRebel and influence the final design of the car."
Cupra hasn't been in Formula E for long, but it seems to feel comfortable, as its own target audience overlaps heavily with that of the electric series. We can expect a lot more from the ambitious "rebel" from Barcelona in the coming years - also in sporting terms.
Transparency note: Cupra invited e-formula.news to the Berlin E-Prix in Berlin.