If you didn’t get the memo, earlier this year SEAT decided they will launch their performance vehicles under the standalone ‘CUPRA’ brand. Yes, that’s right, it is all capital letters - very shouty but so are the cars and that’s fine by us.
The CUPRA models will be based on the non-performance SEAT models however they will harness powerful engines, more aggressive body styling and more sporty spec levels. Oh, and they’ll also be emblazoned with the new CUPRA badge, taking centre stage in place of the SEAT badge.
So what’s this CUPRA Ateca all about?
Well the CUPRA Ateca offers a really promising package. Outside of the premium manufacturers, this new CUPRA Ateca offers a level of performance that just doesn’t exist anywhere else in the SUV market.
“The launch of CUPRA Ateca represents a real change in the SUV market – there is simply no other car like it available with such a competitive overall package,” said Richard Harrison, Managing Director of SEAT UK. “With 300PS, CUPRA Ateca offers customers a unique proposition: the high performance expected from the CUPRA name, paired with the practicality of an award-winning SUV and wrapped up in an elegant design – all at an affordable inclusive price. We are excited that CUPRA is creating this new sub-category of alternative premium performance SUVs.”
It won’t be cheap, with prices starting from £35,900 on launch, but for that, you’ll get a particularly well spec’d vehicle with metallic paintwork as standard and also a CUPRA care and maintenance package.
So let’s talk about performance. The CUPRA Ateca will feature the same 2.0 TSI petrol engine that features elsewhere in the Volkswagen Audi Group, such as in the Golf GTi. In the Ateca it will have 300 PS and 400 Nm of torque - those are some excellent figures and that unit will be mated to the latest and most impressive DSG gearbox to date. This auto-box will provide aggressive upshifts when you’re pressing on and seamless transitions under normal driving conditions. Naturally, it can be ordered around via paddles if the user so chooses.
The press release doesn’t elude to it as such, but the CUPRA Ateca will come exclusively with 4 wheel drive, and of course its controlled via an automatic gearbox, so it wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest that the Ateca will come with a devastatingly fast launch control like in the Quattro-controlled Audis and Volkswagen Golf R. We’ll have to wait and see.
So, what performance does all that power bring? SEAT, I mean, CUPRA, have said that the Ateca will go from 0-60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. That is absolutely silly-fast for a compact SUV. All of a sudden that £36,000 price tag seems a bit more reasonable now, doesn’t it? What else is comparable? A Porsche Macan starts from £10,000 more and it’s a second and a half slower to 60. There is also the Audi SQ5 which is just as fast but again it’s an extra £10,000. When you look at the market, the new CUPRA Ateca, or Ateca CUPRA, but definitely not SEAT Ateca CUPRA, really does seem to provide a lot of bang for your buck.