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Cupra Tavascan EV revealed: RWD or AWD, up to 550km range for Model Y rival


Design-forward Tavascan midsize electric SUV will be built in China but has been honed in Barcelona to deliver a sporty drive, the Spanish brand says

Spanish carmaker Cupra this morning revealed the next model in its emerging electric vehicle push, with the mid-sized 2024 Tavascan SUV set to take the fight directly to the Tesla Model Y when it arrives from next year.

Sharing the MEB electric car platform with the smaller, German-built Cupra Born electric hatchback, the 4.6m-long Tavascan will be built at the Volkswagen Group’s Anhui, China factory.

Barcelona-based Cupra will eventually turn to Spanish production of its own EVs with the yet-to-be-revealed city car based on the Urban Rebel concept – but Cupra says the Tavascan is Barcelona-designed and developed.

The Tavascan will compete in the emerging and competitive midsize electric SUV segment that includes the aforementioned Model Y, plus the Volkswagen ID4, Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge.

Rear-wheel drive (RWD) and dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) flavours of the Tavascan will be on offer, with headline power for the AWD car sitting at 250 kW (335 hp).

Driving range is slated to be 550 km for the longest-range RWD Endurance trim with 210 kW of power (281 hp), while opting for the more powerful 250 kW VZ AWD grade cuts range marginally to 520 km.

Those ratings are thanks to a 77 kWh battery pack that will be the sole pack in service at launch, though it’s possible that a smaller battery could be added later for a lighter standard-range version.

Surprisingly, Cupra says that the Tavascan’s peak DC charging speed is limited to 135 kW, despite a recent round of upgrades to other MEB models unlocking 170 kW charging.

As a result, the Tavascan makes only a modest recharging time claim of “just under half an hour” for a 10–70 percent replenishment – considerably behind a Kia EV6’s 18 minutes.

Unlike that car, though, the Tavascan arrives with adaptive dampers, and Cupra maintains that the Tavascan will be a driver’s car. It includes the ability to turn stability control fully off, and sports a weight balance of 49 percent front, 51 percent rear.

Design-wise, the Tavascan – which might be priced from circa-$75,000 – adopts and blends styling cues from the smaller, petrol-powered Formentor SUV and the brand’s compact Born EV hatchback.

The cabin floorplan is relatively high due to the large skateboard battery but clever use of dual-tone paint and large wheels of up to 21-inches in diameter hide the bulk well.

Inside, though, Cupra has pushed cabin styling much further than any of its existing models with a cyper-punk centre console that splits longitudinally to support a large 15-inch touchscreen display. A 12-speaker Sennheiser stereo is optional.

Cupra’s signature copper and blue colour theme is evident throughout the five-seat interior which also incorporates various motifs of the brand’s distinctive mark.

Set to go into production soon to meet 2024 European launch timing – and an early 2025 Australian release date – the Tavascan represents the start of a significant range renewal.

Cupra took the unusual step of briefly revealing facelifted versions of its petrol and hybrid Leon hatchback and Formentor midsize SUV in 2022 and both models should appear locally in 2024.

Meanwhile, Cupra chief executive officer Wayne Griffiths also confirmed to Chasing Cars last month that the Formentor will be renewed for a second generation with fully-electric propulsion – likely maintaining its size-smaller status when compared to the longer Tavascan, which has 540 litres of boot space.

The Spanish brand will also introduce a new Terramar SUV model next year that will be Cupra’s last vehicle to be offered with petrol, diesel and hybrid engines in various markets.

Cupra chief Griffiths has hinted at producing a range of SUV models to support a hypothetical entrance to the American market, and the Tavascan is understood to be the lynchpin of such a move.

A three-row SUV and a sports car are believed to be under consideration.

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