Cupra Tavascan premiers with the new 340 hp VW GTX powertrain

Max McDee, 22 April 2023

At a dedicated event in Berlin, just before the Formula E weekend kicked off, the former performance arm of Seat and now independent brand Cupra, unveiled its second electric car. Cupra Tavascan is yet another swanky electric SUV coupe but since this is Cupra, it comes with a sting.

Cupra used to be to Seat what Polestar was to Volvo - a band of mad engineers strapping big turbos to small engines, and strapping big brakes to try and control the newly attained horses. The experience was always interesting, bordering on lunacy. The Cupra of today, just like Polestar, is an independent brand making its own electric cars but keeping the old promises of extra performance.

Cupra Tavascan premiers with the new 340 hp VW GTX powertrain

The Cupra Tavascan was first shown back in 2019 as a concept car and we are pleased to report that the production vehicle did not stray too far away. We still have the angry headlights, and lots of air ducts cleverly directing the air over and around the car and adding extra drama to the design. Coupled with copper-colored 21-inch wheels and a low swooping roofline, the Tavascan looks like it’s ready for some serious driving fun.

The fact that we had to wait 3 years to see it ready yet again proves that good things do come to those who wait. Volkswagen just unveiled its flagship ID.7 and that EV uses the latest powertrain called APP550. It’s a fully integrated unit containing the electric motor, transmission, and inverter producing 210 kW and 550 Nm of torque. Since Cupra is part of the VW Group there is no surprise that it is using the same powertrain.

What is surprising is that the 210 kW powertrain will be used on the least powerful version of the new Tavascan. Cupra is the first brand from the VW stables to use the more powerful, dual-motor version of the APP550 powertrain which will very likely power the ID.7 GTX when it comes out later this year. And now we have more details of it - the dual-motor Cupra Tavascan VZ will have 340 hp (250 kW) power output with a combined torque of 679 Nm and will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds making it the fastest electric vehicle from VW Group - at least for now.

There will be only one battery version, the 82 kWh unit that we know so well from the ID family. Thanks to its 77 kWh usable capacity and the new efficient drive unit, the Tavascan has a range of 550 km. Of course, this is only an estimate at the moment and it will likely change once the WLTP certification is completed. The battery supports up to 135 kW DC charging which means 10 to 80% top-up should take less than 30 minutes.

Cupra Tavascan premiers with the new 340 hp VW GTX powertrain

The interior is even more dramatic than the exterior with the central spine running between the seats. It apparently is a structural element that supports the floating dashboard - the moment you sit behind the wheel the feeling of a very special moment is overwhelming. You might think for just a moment that you took a wrong turn and ended up behind the controls of Star Trek.

We still can’t believe this is a production vehicle - aluminum spine and door inserts, copper accents, and Cupra backlit logos as tiny stars spread across the sides - whichever way you look there’s an interesting detail waiting to be discovered. Cupra pulled off something incredible here - the company just showed the entire VW Group how to make car interiors. Who would want to buy a VW or a Skoda now?

In this futuristically-glorious interior, the new 15-inch screen is not important. The sporty bucket seats and sporty steering wheel look right at home and Cupra promises even more aggressive seats as an option. And yet the company hasn’t forgotten about function - the Tavascan comes with 540 liters of cargo space in the trunk. Form and function - Cupra should run design classes for other automakers.

So, when can we get our hands on one? More patience is required, Tavascan goes into production in 2024 at VW’s Anhui plant in China. The vehicle will go on sale in 2024 and the company wants to sell 70,000 units of it across all of its markets. As for price, well - the Cupra Born is priced at over €45,000 and that’s a more fun version of the older VW ID.3. The Cupra Tavascan is a better-looking version of VW ID.5 which sells for €56,450 in GTX trim and Cupra won’t be any cheaper. But it will be well worth it.

Cupra Tavascan premiers with the new 340 hp VW GTX powertrain



Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Looks great!

  • hangoo

That centre screen seems to be sitting a bit too high in position, right?



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