SEAT’s CUPRA performance division has officially separated from the Spanish car maker to become its own standalone brand with the reveal of its inaugural model: the CUPRA Ateca.
It is hoped that the divorce will double sales of CUPRA models over the next five years, with around 260 specially selected SEAT dealerships across Europe expected to offer them.
SEAT says that the CUPRA Ateca is the perfect car to launch the brand, powered by a 296bhp two-litre petrol engine with four-wheel-drive and mated to a new seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
This means it can go from zero to 62mph in 5.4 seconds, with a top speed of 152mph.
With this kind of pace and the usual practicality of a standard SUV, one of SEAT’s senior bods felt inclined to describe the car as “the best example of balance between sportsmanship, fun at the wheel and ease of use in everyday life”.
Design-wise, the CUPRA Ateca has a more striking look than the normal SUV with a honeycomb effect on the inside upper grille, with the new CUPRA matt aluminium logo in the centre on the lower grille, just above the exclusively designed bumper.
Gloss black is splattered around the exterior, appearing on the roof rails, wing mirrors, wheels and front grille amongst other spots.
It rides on exclusive 19-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and will come in six exterior body colours: energy blue, velvet red, brilliant silver, rodium grey, magic black and nevada white.
Inside, the angry Ateca features Alcantara-covered seats and door panels with grey stitching on the sporty leather steering wheel and gear knob.
Design exercises of what a CUPRA Ibiza and Arona could look like have already been carried out, so expect one of those to join the range in the next year or so.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “Separating the CUPRA name from SEAT could’ve been a risky move, but this saucy SUV is an excellent way to announce the standalone brand in the marketplace. We can’t wait to see where they go from here.”
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