The Volkswagen Group finally has a rival to the Tesla Model 3 in Australia, and it won’t come from Volkswagen, Skoda, or even Audi.
Cuprathe newest member of the Volkswagen Group family Down Under, will lead the charge with the arrival of the new be born EV hatchback.
We won’t see the Volkswagen ID range or the Skoda Enyaq SUV for at least 12 months, giving the Cupra a significant head start on its corporate cousins in Australia’s electric space.
When it hits the market in earnest in March 2023, the Born will compete against a growing pool of competitors including the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, and the best-selling Tesla Model 3. are
With a price tag of $60,000 before on-road costs and a range of over 500km, it certainly has the tools to splash on paper.
We’ll have to wait a little longer to delve deeper into Australian roads, but we took a very brief taste of the Haunted Hills in Victoria to whet our appetite in the meantime. Here’s what we learned.
gave 2023 Kapra is born. But will start $59,990 before on-road costsEquivalent to an on-road price (before incentives) of around $63,000 depending on the state.
That pricing puts it in direct competition with the Tesla Model 3 ($65,500) plus the Nissan Leaf e+ ($61,490), Hyundai Kona Electric Extended Range ($60,500), and Kia Niro EV S ($65,300). All prices are exclusive of on-road costs.
Orders are not open yet, but pre-orders ($1000 up front, $750 of which is a refundable deposit and $250 of which is a non-refundable reservation fee) will open. December 20 Barring any technical hurdles.
2023 Cupra Borne Pricing:
- Cupra Born 77kWh eBoost: $59,990
Drive Away Pricing:
- Act: $61,990 drive away
- NSW: $62,490 drive away
- QLD: $63,490 drive away
- VIC: $64,990 drive away
- SA: $64,490 drive away
- WA: $66,490 drive away
Drive-away prices do not include state-based discounts, but do include the difference in registration and CTP costs.
The Born is as understated inside as you’d expect from a modern Volkswagen Group product. It’s also surprisingly roomy given its diminutive exterior.
Both the driver and front passenger sit on sporty seats with one-piece backrests. They look and feel a bit special, and offer plenty of adjustment for taller drivers, while the flat-bottom wheel feels like a standard item.
Alcantara-style trim on interior package cars (complete with an angular perforation pattern) elevates the ambience, although the base car we sat in didn’t quite feel like a fleet special either.
Facing the driver is a small, simple digital instrument cluster, while the dashboard is dominated by a freestanding touchscreen.
It’s running a version of the software we’ve seen elsewhere in the Cupra range, which suffers from some of the bugs that plague the latest Volkswagens (touch sliders, for example) but quick responses. , offers a complete feature list, and a fairly simple interface. .
Rear seat space is surprisingly good, for a Bourne City hatchback. Headroom is plentiful there, and legroom behind the front seatbacks is generous enough to accommodate children or small adults without strain.
The back bench feels compromised in many EVs, but the underfloor battery doesn’t force rear passengers to sit with their knees around their ears. You even get USB points back there.
It’s no family hauler, but it’s a shame that opting for option packages turns this five-seater into a four-seater.
Boot space is claimed. 385L With rear seats.
Australians will only be offered the E-Boost model with one. 77kWh Creating a (usable) lithium-ion battery pack, and a rear-mounted electric motor 170 kW Power and 310Nm of torque. That’s right, rear-wheel-drive small cars are back.
The smaller battery packs are available overseas, but will not travel to Australia at launch.
Good for lithium-ion battery claims. 511 km Range limits on the WLTP test, though it drops. 475 km With the Performance Pack (and its big, sticky tires).
It will charge up to 11kW on an AC charger, and is connected to a 170kW DC fast charger. Meanwhile, the 0-100km/h sprint is claimed. 7.0 seconds.
Cupra is touting the Born as the ‘hot hatch’ of the electric vehicle world, with 310Nm of torque on tap and rear-wheel drive.
Our quick drive at Haunted Hills reveals that it’s smooth, quiet, and reasonably fast, though it’s hard to detect much more than that.
The track is narrow and twisty, with significant elevation changes, and was slippery from the rain that passed through on a Melbourne summer day.
With direct, light steering and what feels like solid body control, the Bourne disguises it. 1927 kg (tare) well on rapid changes of direction. Blame the long-range 77kWh battery pack for that hefty pull ticket.
In its default ‘D for Drive’ mode, there’s little in the way of regenerative braking. Lift the accelerator and the Bourne doesn’t throw you forward in your seat like some rivals, so it’s good that the dead pedal feels natural compared to the wooden setups in some electric cars.
Flicking the transmission selector into ‘B’ engages regenerative braking, but even so it doesn’t feel overly aggressive (at least on the track).
Bury your right foot and the Bourne accelerates quickly enough to feel quick without actually sliding your neck.
It’s dead quiet, which makes gathering speed on the short straights on Haunted Hills a little more annoying than with internal combustion hatches.
The promise of instant torque, rear-wheel drive, and wet track sounds tantalizing – as the Bourne might be quieter than the previous-generation BMW M140i. The reality is not so wild.
You can build Borne brake traction with a heavy right foot on slippery curbs on Haunted Hills, and with ESP in Sport it will kick out before ending the fun.
But, it’s unlikely that the average owner will be purposely prowling their electric hatchback over slick racetrack curbs to explore its rear-drive bona fide.
That’s not really the point, anyway. The Born is meant to feel like it takes on a slightly stiffer, sportier but simpler Volkswagen ID.3, and our brief first drive suggested it’s up to the task.
- 19-inch black/copper Typhoon alloy wheels
- Tire pressure monitoring
- Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
- LED headlights, tail lights, fog lights
- Automatic headlights with auto high beam
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Tinted rear windows
- Rear roof spoiler
- 5.3 inch digital instrument binoculars
- 12-inch infotainment touchscreen
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (Wired)
- Wireless phone charging
- DAB+ digital radio
- 4 x USB ports
- All-around cameras
- Leather, heated steering wheel
- Front bucket seats.
- Floor mat
- Keyless entry and start
- Auto dimming rear view mirror
- Dual zone climate control
- Aluminum pedals
Entry Package: ($2900)
- Aurora Blue, suede-trimmed, front bucket seats.
- Heated front seats.
- 12-way power adjustable front seats with massage
- 2-seat rear bench (3-seat bench standard)
- Hot wash jets
- Beats Premium Sound System (9-speaker, 395W)
Performance Package: ($2600)
- 20-inch Firestorm alloy wheels in Black/Silver
- 235mm Michelin Pilot Sport 4 Tires (Wide Tire Package)
- 2-seat rear bench (3-seat bench standard)
- Adaptive Damping
The Born has a five-star Euro NCAP rating based on 2022 testing. This has not yet translated into an ANCAP rating, although a five-star rating should go ahead.
It received scores of 93 percent for adult protection, 89 percent for child occupant protection, 73 percent for vulnerable road user protection, and 80 percent for safety assistance.
Standard equipment includes:
- 7 Airbags
- AEB with pedestrian, cyclist detection
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane Keep Assist
- Park help
- Blind Spot Assist
- Rear Cross Traffic Assist
- Driver attention monitoring
- Rain-sensing wipers
The Born will be backed by a Five-year, unlimited kilometer warranty When it comes down next year.
Cupra currently offers a three-year free service on the Leon, Formentor and Ateca, but has not confirmed service prices for the Born.
It’s taken a while, but the Volkswagen Group is almost as far away when it comes to mainstream electric cars in Australia.
While it’s hard to form a full opinion of the Born after five laps around a tight, slippery circuit, there’s no doubt it’s shaping up to be an enticing addition to Australia’s growing pool of electric options. Gives.
The price seems right given the amount of range on offer, and the exterior hides a cabin with more usable space than you’d expect from a small city hatchback.
If Cupra manages to secure a solid supply – and there are signs of it, although some customers will have to wait – there’s no reason Bourne can’t make an impact on the sales charts locally.
Click on the images for the full gallery.
More: Everything Kapra Born