296bhp Cupra Ateca revealed as the first car Seat performance brand

The seat of the new stand-alone performance brand, Cupra, has revealed its 296bhp all-wheel-drive version of the Ateca – the first model to be launched by Seat has confirmed its hot subbrand the role last month.

The machine is part of a broader offensive to offer Cupra versions of some of the Seat models as well as, possibly, Cupra-only cars. Seat is trying to copy the example of in-house performance divisions such as Renault Sport.

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Cupra models will be based on a Seat – for the foreseeable future, at least– but with significantly more performance and more customization options, and a separate sales channel. Only about one-fifth of the Seat, the dealer network will be assigned Cupra sub-concessions and templates can be sold by the specialists of Many areas.

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Autocar first reported on the plans last year, when a proposal for the new logo was shown in the trademark filings. Home boss Luca de Meo has later admitted that Cupra would “add another dimension to the Seat of the appeal.

The Cupra Ateca, on sale in the autumn, is powered by a 296bhp version of the Volkswagen Group’s EA888 2.0-litre turbo engine even if the peak torque of 295lb ft is superior to that produced by the similar engine in the Leon Cupra 300. The drive goes through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox – there are no plans for a manual version – with a couple diverted to the back when requested by a part-time Haldex all-wheel drive system. Cupra loans to 5.4 sec 0-62mph time and a 150mph top speed.

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Even if its components are almost all familiar from the other members of the VW Group wide MQB-platform family, the Cupra Ateca has been developed to offer a substantially different driving experience from the Seat of his sibling.

The suspension height is changed only slightly, with the Cupra on the seat 20mm lower than the regular car, but the spring rates have been substantially altered, and the suspension is much more solid. Adaptive dampers will be standard, allowing a much more aggressive set-up when you use the ‘Cupra’ setting, which was added to the Ateca is switchable driving modes.

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The Cupra also has abandoned the electronic sound symposer, which normally increases the noise of the engine rortier MQB models. Standard brake discs will be 17in, but 18in Brembo unit will be offered as an option.

Even if the badges were changed from the Seat ‘S’ to Cupra new triangular logo, the exterior design is based on that of the regular Ateca, rather than to transform. The bumpers are bulky and there is a small wing at the top of the tailgate.

The Cupra gets 19in diamond-cut alloy wheels, plus the option of several unique colors. There will also be exterior and interior carbon-fibre trim packages. The interior uses a lot of Alcantara and incorporates a lot of copper details – Cupra, the new corporate color, a move away from the brasher orange with which the name was formerly associated. Other Cupra models will follow hard on the heels of thisAteca, with design concepts for the Cupra versions of Ibiza and Arona shown next to the official launch. To the company, these are to gauge reaction rather than indicate the production of intent and Sede’sR&D boss Matthias Rabe, has indicated that the Leon will be the next production version.

Rabe has also confirmed that the Cupra birth as a brand, to make it easier to produce limited-run models and higher performance variants of the Leon Cupra R. N new diesel Cupras are expected, but there will be Cupras that use the next mild hybrid powertrains.

Rabe said that it is possible that there will ultimately be a Cupra-only halo model, but there are no immediate plans for one. “In the early years, you will be derivatives,” he said. “If you talk to a specialcar only for Cupra, I could imagine a sports car, or a spider or something like that, but, to be honest, we don’t have that on the floor. It could be an aspiration for the long term.” The place sold fewer than 10,000 Cupra models last year, and the goal is stand-alone Cupra brand to double the volumes within five years – a modest ambition given they will soon be a multi-model line-up. Mike Duff

Cupra to make motorsport debut with TCR:

Cupra has confirmed the Cupra TCR will be the first motorsport car under its new brand of expertise. Heavily based on the 2017 Seat Leon TCR from last season, will run in the new FIA World Touring Car Cup as well as at the national level, the TCR series.

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