New Cupra Born VZ hot hatch boosts power to 322bhp

1 month, 3 weeks ago - 21 February 2024, autocar
New Cupra Born VZ hot hatch boosts power to 322bhp
Rear-driven electric hatch packs VW Golf R level of power and a whopping 402lb ft of torque

Cupra has launched a hot new range-topping version of the Born, which will be the Spanish brand's most potent model when it lands in autumn.

The new Cupra Born VZ – short for 'veloz', or 'fast' in English – raises power from 228bhp in the warmed-up e-Boost variant to a Volkswagen Golf R-baiting 322bhp.

The torque increase is even more dramatic, with the rear-mounted motor now chucking out a huge 402lb ft – up from 229lb ft – to give a 0-62mph time of 5.7sec, making this the quickest car based on the Volkswagen Group's MEB platform.

The Born's top speed has been increased too, from 99mph to 124mph.

Cupra claimed this boost in performance "isn't achieved by sacrificing efficiency". 

Official range is 335 miles for the new EV hot hatch, partly courtesy of a small boost in battery capacity, taking it from 77kWh to 79kWh. 

The drivetrain upgrades come alongside an extensive overhaul for the chassis: there are new dampers and springs at the rear, for example, plus a tweaked front supension arrangement that Cupra said "delivers better vehicle body control".

So too has the steering system been upgraded – physically and electronically – to give a "sportier" feeling, while the retuned brakes are said to be "stiffer and more robust". 

The design changes are subtler, with the VZ marked out from its rangemates by two bespoke colour options, new designs for its wider 20in wheels and a dark chrome finish for the badges. 

The VZ is the first variant of the Born to feature the larger new 12.9in infotainment touchscreen that was rolled out to the closely related Volkswagen ID 3 last year, as well as the new illuminated climate-control slider bar. 

The VZ's performance focus is emphasised inside by its standard-fit bucket seats, and it gets a raft of extra equipment as standard, including a 10-speaker Sennheiser audio system, wraparound Smart Lights that react to various vehicle functions and display the car's charge level and a remote park assist function. 

Cupra has yet to give pricing for the VZ, but it will command a chunky premium over the existing £43,735 range-topper.

A hotter version of the ID 3 is also expected in the coming months, and it's due to offer broadly the same package of drivetrain and chassis upgrades as an electric alternative to the Golf GTI. 

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