See the car in the image above? It may look like a Seat, but it kinda/sorta isn’t. It’s the very first car from Cupra in its new guise as a standalone brand, free from the shackles of Seat. That being said, the new Cupra Ateca - which was leaked just hours before this official reveal - certainly follows a familiar recipe.
It’s been given the same 2.0-litre ‘EA888’ turbocharged inline-four as the existing Leon Cupra, putting out 296bhp to all four wheels. 0-62mph happens in 5.2 seconds, while the top speed is - shock horror - not 155mph. Instead, the livened-up Ateca runs out of puff at 152mph. It won’t be quite as slippery as the Leon, remember.
The old six-speed DSG automatic gearbox has been shirked in favour of VW Group’s newer seven-speed unit, which debuted in the VW Golf GTI. Also new is the ‘Otto Particulate Filter System’, which will prevent the car falling foul of the new, tougher WLTP emissions cycle.
Both outside and in, all Seat badging has been banished and replaced with the new Cupra logo. The exterior has been spruced up with sportified front and rear bumpers, quad tailpipes and rather a lot of gloss black trim.
The idea of the Cupra separation? It’s all about tempting customers who might not have otherwise considered a Seat while also giving the main brand an uplift, CEO Luca de Meo explained at the car’s reveal in Terramar, Spain.
At the same event, the fledgling brand has also debuted the Cupra Ibiza and Cupra Arona “design excercises,” although neither are confirmed for production yet. What will be going ahead is a Leon Cupra R ST, complete with carbonfibre aero parts, copper alloy wheels, a tweaked exhaust system and beefed-up brakes.
The Cupra R ST will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show before going on sale at the tail end of the year, a window of time during which the Cupra Ateca is also expected to launch.