The Cupra Born electric car begins Australian testing before hitting showrooms this year

The Cupra Born electric car is a step closer to Australian showrooms.


The Cupra Born electric car has begun testing on Australian roads ahead of its expected arrival in local showrooms by the end of this year – at prices close to Volkswagen Golf’s hot money.

It is said to be the first test of the Volkswagen-based electric vehicle platform outside of Europe and the USA.



Honda Australia switched to fixed prices from July last year and Mercedes-Benz did the same from this month.

The head of COBRA in Australia, Ben Wilkes, said Leadership The Cupra Born electric vehicle was tested locally out of great caution, and was a normal part of the pre-launch checklist.

“We have three Baby Cobras here…to make sure everything is comprehensively understood and known about the car,” said Mr. Wilkes. “The test has already been done in Europe, but it is important that the test be done in the market here.

“We test all the operational aspects of the vehicle: all the driver assistance systems, the information systems, to make sure we get a comprehensive overview of how this vehicle works here.”

Cupra Australia says a small team of engineers will travel an estimated 10,000 kilometers together.



“We will test until we tick all the boxes that we want to check from an engineering point of view,” said Mr. Wilkes. “The engineers who will be driving will be Australian, and there is clearly a data logging going back to our team in Spain.”

Although the Cupra is a sub-brand of Spain’s Seat – part of the giant Volkswagen Group – the Cupra Born was made in Germany on the same production line as the Volkswagen ID.3 hatch.

Wilkes said the decision to airlift three vehicles from the other side of the world for testing should be interpreted as a sign of how important Australia is to the Cupra brand globally.

“This shows how seriously the Cupra brand takes Australia. It’s the first test of this car outside of Europe… and we want this car to be a perfect fit for the market,” said Mr. Wilkes.

The Automotive CEO said the Cupra Born aims to bring the excitement of driving to the electric vehicle category.

“It’s all about celebrating the love of driving in a new era of electric cars,” said Mr. Wilkes. “We believe we will be the only auto company with an affordable electric vehicle where we can speak proudly of handling, not just straight-line acceleration.”



While timing and pricing have not been confirmed, Mr. Wilkes said the Cupra Born should be in Australian showrooms by the end of this year – just a few months after the petrol, hatchback and SUV arrived in July – at prices close to the hot Volkswagen money hatch.

The new generation Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R cost from $55,000 to $70,000 in a round shape.

“The final price for Australia has not been decided,” said Mr. Wilkes. “But we are targeting… close to a high-performance golf course. If you look at a price point in that range, we think that’s what customers want from a high-performance electric hatchback.”

Regarding the timing, Mr. Wilkes added: “Pending the local test results, we are absolutely confident that we are looking to be in good shape to be able to win the Cobraborn at the end of 2022.”

The Volkswagen-owned Cupra brand is set to arrive in Australia with a fixed-price business model, to distribute its cars across about a dozen showrooms nationwide from July 2022.

Initially, the Cupra range in Australia will consist of a hatch Leon and a Formentor SUV – both with a choice of turbo petrol or hybrid power – and an Ateca SUV available only with turbo petrol.



Joshua Dowling

Joshua Dowling has been an automotive journalist for over 20 years, spending most of that time working for the Sydney Morning Herald (as an automotive editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice/Drive in late 2018, and has been one of the world’s automotive judges for 10 years.

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