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Cupra Ateca 2022: July release date for Australia with 221kW and AWD


Just three features will be optional on the Cupra Ateca small SUV – the first model from the new performance brand to nab specs for Australian delivery

Local specifications for the first Cupra model to reach Australian shores have been released this morning, with the Ateca small sports SUV to be sold in just one loaded-up trim badged the Ateca VZx.

Australian pricing will be revealed closer to the 2022 Ateca’s July 2022 release date, but Cupra has confirmed specs and features for the two-litre turbo SUV today – and bar three options, all kit is standard.

Cupra Ateca VZx 2022 grey rear end
The Ateca will be Cupra’s smallest SUV in Australia when the brand launches.

The Ateca will launch in Australia alongside two siblings: the Leon hot hatch and the Formentor midsize SUV. Both are expected to offer multiple variants at different power outputs – as opposed to the one-trim, high-power Ateca.

Both the Cupra Ateca and Leon have direct counterparts in Europe’s Seat brand lineup, while the Formentor is Cupra’s first vehicle that does not share proportions with another Volkswagen Group model.

Power to match SQ2 with standard AWD

Sharing its ‘EA888’ four-cylinder engine with the Audi SQ2 and Volkswagen’s forthcoming T-Roc R, the Cupra Ateca VZx makes 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

Those healthy outputs are distributed via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to all four wheels via a Haldex-style all-wheel drive (AWD) system that Cupra calls ‘4Drive’ – promising a brisk 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds.

Cupra Ateca VZx 2022 grey front end
221kW of power, 400Nm of torque and AWD will be standard on the Australian-spec Ateca

Additional bark from an optional Akrapovic exhaust system will bring out the best in the Ateca’s engine – though quad tailpipes are fitted to all cars. Beefy Brembo performance brakes will also be a cost-upgrade.

19-inch wheels finished in black and copper are standard, while included adaptive dampers promise a balanced ride – adjustable through selectable drive modes. The steering ratio is progressive, like in VW’s Golf GTI hot hatch.

Cupra Ateca VZx 2022 grey rear end
Brembo brakes and an Akrapovic exhaust can be found on the short options list

Under the skin, the Ateca rolls on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB modular transverse architecture, and it’s a cousin of the T-Roc, Q2 and most prominently the Skoda Karoq with which it shares some proportions.

As well as rivalling its family relations, the Ateca VZx will also go up against the Hyundai Kona N – though that small SUV is front-wheel drive only.

Full-fat specification bundled for Australia

A panoramic sunroof is the Ateca’s third and final optional feature. Everything else is fitted as standard on the Australian-spec car.

“By offering one fully-loaded variant, we can give customers the very best [Cupra] has to offer in terms of tech, driving experience and style, while maintaining simple to understand model offering for our local launch,” said Jeff Shafer, Cupra Australia head of product and planning.

Cupra Ateca VZx 2022 interior
A 9.2-inch touchscreen sits alongside a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster with Cupra graphics

Shafer moved across to managing Cupra product in late 2021 following a five-year stint as head of product marketing at Volkswagen.

Ateca gets a lengthy equipment list that takes in LED headlights and tail lights, animated indicators, black roof rails and dark aluminium mirror caps.

Cupra Ateca VZx 2022 petrol blue seats
Petrol blue and copper are Cupra’s signature colours – both can be found in this interior

Inside, petrol-blue leather upholstery is standard, with pops of Cupra’s signature copper colour highlighted about the cabin, while the driver’s pew has power adjustment and memory. The front pair score seat heating.

A 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen is complemented by a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, with satellite navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto all included – plus a nine-speaker Beats stereo and wireless device charging.

Cupra Ateca VZx 2022 blue rear seats
Space for five – and there’s tri-zone climate control

DAB digital radio will not be fitted to Australia’s first Ateca batch, but a spokesperson for the brand said the feature would “subsequently” arrive – in later builds.

Paddle shifters sit behind a leather steering wheel, while the dual-clutch auto is also driven through a leather shifter and aluminium pedals.

Autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, fatigue detection, a 360-degree parking camera and automated parking is bundled as standard.

Cupra Ateca 2022: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • Ateca VZx: price TBA