The Cupra Born VZ Is An Electric Hot Hatch With 322 HP

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Spun off from the Volkswagen Group’s SEAT brand in 2018, Cupra is introducing its first electric performance vehicle. The sporty derivative is based on the Born compact model and gets the “VZ” suffix, which is an acronym for “veloz” – Spanish for “fast.” The brand’s first-ever EV gets a healthy power boost and other upgrades.

The rear-wheel-drive electric hot hatch uses an upgraded motor delivering 322 hp and a massive instant torque of 545 Nm (402 lb-ft). These output figures represent a huge boost of 94 hp and 235 Nm (173 lb-ft) over the previous most potent variant of the Cupra Born. Courtesy of the newly unlocked electric oomph, the VZ variant shaves off a full second from the sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h), which now takes 5.7 seconds. Top speed has gone up by 25 mph (40 km/h) to 124 mph (200 km/h).

There’s more to the Born VZ than a beefier e-motor since Cupra is also giving it a pair of exclusive 20-inch wheels, including a forged set with performance tires. The cooler alternative to the troubled SEAT brand has bumped the battery pack’s net capacity by 2 kWh to 79 kWh for an estimated range of 335 miles (570 kilometers). The steering is sharper and there are additional tweaks to the suspension for better handling while the brakes feel more direct than before.

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In terms of styling, Cupra is offering the new Born VZ in this Dark Forest color or you can play it safe by getting the feisty electric hatch in Midnight Black. The newly added “VZ” logo on the tailgate has a dark chrome look to echo the “Cupra” lettering. Inside, it gets a pair of body-hugging seats not shared with the lesser models. However, these bucket seats are already available in some performance cars with a combustion engine, including the Formentor VZ5 with its inline-five engine borrowed from Audi.

For the range-topping Born, Cupra has upped the infotainment’s screen size by 0.9 inches to 12.9 inches. More important is the touch slider to adjust the climate and volume since it’s finally illuminated. At an additional cost, buyers can get an optional 10-speaker, 425-watt Sennheiser sound system. As standard, the VZ variant gets paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel to choose from one of three levels of energy recuperation.

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The Born VZ will go on sale in Europe in the third quarter of the year. Also in 2024, we should see its equivalent Volkswagen version, the ID.3 GTX, or whatever name the sporty electric hatchback will use. These two will compete in a rarified segment that includes the MG4 XPower. The smaller Alpine A290 will join them soon.