Cupra Born VZ gets extra power and higher top speed

Extra power, extra torque, extra speed — it's all about the extras with this new performance-oriented electric rocket

The Cupra Born has been a standout electric hatch for a while. When we reviewed it on ev.tips last year, we were impressed by it. Not just coming across as a breath of fresh air in an electric market dominated by SUVs and coupes, the Born is also spacious for its size, has a formidable range and offers a more than satisfactory driving experience.

Did we mention the looks? Well, it looks really good, too.

> Cupra Born review

But power, torque, and speed — these wouldn’t usually be the first three things that’d spring to your mind when you think about the Born. Well, that’s about to change because with the new Born VZ, Cupra, the automobile brand used by the Spanish company SEAT, has brought out the big guns.

Cupra Born VZ logo

The suffix used by Cupra for this model is a direct nod to that. Continuing the tradition of Spanish naming (Born comes from the El Born district in Barcelona, for those wondering), this one takes its name from the Spanish word ‘veloz’, meaning ‘fast’ in English, making the VZ branding a simple way to communicate the upgrades brought to the hot hatch.

All the new specs for the hot hatch

The Cupra Born VZ increases the power from the e-Boost model, previously offering the highest output in this model range, from 228bhp to 322 bhp. If you’re wondering, that’s an extra 40 per cent of power, putting on the same stratosphere as Volkswagen’s hot hatch, the Golf R.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the Cupra Born VZ is also developed on Volkswagen’s MEB platform. But what’s notable is that the Born VZ’s 0-62mph numbers. It can reach that hallowed speed figure from a standing start in just 5.7 seconds. This not only makes it a full second faster than the Cupra Born, but also the fastest production model car made using the MEB platform.

Cupra Born VZ rear view shot

Another headlining spec of the Cupra Born VZ is the staggering 75 per cent increase in torque, taking it from 229lb-ft to 401lb-ft. Cupra says all these improvements are in part thanks to that brand-new rear-mounted motor, along with improved suspension geometry, sports-tuned steering and improved braking.

And before we forget to mention, the top speed is also 124mph now, up from 99 mph of the e-Boost variant. The range is also 335 miles, thanks to the small boost in battery capacity over the e-Boost model, taking it from 77 to 79kWh. It still supports fast-charging, going from 10 to 80 per cent within 30 minutes using a DC 170kW fast-charging point, but it can also be charged at home using an 11kW AC system.

> Alpine shows off A290_β electric hatch

Wayne Griffiths, CEO of Cupra UK, said: “The CUPRA Born was a milestone for the brand when we launched the model in 2021 as our first 100% electric vehicle. And it’s delivered exceptionally, with 45,300 units sold last year, an increase of 44.4% compared to the year before.

“With the CUPRA Born VZ, we will bring even more performance to this model, proving once again that electrification and performance are a perfect match.”

The Cupra Born VZ is available in two new colour choices, namely the specially exclusive Dark Forest, and also a Midnight Black option. It should be launched in the third quarter of 2024, with pricing and UK specifications to be announced in the summer.

Cupra Born VZ interior

Meanwhile, if you want to read more about new hot hatches revealed in February, check out this latest attempt by Stellantis to rejuvenate the Italian brand Lancia, with a revival of the iconic Ypsilion, now making a comeback as an electric hot hatch and built on the same compact EV platform shared by Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa.

> Ypsilon EV signals welcome comeback for Lancia

Banking on a history of inspired Lancia vehicle shapes and design details to draw on, the Ypsilon does shape into a significant presence. It takes elements of the legendary Stratos, specifically its taillights, and the overall proportions and front headlight placement are all daring and true to Lancia’s design heritage.

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