Cupra e-Racer is the first all-electric racing touring car in the world

Article by Christian A., on March 5, 2018

Cupra is marking its independence as a new brand under Spanish carmaker Seat with the introduction of the new Cupra e-Racer. Riding on strong sales in 2017, Seat is hoping to ride on the momentum by presenting the new Cupra e-Racer and a number of new creations at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.

Touted by the carmaker as the first 100-percent electric racing touring car in the world, the new Cupra e-Racer will be one of the main attractions at the Cupra booth during the show. With the ability to deliver 300 kW (402 hp) of continuous power output, peaking at around 500 kW (679 hp), the new Cupra e-Racer could be considered as a true motorsport car.

A small sneak preview was provided by Luca de Meo, president of Seat, for the new Cupra e-Racer and other new vehicles during a web videoconference just prior to the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The preview was brief and void of many details, but it was good enough to spice up the thrill before the Spanish carmaker officially reveals the new Cupra e-Racer in Geneva in the coming days.

At first look, one might mistake the new Cupra e-Racer from the Leon TCR touring car. After all, the Cupra e-Racer is racing touring car derived from the Leon TCR. However, a closer inspection would reveal a number of differences, owing to the fact that while the Leon TCR is powered by a conventional combustion engine, the Cupra e-Racer is a pure electric car in nature. After doing what they could for the Leon TCR, people at Seat Sport have decided to go all-electric. This explains the similar appearance of the Leon TCR and the Cupra e-Racer.

Although similar in appearance, the Cupra e-Racer and the Leon TCR are dramatically different inside. While the conventionally powered Leon TCR is a front-wheel drive unit with 350 hp in tow, the electrically operated Cupra e-Racer is nearly twice more powerful with the power sent to all four wheels. Its electric nature – four electric motors at use -- also means the Cupra e-Racer offers instant torque, while the base Leon TCR needs to build up torque at certain engine speeds. These differences make the Cupra e-Racer drive differently from the base model.

The electrical setup of high-powered electric cars makes them usually heavier than their conventional counterparts. The same is true with the new Cupra e-Racer electric racing touring car. In fact, it is more than 300 kilograms (661 pounds) heavier than a standard Leon TCR. While the front/rear weight distribution of the Leon TCR is at 60:40, that of the Cupra e-Racer is 60 percent biased to the rear (40:60).

Interestingly, the new Cupra e-Racer offers energy regeneration. This means that under braking, some of the energy are recovered and stored at the car’s 65-kWh battery pack. In addition, the driver could choose the amount of energy recuperated under braking, which affects the braking balance. Most of the front suspension system in standard Leon TCR is adopted by the Cupra e-Racer, but the rear system was changed from a rear multi-link setup to a double wishbone.

Press Release

WORLD PREMIERE OF THE CUPRA e-RACER, THE FIRST 100% ELECTRIC RACING TOURING CAR IN THE WORLD

After its official reveal a few days ago in Barcelona, the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show will be the perfect backdrop to present the CUPRA brand to the international public. The new performance brand will have its own booth and will be standing next to SEAT.

World Premiere of the CUPRA e-Racer: the first 100% electric racing touring car in the world
Just as it could be no other way, CUPRA is also going to go racing. CUPRA will take on all the responsibilities and work previously carried out by SEAT Sport. CUPRA will inherit SEAT’s involvement in the world of motorsport that has lasted for more than 40 years but, at the same time, it is conscious that the future of racing will move onto alternative powertrain systems. CUPRA’s objective is to pave the way and lead the change towards efficient and clean racing.

With this in mind, the CUPRA e-Racer is going to have a very special leading role at the CUPRA stand at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. Since 2014, SEAT has been the main reference point in the TCR International Series with the Leon Cup Racer, not to forget that SEAT Sport produces all of the Volkswagen Group’s models that take part in the TCR (Audi RS3 LMS and Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR) at both regional and international levels.

The CUPRA e-Racer is a 100% electric racing car based on the petrol-powered Cup Racer. As well as being much cleaner and more environmentally friendly, the CUPRA e-Racer is much quieter; its performance is equally as impressive as a traditional racing car’s.

There are also many other advantages. An electric motor is much simpler, requiring much less maintenance and above all, it is more efficient as it practically uses all of the supplied energy, while a combustion engine only uses, in the best case scenario, up to 30% of its fuel energy. Additionally, kinetic energy is harnessed to recover power under braking and in deceleration phases. As if that weren’t enough, acceleration is much better as an electric car has its maximum torque available from the moment the accelerator is pressed; no longer is it necessary to reach a certain level of revolutions per minute in order to achieve maximum performance. For the same reason, a gearbox is no longer necessary.

The CUPRA e-Racer is a true motorsport car, delivering 300 kW of continuous power and up to 500 kW (680 PS) at its peak, featuring one single gear with Torque vectoring and with rear wheel traction. The CUPRA e-Racer is equipped with a new rear vision technology that is displayed within the dashboard. The vehicle uses three cameras instead of the traditional rear-view mirrors.

The CUPRA e-Racer can reach a top speed of 270 km/h, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3.2 secs, and 0 to 200 km/h in only 8.2 secs.

The CUPRA e-Racer’s intention is to exceed the performance of the conventional version to demonstrate CUPRA’s technological capabilities at all levels. Throughout 2018, specially chosen events will showcase the CUPRA e-Racer and a competition for purely electric touring cars is anticipated from 2019. The format, race duration and simply the way of experiencing these races for drivers, teams and fans will be completely different: much more active, incredibly dynamic, intense and exciting.

Public debut of the CUPRA Ateca
CUPRA is a special brand designed to captivate car enthusiasts looking for uniqueness, sophistication and performance. CUPRA models will be sporty yet versatile and as fast on the track as they are comfortable and practical in day-to-day driving. CUPRA is the reinterpretation of contemporary sportiness and individualisation, offering style and sophistication in equal measure.

One of the other highlights at the CUPRA booth will be the CUPRA Ateca, which will make its public debut at the Geneva Motorshow. It will be the first car to feature the new CUPRA logo. CUPRA Ateca is a SUV that signals the start of a new era and is the perfect car to launch CUPRA. It is a unique model in its segment, until now only reserved for premium brands.

The CUPRA name has always stood out for its impressive balance of fun at the wheel and day-to-day ease of use. Not every brand can offer the precision and sportiness of a CUPRA and, at the same time, a car that can be used to drive children to school, go shopping or travel with lots of luggage with a high level of ride quality. The new CUPRA Ateca combines a perfectly proportioned and dynamic design with a spacious interior and a large boot.

The new CUPRA Ateca’s 2.0 TSI engine delivers 300 PS (221 kW). It is one of the most technologically advanced engines on the market that works with a newly designed Otto Particulate Filter System to fulfil the latest Emission Legislations. This engine comes with an improved, more powerful sound, and is also equipped with a newly developed 7-speed DSG gearbox that has been developed to offer sportier gearbox feel with faster, smoother and more precise changes. The gearbox’s development has been modified to combine excellent performance with low levels of fuel consumption and emissions.

The CUPRA Ateca comes with the 4Drive traction system, one of the safest, most advanced integrated traction systems. The 4Drive system analyses road conditions in real time, including the speed of the car, speed of each wheel, the steering wheel position and the driving style or mode to quickly and progressively deliver power at each moment to the necessary wheels. The 4Drive system is optimised to work together with all the driving modes: Normal, Sport, Individual, Snow, Off-Road and, of course, the CUPRA mode. When selecting the CUPRA mode in the Drive Profile, the engine reacts immediately with a refined sound, and the adaptive suspension (Dynamic Chassis Control) setup is adjusted to give a sportier edge to the car.

The CUPRA Ateca offers a striking exterior look. At the front, its upper grille features a honeycomb effect on the inside with the new CUPRA logo in the centre. The CUPRA letters are in matt aluminium on the lower grille, just above the exclusively designed bumper.

The details in gloss black feature across the exterior of the CUPRA Ateca: the roof rails, wing mirrors, window frames, side mouldings, wheels, front grille and front and rear diffusers as well as the spoilers that frame the rear window.

There are also features that bring out the exclusive personality of the car, such as the welcome light that shines the CUPRA name and logo onto the ground. The powerful black brake callipers, a sporty rear bumper, the copper CUPRA logo on the boot, the four exhaust pipes on the edge of the rear diffuser and exclusive 19” diamond cut alloy wheels with the CUPRA logo all enhance the sportiness and elegance of this unique and dynamic SUV. There are six exterior body colours available: Energy Blue, Velvet Red, Brilliant Silver, Rodium Grey, Magic Black and Nevada White.

In the interior, the door panels are upholstered in Alcantara®, with the CUPRA naming illuminated on an aluminium plaque, standing out on the door sill. The seats are also upholstered in Alcantara®, in black with copper stitching, with a carbon fibre effect covering the sides. The copper stitching can also be found on the sporty leather steering wheel and gear knob. The pedals are finished in aluminium, while the climate control air vent frames and the central console are finished in glossy black or chrome. The CUPRA logo is also present on the steering wheel, the floor mats, the key and the multimedia system touchscreen that welcomes the driver when starting the engine.

The standard equipment in the CUPRA Ateca is oriented towards three basic principles: technology, design and safety. That is why systems such as the keyless entry and start system, wireless charger, GSM signal booster, 360º top view camera, 8” touchscreen navigation system plus, dynamic chassis control -adaptive suspension-, digital cockpit, and park assist all come as standard.

Highlights among the main optional extras include the Performance Pack, which includes 18” Brembo performance brakes in black, the Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack - rear spoiler and exterior mirror caps -, the Carbon Fibre Interior Pack - a moulded carbon fibre dashboard -, as well as leather seats.

With a low centre of gravity and a suspension system that perfectly combines efficiency with progressive, rapid and precise power steering, the new CUPRA Ateca comes with exceptional dynamic behaviour and fantastic ride quality.

The CUPRA Ateca can reach a top speed of 245 km/h and go from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.4 seconds.

Even though SUVs are growing in popularity, there are not many like the CUPRA Ateca on the market at this moment in time, and this is why it is going to be the first pillar of the brand that will close the gap even more between sporty SEAT versions and motorsport itself.

SEAT Leon CUPRA R ST
Yes, the focus of attention will be on CUPRA, but the SEAT range will also shine in the motor world in Geneva. The new Leon CUPRA R ST will especially stand out with its 300 PS 2.0 TSI engine, 4Drive total traction system and DSG gearbox.

With its attractive Magnetic Grey paintwork, the Leon CUPRA R ST model will be distinguished by its logos and badges in copper, the same tone used on the exclusive 19 inch rims. These will house some impressive Brembo brakes at the front and will be covered with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. The imposing image of the front bumper highlighted by newly designed lateral air intakes will also get the copper colour treatment.

Carbon fibre will be on the front splitter, the rear view mirror casings, the new rear spoiler, on the side skirts and on the rear diffuser. The rear diffuser is framed by exclusive and powerful double exhausts on each side.

When entering the car, aluminium plaques can be seen on the thresholds of the front doors with CUPRA R ST logo welcoming the driver. The interior lining of the doors is finished in fabric with a carbon fibre look, and when pressing the start button, a welcome message exclusive to the CUPRA R ST is displayed on the 8-inch colour screen located on the console, where “CUPRA R” is engraved. Also inside, the copper details can also be seen on the climate control vents and on the central console, on the SEAT logo on the steering wheel and on the seams of the bucket seats and steering wheel, upholstered in Alcantara®. The instrumentation comes in the form of SEAT’s Digital Cockpit.

Production of the SEAT Leon CUPRA R ST will begin in December 2018, manually finished in the installations of CUPRA.

SEAT Leon with the new 1.5 TSI EVO engine
Another big player at the SEAT stand will be the Leon, which will be equipped with the latest engine generation, the 1.5 TSI EVO 150 PS. The four-cylinder petrol engine features 350 bar common rail direct injection system, turbocharged and improved Active Cylinder Management (ACT). The 1.5 TSI works with a newly designed Otto Particulate Filter System in order to fulfil the latest Emission Legislations. It offers lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions while maintaining outstanding performance. The Leon 1.5 TSI will be available to order in the summer.

SEAT Ibiza TGI FR
The most eco-friendly SEAT Ibiza, the Ibiza TGI, which is running on CNG, will be presented at the SEAT booth with the sporty FR version for the first time. The car is now available to order in the FR trim in addition to the other trims already available, showing the high state SEAT has in this technology.

SEAT’s Digital Cockpit
SEAT’s new Digital Cockpit will be one of the main features of the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. The Digital cockpit will be featured in the CUPRA Ateca, the SEAT Leon CUPRA R ST, the Leon 1.5 TSI EVO FR and the Arona. The Digital Cockpit is an instrument cluster that has been designed as an interactive display. It has a modern and versatile design, gives a lot of functionality and is customisable to suit driver preferences. An exclusive sporty display has been developed for CUPRA models in order to see the RPM and speed clearly for an engaging drive.

CUPRA one of the new companies of SEAT
SEAT is reorganising its structure in the spirit of creating a holding that embraces the core business but also in house start-up companies such as SEAT Metropolis:Lab, CUPRA and XMoba, presented recently at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. With this arrangement, the company seeks to diversify its business and develop new models that can prove to be profitable while continuing to strengthen its financial position.

SEAT is one of the fastest growing brands in Europe and is currently well placed for the launch of CUPRA. In addition, CUPRA will also encompass the entire motorsport and racing division, an area that until now was the responsibility of SEAT Sport and which will be directly integrated into the new brand.

Source: SEAT

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