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Born in Australia! 2023 Cupra Born electric car local specifications and arrival timing confirmed

The Cupra Born EV is a rear-drive, 170kW hatchback with sporting intentions - will Aussies be keen?

Cupra Australia has confirmed specifications for the local arrival of its electric hatchback, the Born, which is expected to arrive in late Q1 next year.

The Cupra Born, which was confirmed in April 2022 for a 2023 Australian launch, will arrive Down Under in one variant - the most powerful available.

In Europe, three powertrains are available, one with a 110kW output, one with 150kW, and the one that will arrive in Australia next year with 170kW and 310Nm.

That output comes thanks to a relatively large 82kWh (with 77kWh useable) battery, which also allows for a competitive 511km range according to WLTP testing.

Cupra calls the Born a hot hatch, and while its outputs do line up with the hot hatches of yesteryear like the Mk7 Golf GTI, it won’t compete for outright performance with hatches like the Honda Civic Type R or Hyundai i30 N. 

Cupra claims the Born is capable of a 0-100km/h sprint in 7.0 seconds - about half a second slower than that Golf GTI from six years ago.

However, Cupra says its engineers worked specifically on making the Born engaging to drive, with extra focus given to matching the steering and chassis to suit the instant torque delivered by the rear-drive EV hatch.

Progressive steering, a sport suspension setup, and a set of 19-inch alloys will come standard with the Cupra Born, though the brand will make two options packs available, one of which includes dynamic chassis control, wider and larger 20-inch alloys to replace the smaller wheels, and a set of stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres.

The downside of the Performance Package is that the larger wheels are slightly heavier and therefore drain a little more power to get rolling, dropping the range from 511km to 475km.

The other package available, the Interior Package, adds heated and 12-way power adjustable front bucket seats, finished in blue Dinamica and featuring a massage function.

It also adds a nine-speaker Beats sound system with a 935-watt amp and subwoofer, as well as heated window washing jets.

Even without the Interior Package, the Cupra Born gets bucket seats as standard and a heated leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate controls, ambient lighting, a 5.3-inch digital driver display and a 12.0-inch multimedia display, as well as tinted windows in the rear and keyless entry as a convenience.

The Cupra Born comes with a safety suite that includes a surround-view parking camera, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, park assist, rear-cross traffic alert, and seven airbags across front, side, curtain, and centre positions.

While Cupra will confirm local pricing closer to its local launch in March or April 2023, we’re expecting to see it land around the $60,000 mark, making it more affordable than other electric cars like the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.

This is based on word from Cupra Australia director Ben Wilks, who said customers drawn to the Cupra Born have a similarly priced option in the Leon VZx, which currently starts at $61,490 before on-road costs.

Chris Thompson
Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in Chris’ life, but loading up his 1990 VW Golf GTI Mk2 and moving from hometown Brisbane to work in automotive publishing in Melbourne ensured cars would be a constant. With a few years as MOTOR Magazine’s first digital journalist under his belt, followed by a stint as a staff journalist for Wheels Magazine, Chris’ career already speaks to a passion for anything with four wheels, especially the 1989 Mazda MX-5 he currently owns. From spending entire weeks dissecting the dynamic abilities of sports cars to weighing up the practical options for car buyers from all walks of life, Chris’ love for writing and talking about cars means if you’ve got a motoring question, he can give you an answer.
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