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Cupra Born 2023: cheaper, faster 58kWh battery under consideration for Australia


A smaller battery version of the Cupra Born is being considered for the Australian market and could make the Spanish hot hatch, even hotter

Cupra is considering bringing a more affordable 58kWh battery for its incoming Born electric hot hatch for Australian release in future.

This week the Spanish brand announced pricing for the Born, which will arrive in March 2023 with a 77kWh battery. 

Cupra Born 2023 driving track blue
This week Cupra announced that the Born would start at $59,990

That’s the largest battery pack globally, and it will offer Australians a claimed 511km of range at the cost of $59,990 before on-roads.

Cupra says the selection of the big 77kWh battery was responsive to the demands of Australian EV buyers, who still generally prefer a longer range, all other things being equal.

However, speaking with Chasing Cars at the first Australian drive of the Born, Cupra head of product Jeff Shafer told Chasing Cars that the smaller battery was under consideration for Australia.

“It’s definitely something we’re interested in. I think it’d be a good addition to the range,” he said. 

“It’s not yet released for Australia, so we don’t have access to it right now. But definitely, I think it’d be a good car for Australia.”

Cupra Born 2023 driving rear
A 58kWh version would be faster due to its lighter weight

The 58kWh version of the Born is compatible with the high-performance 170kW rear-wheel drive powertrain that is being fitted to the Aussie-spec 77kWh car. With that motor, the 58kWh iteration weighs 1824kg compared to 1946kg with the bigger battery.

Because the 58kWh version carries 122kg less weight, it slashes the Born’s 0-100km/h time from 7.0 seconds in the 77kWh version to 6.6sec – a six percent improvement. However, WLTP-certified range falls to 358km.

Cupra Born 2023 front
The Born aims to be Australia’s first electric hot hatch

Similar trends have been seen with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 electric SUVs which are both available only with the largest battery option, while other rivals such as the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 are available with a range of battery options.

The 77kWh version of the Born is officially rated to travel 511km on a single charge while the 58kWh battery is notably down at 358km, though both figures are judged according to the typically more accurate WLTP rating. 

58kWh option likely to be cheaper

When equipped with the smaller 58kWh battery option, the Born would likely cost less than the 77kWh version however Shafer pointed out the current version is unlikely to retain its keen $59,990 price tag forever.

Cupra Born 2023 driving front
Even the 58kWh version is capable of travelling up to 358km on a single charger

“It might not be the price of the car forever, because right now in every area, every business [is battling] inflationary pressures and commodity prices are a big part of what goes into an EV,” he said.

The 58kWh Born is capable of travelling up to 358km on a single charge, according to WLTP testing, with Shafer also noting that it would be quicker than the big-battery option.

“You get a slight performance advantage because the motor is the same in both of those applications,” he said, adding, “you’ve got a bit less weight in the 58kWh so it’s is slightly quicker, just because of the maths.”

Cupra Born 2023: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • Born (77kWh, 170kW): $59,990

Driveaway prices by state:

  • ACT: $61,990 
  • NSW: $62,490
  • Queensland: $63,490 
  • South Australia: $64,490
  • Victoria: $64,990 
  • Western Australia: $66,490