Hot Euro brand set for grand Kiwi arrival in 2021

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Words: Matthew Hansen
15 Dec 2020

We’ve featured Cupras before in NZ Autocar (namely the fabulous Cupra Ateca), but up to this point the name has felt more like a casual excursion for Seat rather than the fully blown satellite off-shoot sub-brand it’s meant to be.

But, from 2021 that’s going to change. Seat New Zealand and Cupra New Zealand have confirmed that our market is getting the full Cupra line-up from 2021. Along with the existing Cupra Ateca, we’ll be getting the Cupra Leon hatch, Cupra Leon Sportstourer [pictured above], and sinister looking Cupra Formentor SUV [pictured below].

 

That may not be all, either. Seat and Cupra’s first electric car, the nuggety but neat looking el-Born hatch is set to be launched next year overseas. It may too find its way to New Zealand. Its Volkswagen cousin, the ID.3, is still unconfirmed for our market.

If you’re still reading this thinking “what is a Cupra?” or “isn’t a Seat a chair for sitting on?”, that’s okay. The two badges aren’t really household names here. Seat is a well established Spanish brand in Europe, and is owned by Volkswagen Group somewhat like Skoda.

Cupra used to be a term it would tack onto its performance variants (the Leon Cupra and Ibiza Cupra have a cult following overseas), but now it’s a semi-separate performance sub-brand with its own badge and no Seat references to be seen. In other words, a little like Hyundai’s Genesis line of premium cars.

The first of the new Cupras, an updated Ateca, is set to hit our shores next month. Then in June, the two Leons and the Formenter’s pure petrol variant will arrive. And finally, a plug-in hybrid gets here later in the year.

Power in the Leons comes via a 2.0-litre TSI turbofour producing 180kW and 370Nm in overseas base forms, and 228kW/400Nm in flagship variants. Although it’s yet to be confirmed which engines will come to New Zealand, we’d tip it’ll be the latter.

The Formenter, meanwhile, gets either a tame 140kW turbocharged four or a fruitier 228kW number from Kiwi launch. There’s also a 150kW eHybrid powertrain on the way, capable of a claimed 70km of travel per charge.

The Formenter nameplate is a biggy for Cupra, since it’s the first one that the brand has developed from the ground up. Meaning, there’s no Volkswagen version out there wrapped in a different body.

Pricing for the Leon starts at $59,900 for the hatch and $65,900 for the Sportstourer. The tweaked Ateca will be priced from $66,900 (a $3000 increase over current sticker). And the Formenter will cost $54,900 for the entry-level model and $68,900 for the more powerful petrol variant.

 

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