Hot Ateca SUV launches new Cupra 22 | 02 | 2018

    SEAT HAS LAUNCHED its new Cupra division with a hot version of its Ateca SUV. The Spanish company — which hints that its newly reinvented Cupra division is based on the success of other rebrandings, such as Abarth — believes a hot SUV, with the pace of many hot hatches, will help quickly establish the brand. (Related: Roadtest — Seat Ibiza SE 1.0TSI)

    Expected to go on-sale in Scotland before the end of 2018, no pricing has yet been confirmed for the Cupra Ateca. But we should expect to slot somewhere between £35,000 and £40,000.

    Seat boss Luca de Meo believes the rebranding will help squeeze extra profit from existing models. Perhaps more significantly, it’s also aimed at stopping higher-end customers from deserting to premium brands.

    Within the next four-to-five years, Seat’s vice-president for sales and marketing, Wayne Griffiths, is predicting sales of Cupra models will double.


    The Cupra Ateca is powered by a 296bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Mated to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox, 4Drive all-wheel drive and adaptive suspension, it’s capable of 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds. That’s just 0.3sec slower than a Porsche Cayman 2.0. The Cupra will continue on to a top speed of 152mph.

    It’s also fitted with a number of modes, one of which firms up the suspension and allows more engine noise through to the cabin.


    The Cupra is distinguished from other Ateca models by its new copper-tinted badge, which identifies the new division. Interestingly, there’s no obvious Seat branding on the Cupra version.

    Buyers can choose from six body colours, but each Cupra Ateca will get gloss-black detailing on several exterior elements, including the wing mirrors, side mouldings, wheels and front grille. There’s also reprofiled front and rear bumpers, plus quad exhaust pipe and an exclusive design of 19in diamond-cut alloy wheels.


    Inside the cabin, the Cupra Ateca gets a Cupra-branded interface on the standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a fully digital instrument panel, keyless entry and start, aluminium pedals, plus Alcantara-lined door panels and seats.

    The motorsport heritage of the Cupra brand is highlighted and strengthened by the fact it will be the responsibility of Seat Sport. The motorsport division has history in the World Rally Championship and World Touring Car Championship, and which now builds the VW Group's challengers in the TCR touring car category (pictured below).


    All cars in the new Cupra range will be engineered and finished at the team's headquarters on the outskirts of the Seat factory site in Martorell near Barcelona.

    While all Seat dealers will service Cupra models, only 260 dealerships across Europe will have floor space dedicated to the new brand.

    The Cupra Ateca will be followed by a number of new models, and it’s expected the next out-and-out Cupra model could well be smaller than a Leon.

    Related: Scots group expands into Stirling with Seat

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    Jim McGill

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