The electric age has certainly also arrived at Seat. Not that they produce impressive petrol engined cars. I am presently driving a very able Seat Arona 1.0 TSI Xperience, its three cylinder 110 HP 1 litre engine purrs very nicely indeed, coupled to a 7 speed DSG, and feels very well at home on the motorway as in the city. The somewhat higher stance of the Arona proved also a blessing and we would judge it “just right”. But as said, the electronic age is certainly dawning at Seat.
The SEAT S.A. team is producing working for instance at the Martorell plant the SEAT Leon e-HYBRID, the first hybrid model manufactured in Martorell. But there is more.
Beatriz Matute, head of Project Management for the launch of the CUPRA Born, has spent this year going between Barcelona and Zwickau (Germany). She’s led a team of more than 50 employees from different areas in charge of overseeing the start of series production for the CUPRA Born, CUPRA’s first 100% electric car, in Europe’s largest electric vehicle factory. “It’s been a valuable learning experience that we will certainly build on for the electrification of Martorell” she says.
The CUPRA Born signals the start of CUPRA’s electric offensive and is a key element in the brand’s international expansion. For this reason, “we knew that the International Press Presentation of the CUPRA Born needed to be different” says SEAT S.A. Global Communications Director Cécilia Taieb. “We made it happen thanks to the help and participation of many of our employees” she continues. The first 100% electric car brought together 440 journalists from 27 countries in Barcelona. In total, 62,000 kilometres of testing were carried out over four weeks by the invited media.
The brand’s marketeers and top experts around the world have been just as dedicated in preparing to sell the CUPRA Born. More than 1,000 CUPRA Masters from 43 markets took part in the CUPRA Master Convention 2021 to deepen their knowledge and transmit their expertise to customers.
The IAA International Motor Show in Munich last September was the backdrop for the world premiere of the CUPRA UrbanRebel concept, the CUPRA team’s unconventional challenger. “The concept laid the foundations for our future 100% electric city car, which will arrive in 2025” says CUPRA Director of Strategy, Business Development and Operations Antonino Labate.
Leading the electric competition. CUPRA made motorsport history this year by winning the first ever electric touring car championship. Along with Mattias Ekström, they have been named “Kings of the season” for the PURE ETCR. With the CUPRA e-Racer, a technical feat of 500 kW (680 hp) of power, the brand successfully completed the challenge it set itself in 2017: to create the first electric racing touring car in history, and win. “The future of racing is electric, and we have already taken the lead” maintains Xavier Serra, head of CUPRA Racing.
A step forward with 1.3 Megawatts of power…
The Test Center Energy (TCE) is another of the company’s major commitments to electrification. “We’ve made a great effort to create this pioneering battery research and development centre in Southern Europe, which will enable us to develop the energy systems for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles” says Francesc Sabaté, head of the TCE. To give an example of its testing capacity, 1.3 megawatts is equivalent to the energy consumption of 350 homes operating at maximum power.
Hans Knol ten Bensel