The Volkswagen Group has revealed in the Munich Hall some interesting proposals, among which are the CUPRA UrbanRebel and the Volkswagen ID.Life: two concepts that anticipate the lines of the production models that intend to become in the near future the cheapest electric cars from both CUPRA and Volkswagen, respectively.
However, it seems that SEAT will not have any urban electric car based on the plataforma MEB Small, at least in the immediate future. This has been stated by the executive director of SEAT and CUPRA, Wayne Griffiths.
We will have to wait a little longer to know the details of other similar proposals from the Group, such as the Skoda Elroq. For its part, SEAT will be in charge of developing the project on which these models will be based.
CUPRA advances positions with respect to SEAT on the road to electrification
In an interview that Griffiths has recently given to Automotive News Europe, to the question of whether there is the possibility of developing and producing a small and cheap electric car from SEAT and CUPRA at the same time, Griffiths has been blunt: “We can’t do everything at once.”
With the clear objective of manufacturing an electric car that he defines as different, emotional, with an attractive design and that is fun to drive, Griffiths has given priority to CUPRA, since from his point of view it makes more sense that it is the brand the youngest of the Volkswagen Group in charge of the project. And it is not the first time that happens.
The origin of the acronym CUPRA (CUP-RAcing) dates back to the mid-1990s, when SEAT began to use them to differentiate its most powerful models. With the initial objective of complementing the veteran SEAT (which is now 71 years old) and increasing its profit margin, CUPRA became an independent brand in 2018, but little by little the young brand has been gaining ground at a rate that seems unstoppable.
While in recent years SEAT has only developed the Mii electric (a version created from the urbanite that was born in 2011) on the road to electrification of the company, CUPRA already has three projects: the Born, the Tavascan and the UrbanRebel.
For its part, the CUPRA Born has been developed from the Volkswagen ID.3 and was initially going to be marketed under the SEAT brand, which in 2019 presented the prototype SEAT el-Born Concept. In addition to the Born, the Formentor it also went from being a SEAT project to being a CUPRA project.
As for the Tavascan -third electric model of CUPRA-, it will be an SUV derived from the Volkswagen ID.4, which will hit the market in 2024. The brand has already announced that its price will be between 20,000 and 25,000 euros and that will be based on the architecture MEB Small, which is a simplified version of the already known MEB platform of the Group and that all electric access cars will use.
SEAT will be in charge of industrializing this platform at its factories in Landaben and Martorell, but as Wayne Griffiths has stated, the brand “will focus on the commercialization of thermal vehicles and plug-in hybrids”.
Both brands will coexist until the end of the decade, but later on, SEAT may focus on offering micromobility solutions for the conglomerate, marketing electric scooters, scooters and quadsThe brand currently has the youngest customer base in the Volkswagen Group.
Griffiths’ ambiguity both on this issue, and when asked about the continuity of the bestseller Ibiza, has sparked controversy: “We want to electrify the segment in which the SEAT Ibiza with a small electric vehicle sitting on a Volkswagen platform: the CUPRA UrbanRebel ”, he declared.
This segment will be electrified from 2025, but will it do so under the umbrella of SEAT or CUPRA? At the moment, we will have to wait to know more details. Meanwhile, the Spanish plants of the Volkswagen Group have their continuity assured in the coming years thanks to the award of the production of the “MEB Entry Family” platform.
Source | Automotive News Europe