Previous rumours regarding the Cupra brand, turning into a standalone sub-brand for performance models of Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo (SEAT), have finally been confirmed! On January 31st, the VAG-owned marque made that announcement, following an earlier report about a trademark filing recorded in August last year. Aside from that, the automaker also released photos of the Cupra’s new logo, and at the same time, SEAT announced that their new sub-brand will celebrate its official debut during a special event on February 22.
We can expect to see SEAT’s very first Cupra badged cars in March at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. One of the first models that will probably attend the show would be the hot Ateca, which we all saw for the very first time in November 2016. As you can see in the photos, it is similar to the Volkswagen Group and is also equipped with a turbocharged 2.0 liter gasoline engine. The automaker says that this could be tuned to give out around 300 horsepower to both axles.
If you have not been made aware, the latest model that Cupra has from SEAT would be the Leon Cupra R special edition that they only launched last September. The automaker only planned to produce 799 examples of the said model, which delivered as much as 310 horsepower. However, there are rumours going around about an even more powerful Leon ST Cupra R wagon that had as much as 335 horsepower. If this is true, then we should expect to see the model at some point this year. It may also adopt the Cupra trademark instead of it carrying the SEAT branding.
We think that one car that deserves to get the Cupra treatment is the SEAT Ibiza, and it could also be the Spanish alternative of the new VW Polo GTI. Last year, SEAT officials announced that the Ibiza will not be getting a more powerful engine that the one it is carrying - the 150 horsepower 1.5 liter TSI. It now looks like the SEAT will not be getting a Cupra treatment, at least for now.
Apart from giving Cupra its own brand, logo, and division, SEAT’s vision for 2018 includes launching a large SUV that sets to serve as the company’s flagship model. We haven’t gotten any information from it though, aside from the fact that there will be one.
Cupra has always been the sportiest division of SEAT, and it is about time for it to have its own identity, or DNA. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that it will completely veer from SEAT, as it will continue to sportify SEAT’s range of hatchbacks and crossovers to go against the more popular German brands.