Cupra's electric SUV is a fighty looking thing | Top Gear
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Saturday 23rd September

Cupra's electric SUV is a fighty looking thing

The Tavascan boasts lit-up badges, Evo-esque fins as well as 302bhp plug-in power

Published: 02 Sep 2019

This, believe it or not, is a product of the Volkswagen Group. Yep, a company famed for its vast array of ever so slightly similar SUVs has produced one that looks positively wild.

It’s the Cupra Tavascan, and it’s not a Seat, remember. That’s easier done here – we’ve never seen a Seat that looks like this – though they’ve not been able to resist tradition when it comes to naming structure, Tavascan being a rather pretty looking village in Catalonia.

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Whether the car is pretty is your call, but you can’t knock Cupra for trying to make something that looks a bit different. It’s dramatic whichever angle you choose to observe it from. The squinting lights, the illuminated badges, its wildly sculptured bonnet, the Mitsubishi Evo FQ400-esque roof fins… there’s pent-up aggression everywhere.

And designer-speak aplenty. The full-width rear light goes ‘coast to coast’ apparently, while the 22in turbine alloys apparently minimise air resistance, ‘allowing the coupe SUV to glide’. Hmm.

Being a concept car in 2019, it’s obviously electric, with motors front and rear providing an all-wheel driven 302bhp. Very Golf R (or indeed Leon Cupra ST). Cupra are claiming a WLTP-tested 280-mile range, while 0-62mph takes 6.5secs, betraying the fact this thing must weigh a lot, when you consider that AWD Leon does it in 4.9secs.

There’s an interior too – naturally – with a huge 13in media screen that can swivel towards the passenger, while there’s leather, carbon and Alcantara everywhere.

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It seems likely the Tavascan (or something similar) will make it onto the road too. Beneath the skin is the same box of bits underpinning most of the VW Group’s electric cars, so putting it into production ought to be a cinch. Whether the badges will stay illuminated and those fins remain intact, we’re less sure…

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