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Cupra is promising ample Australian supply of its Born electric car – the first all-electric Volkswagen Group product built on the MEB platform to arrive locally – with order books opening later this year for deliveries early in 2023.
Speaking to journalists at the brand’s launch last month, Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths said Australia is a key market for the burgeoning Spanish brand, and therefore would be prioritised for supply.
“I think the supply for the planned demand [for Born] is secured, and our planned demand is quite ambitious,” he said.
“I don’t have doubts, and I said to Ben [Wilks, Cupra Australia boss] before, I don’t doubt that we will be able to supply him with whatever he can sell with the Born next year, so that won’t be an issue.”
When asked on a specific supply number, Mr Griffiths said: “Whatever he needs, depends how many he can sell.”
Built in the same German production facility as the related Volkswagen ID.3, the Born is offered with two different outputs in the also-right-hand-drive UK market (150kW and 170kW), in rear- or all-wheel drive form, and with two battery sizes – 58kWh and 77kWh.
Cupra Australia is still yet to lock in which variants will be available locally, but has said in the past that the flagship 170kW version – which is able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds with the lighter 58kWh battery pack, and needs an extra 0.4s with the bigger 77kWh battery – is of interest.
As for the price? CarsGuide understands that Cupra is aiming to position the Born near top-grade versions of the Leon hatchback.
For reference, the 2023 version of the top-spec Leon VZx is priced at $61,490 before on-road costs, while the VZ and VZe – the latter being a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) – are positioned at $52,990 and $60,490 respectively.
The Leon hatchback range is rounded out with the entry-level V for $43,990.
While a circa-$60,000 all-electric small hatchback might seem expensive against the likes of the Nissan Leaf ($50,990) and MG ZS EV (from $46,990 drive-away), the Cupra Born outperforms the two aforementioned models in acceleration and driving range, boasting up to 540km of range before needing a recharge.
Cupra Australia boss Ben Wilks reiterated the Born’s launch window of early next year, and said interest in the all-electric model has been strong.
“We’re starting production this year, and it will be released as of January 2023,” he said.
“The Born has really surprised us, it’s the second in terms of what we call ‘hand raises’ that people have expressed interest in so far, so its sitting at about 30 per cent, just behind Formentor.
“That’s indicative of the way the market is moving itself towards electrification, even beyond government subsidies and changes.”