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First Look

The Cupra Born VZ is a 321bhp electric hot hatch

Faster, more powerful, and with tweaked suspension, meet the fastest version of Cupra's small electric car

Published: 20 Feb 2024

This is the Cupra Born VZ, the fastest, most powerful version of Cupra's small electric car to date. Along with a significant power boost, it also features... one entire new seat! First, let's talk power.

Cupra tells us it’s boosted performance of the electric hatch from 228bhp to 321bhp, increased the torque to an impressive 401lb ft and taken top speed from 99mph to 124mph. As such, the VZ achieves a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds, putting it in solid, respectable hot hatch territory.

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Quite reasonably then, there have been tweaks underneath. There’s updated anti-roll bars, updates on the dampers and spring design at the front, and new dampers and springs at the back.

Those changes have been coupled with sports-tuning on the steering, and beefier brakes. The result? Better driving dynamics, so Cupra reckons.

To prove its sportier credentials from the outside, the Born VZ is shod in performance tyres on its bigger 20in rims, embellished with fancy VZ styling cues and optional 3D copper inserts. It’s also exclusively painted in a chic Dark Forest green – or optional Midnight Black  – either of which feature handsome dark chromed badging.

The interior gets a nod to sports performance too. Bucket seats, as found in the Formentor VZ5 and Leon VZ Cup, are standard. And speaking of seats, there are now five – yes, five! – in the Born VZ. Whether this adversely affects rear-seat roominess is yet to be seen, but there is now a ‘vivacious’ sunroof. Glass always means a feeling of space, even if there isn't any. And who doesn’t love a vivacious sunroof?

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In the cockpit, the Born VZ has a bigger 12.9in touchscreen, with a backlit touch bar for the climate and volume, adjusting an optional 10-speaker Sennheiser hi-fi audio suite. There’s also smart light tech where horizontal LEDs wrapped around the dashboard give visual alerts in tandem with driver assist features. Cupra says: “Don’t be confused, this isn’t ambient lighting, but a new dimension in human/machine communication.” Of course.

There are also flappy paddles to increase the regenerative braking, and Cupra reckons all this extra performance “isn’t achieved by sacrificing efficiency”. The useable battery capacity has increased from 77kWh to 79kWh (still an 82kWh battery overall though). The official WTLP figure sits at 335 miles, only marginally down from 341 miles in the non-performance Born.

Like the regular Born, it can charge at peak 170kW delivery – at least, in theory – and a fast charge should enable a 10-80 per cent SoC in about half an hour.

The Born VZ will be launched later in autumn this year, with prices TBC.

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