2023 Cupra Born price to near $60,000 in Australia with 550km range


New Spanish brand Cupra’s first electric car is set to cost about $60,000, with up to 550km of range and a seven-second 0-100km/h time.

Alex Misoyannis

The 2023 Cupra Born electric car will come to Australia early next year with Golf GTI performance, up to 550km of driving range and a circa-$60,000 price.

Cupra’s version of the Volkswagen ID.3, the small Born electric hatchback will target the petrol hot hatch heartland, with pricing, driving range and performance on par with a well-optioned Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Cupra Australia head of product and planning, Jeff Shafer, told Drive this week the Born will launch in Australia in a single model grade, priced in the “high $50,000s or low $60,000s” – targeting Cupra’s petrol-powered Golf GTI twin, the Leon VZ ($56,990 drive-away).

For the money, buyers will get the largest battery available overseas, a 77kWh (usable) pack, powering a rear-mounted electric motor quoting 170kW and 310Nm in 30-second ‘boost’ mode periods.

Cupra claims a 0-100km/h time of seven seconds flat, with between 492km and 548km of claimed range in European WLTP testing, depending on the options ticked. It’s unclear if the suggested price for the Born is drive away, or before on-road costs.

These figures place the Born roughly in line with Cupra’s petrol-powered Leon VZ hot hatch, which costs $56,990 drive-away (MY22) with a 180kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, front-wheel drive, and a 6.4-second claimed 0-100km/h time.

In city driving, the Leon VZ’s 556km claimed driving range (from a 50L fuel tank) isn’t far off the Born’s 548km claim in combined driving, where electric cars are less efficient – though both figures were calculated in laboratories, not the real world.

Expect a high level of standard features on the sole Born model grade – though “there’ll be some option packs”, Shafer has confirmed, as per Cupra’s petrol and hybrid models.

Available features in overseas markets include 20-inch wheels, a 12-inch centre touchscreen, LED headlights, fabric or suede upholstery, electric heated front sports seats, an augmented-reality head-up display, and a full suite of advanced safety features.

It’s worth noting Borns with the 77kWh battery and 170kW motor only offer four seats in Europe – whereas versions with smaller battery packs have five. It’s unclear how this will be structured in Australia.

DC fast charging at up to 135kW is standard, capable of a fast charge to 80 per cent in 36 minutes – or to add 100km of claimed range in six minutes.

Cheaper Cupra Born variants are available in overseas markets, with smaller 45kWh and 58kWh battery packs delivering up to 347km and 419km of range, or less powerful 110kW and 150kW electric motors.

However, these wouldn’t reach Australia until a while after launch – once supply stabilises – with Shafer telling Drive “we definitely will be looking at the extra [battery] packs in the future, but at the moment we’re looking at the bigger one as the starting [offering].”

Shafer would not be drawn on expected sales volumes for the Born – and whether it would play among Australia’s most popular. non-Tesla EVs, which record around 1000 annual sales.

“I don’t want to be cagey, but production is always an issue. The headquarters [is] giving us really good support in terms of supplying vehicles. They’ve committed to supplying what we need, but I probably wouldn’t be putting a hard number on [sales],” he said.

Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths elaborated, telling media: “We’re not going to be selling several thousand electric cars [per year] – I don’t see that happening until 2025.

“I see us selling perhaps a thousand, or a couple thousand. A couple of thousand cars we should always be able to find.

“We made a strategic decision for us that Australia is an important market to prove that we can be a global brand. And when you’ve made a strategic decision, you need to stick to that, despite the fact that you own the other pressures – whether that’s with better margins in other markets, or you need those cars in other markets meet your CO2 targets,” Griffiths told media.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think we can ever sell more electric cars that we’re going to be able to supply, not until 2025 – unless the Australian government comes up with a wonderful EV [electric vehicle] policy before and suddenly the thing explodes.

Production of the 2023 Cupra Born is set to commence for Australia around November, ahead of first showroom arrivals due in early 2023.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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