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Cupra Ateca 2022: Spanish small performance SUV confirmed for Australia to rival T-Roc R, Kona N

John Law

Spanish performance brand Cupra is set to launch in Australia next year with three models offered initially including a hatch and two SUVs.

The 2022 Cupra Ateca is perhaps the most conventional-looking of the bunch, but it promises to pack a punch when it arrives in Australia early next year.

Like the Leon, the Cupra Ateca is clearly based on a Seat model of the same name. Launched globally in 2018, the Ateca is a small SUV that targets the Skoda Karoq and Mazda CX-30 in other markets.

Cupra Ateca 2022-2
Unlike the Formentor, the Ateca adopts a conventional SUV silhouette.

It sits at the upper end of the small SUV segment, measuring 4,376mm long, 1,841mm wide and 1,615mm tall. The Ateca promises to be practical for its class, with a 485L boot on offer.

What will power the new Cupra Ateca?

In Cupra guise, the Ateca will pack the venerable EA888 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine producing 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque. The Ateca will send its grunt to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

That is plenty of grunt – enough to see the Ateca compete directly with the forthcoming Volkswagen T-Roc R and Hyundai Kona N. It’s also enough power to see the Ateca get from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds.

Cupra Ateca 2022
But the Ateca promises to be potent, with a claimed 0-100km/h sprint of 4.9 seconds.

Unlike the other Cupra models coming to Australia, the Ateca will only be available with one powertrain choice and no plug-in hybrid options. 

How does it differ from other VW Group products?

Despite sitting on the familiar MQB-A1 platform, the Cupra engineers have not left well enough alone in the Ateca. Like all Cupra products, it will benefit from a bespoke suspension tune and individualised infotainment system.

Speaking of individualisation, the Cupra schtick is all about it. Although the most conventional in the range, the Ateca still stands out pictured in striking Petrol Matte Blue with contrasting copper wheels.

Cupra Ateca 2022-5
Like the exterior, the Ateca’s interior gets lots of blue and copper detailing.

That treatment continues inside with dark blue leather-appointed bucket seats set off with copper contrast stitching. The steering wheel features the engine start button – very Ferrari – and there’s a 9.2-inch touchscreen for the infotainment.

Cupra will employ an online agency model instead of traditional dealerships. Online sales will be backed up by a number of physical showrooms. In Australia, the Ateca will be backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Sitting under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group in Australia means that Cupra owners will be able to take advantage of an extensive servicing network, too.

Cupra Ateca 2021-4
Conventional the layout may be, but the Cupra touches elevate the Ateca.

Cupra will confirm exact Australian pricing and specification closer to the Ateca’s launch next year.