A first look at the Cupra Born E-Boost | Why you should buy this fun electric hot hatch
The Cupra Born E boost is an impressive small electric car crafted for speed and performance. It’s a thrilling car to drive, especially when you hit the boost button. We might have the world’s first electric hot hatch on our hands, and I have the keys!
What is the Cupra Born?
The new Cupra Born (originally the El Born) is the brand’s first fully electric car. It shares a platform with the Volkswagen ID3, meaning the Cupra Born is rear-wheel drive. It’s a typical hatchback – compact, has five doors, rear seats and Isofix points.
A 58kWh battery pack powers the base model Born. With 150kW (204PS) and 259 miles of range, it’s pretty nippy for an everyday car. It can be charged from 0-100% in just over 6 hours from a home charger or 5-80% within 35 minutes using a 120kW DC charger.
Every Born packs all the usual features you would expect from any other model in its class, including sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity, android auto and USB ports. It is possibly the best small electric car on the road.
How much power does the Cupra Born E-Boost have?
The Cupra Born E-boost is the brawn of the bunch. It is a muscular, rear-wheel drive, electric-powered hot hatch.
There are two additional battery options with E-Boost; the only difference is the range and speed. Both provide 170kW (231PS) and are available on V2 and V3 trim levels.
If you opt for the bigger 77kWh battery in the V3 trim, you will increase the range to 334 miles. The smaller 58kWh battery with E-Boost will sacrifice a tiny bit of this. It will take you down to 260 miles (on the V2 trim) but will accelerate from 0-60mph in just 6.6 seconds!
Yes, the smaller battery is the fastest.
What is it like to drive?
Thanks to the lightweight design, powerful electric battery and bucket seats, it fits right into the hot hatch segment.
An electric motor sits above the rear axle on the Born to provide instant torque across the axle. The single-speed transmission combined with drive modes from the dynamic chassis control deliver smooth acceleration with excellent handling.
The battery is designed for optimal weight distribution and lies between both axles. The low central position creates a low centre of gravity and almost 50:50 weight distribution to aid handling and braking performance.
The only irritating feature I found was the touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel. When adjusting my hand on the wheel, I would rest part of my palm over a button and turn the volume up unexpectedly. It frightened me a few times!
The Cupra Born is packed with tech. A 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 5.3-inch digital cockpit are standard on all models. I tested the V3 with added Tech Pack.
Bucket seats, 18-inch alloys, adaptive cruise control, folding heated mirrors and LED lights are standard on the V1 too.
Stepping up to V2 gains tinted windows, 19-inch alloys, heated washer jets, a heads-up display and heated seats. The V3 adds granite grey bucket seats and 12-way electric adjustable seats with a massage function.
18" Cyclone alloy wheels
Everything from V1 Plus;
In addition to V2;
20" Hurricane alloy wheels
How much does the Cupra Born Cost?
The cost of electric cars is still a bit high. But it just takes some time to understand them and make fair comparisons.
This small, family hatchback starts from £34,660 on the road but quickly racks up the pound signs. The model I tested was the V3 trim, 77kWh battery with E-Boost, Rayleigh Red metallic paint and tech pack. It costs £42,195.
But what about other electric cars? Well, I recently reviewed a £40k Fiat 500 electric… So yes, you are paying more than double what you would for an entry-level petrol car, but this isn’t an entry-level electric car.
The Cupra Born E-Boost is currently one of the most powerful vehicles in its class and offers performance that rivals some of its combustion engine opponents. In comparison, I’d say the Born is a modest price.
So, Is the Cupra Born E-Boost a good car?
There’s no denying that Cupra designers craft beautiful cars. They’ve seamlessly combined typical hatchback cues with the best qualities of a track car.
Even if you dislike the appearance, you can’t deny that Cupra did an excellent job redefining what we expect from an electric vehicle.
The versatility of this car is mind-boggling. You can take the kids to school or race it on track – without harming the planet. Imagine if you told me that five years ago, I would have laughed at you.
I think the Cupra Born E-Boost is forging the path ahead for electric hot hatches. I’m excited to see where they go from here. Do you see yourself driving an electric track car?