Cupra’s first step into the sphere of pure-electric power is a dramatic-looking EV concept called the Tavascan, which has made its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show.
Named after a ski resort near the French border in Catalonia, the Tavascan is said to marry “the presence of an SUV with the sleekness of a sports coupé” and showcases the evolution of Cupra design as it moves further away from its parent company, Seat.
The front end of the Tavascan is designed to balance the desire for “muscularity and dynamism”, the company claims, with an exterior shape honed for range-boosting aerodynamic efficiency. The front end is also intended to create a “totally different focal point” from those of conventional combustion-engined cars, with an illuminated Cupra logo mounted low, below the blanked-out ‘grille’. A separate badge spells out ‘Cupra’ in a vent linked to the headlights.
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The rear is also heavily dominated by the lower portion’s styling, with a striking bumper shape mated to a steeply raked rear window line and full-width light bar, intersected by the Cupra logo.
It is claimed each vent and slat on the body serves a purpose, either in allowing air to flow over the body or directing it internally to cool batteries. The model also sits on aero-optimised 22in wheels.
Cupra claims the interior “mixes material and technological concepts with openness and focus” by the use of “contrasting colours, structural carbon and dynamic approaches to technology and design”. Leather, carbon and Alcantara are the dominant materials.
There is a floating dashboard but a digital instrument cluster and 13.0in infotainment screen are the focal points. The 13.0in screen can be moved towards the passenger if needed and speaker and smartphone connectivity features are integrated into the seats.
Cupra stresses that the Tavascan concept is designed to deliver “the performance, dynamics and drivability its customers demand”. To that end, it features a dual-motor electric powertrain putting out 302bhp, enabling 0-62mph in “less than 6.5sec”.
The Tavascan uses the highly flexible Volkswagen Group MEB platform, integrating the two motors across both axles for all-wheel drive. The floorpan houses a 77kWh lithium ion battery, taken from the largest-capacity version of VW’s ID 3. A range of 280 miles is claimed.
The brand predicts the electric SUV coupé market will grow by 15% every year and hopes to capitalise on that with future models evolving from the Tavascan. The listing of specs suggests there is some production intent here.
Cupra has already shown the Formentor – also an SUV coupé but one with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains rather than purely electric – that’s due next year. Two more PHEVs are also on the cards for 2020.
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