2023 Cupra Born on sale in Australia; RWD electric hot hatch

Brett Davis

Cupra has launched an interesting new electric vehicle in Australia called the Born. What makes it so interesting? It’s a rear-wheel drive hot hatch. We haven’t seen this formula since the French retro hot hatches of yesteryear.

The Cupra Born is one of many new models to launch from the stand-alone VW-owned brand in Australia in recent times, and it joins the market as one of the more affordable EV options. Especially for its performance and range figures. It rides on Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, shared with the VW ID series of EVs, as well as the Audi Q4 e-tron and Q5 e-tron.

Just the single variant is on sale in Australia, although it can be optioned with an Interior Package and Performance Package. In all cases though power comes from a 82kWh battery (77kWh usable), sending force to a rear-mounted electric motor that generates 170kW and 310Nm. Cupra claims 0-100km/h in 7.0 seconds.

With a full charge the official range is stamped at 511km. That’s very impressive for its price tag. Most EVs on the market at the moment that boast over 500km range are north of $80k, or more. Whereas the Cupra Born starts from just $59,990.

As standard you get a 12-inch multimedia screen offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, digital radio, a 5.3-inch cluster display, wireless phone charging, four USB-C ports (2 front, 2 rear), sporty front seats, adaptive cruise control, and sports suspension.

Cupra is describing it as a “hot hatchback”, which means it should be lots of fun to drive while also offering good practicality. As such, boot space is rated at 385L, which is very good for a regular hatchback let alone an electric one, and there’s even a 360-degree parking camera and dual-zone climate control.

The Performance Package adds 20-inch alloy wheels (up from 19s) with wider Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, as well as Dynamic Chassis Control and a four-seat cabin. The driving range is reduced to 475km, however. Speaking about the new model, Cupra Australia director, Ben Wilks, said:

“We wanted the Cupra Born to arrive with pricing that bests comparable BEVs, but most importantly is comparable to the hot hatchbacks that Australians love and really engage with. To combine a long 500km-plus EV range with instant electric performance, and controllable dynamics through the sharp steering and rear-wheel drive chassis, places the Cupra Born in an exclusive part of the market.”

The new model is scheduled to arrive in Australia in March/April, but it is on sale now from the following prices (excluding EV government incentives available in some states and territories):

2023 Cupra Born: $59,990 (excluding on-road costs)
ACT: $61,990 drive-away
NSW: $62,490 drive-away
QLD: $63,490 drive-away
VIC: $64,990 drive-away
SA: $64,490 drive-away
WA: $66,490 drive-away

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