Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths says he has been pushing for the front-drive Urban Rebel to be offered with all-wheel drive in the future
During a roundtable with Australian media, Cupra’s president and chief executive officer Wayne Grifiths said that an all-wheel drive version of the hatchback would be possible – but that it would require buy-in from other Volkswagen Group brands.
“(AWD) is the one to get to, because then you can really have fun. That’s something I have always been pushing for [for MEB First].
“Anything can be done , but you have to have the money to do it and make it viable and at a group level something other brands will want to use as well”, Griffiths added.
The Urban Rebel, which will be eventually renamed with much more Spanish flair, will ride on the MEB First / MEB 21 small BEV platform, as Griffiths refers to it as.
This is the same platform that will sit beneath the recently unveiled Volkswagen ID2all concept, an upcoming EV that could end up costing less than 25,000 euros when it eventually goes on sale.
At present, the highest confirmed performance for the MEB First platform will be offered by the Cupra Urban Rebel in top-spec guise, with a 166kW single motor on the front axle.
However, adding the rear motor inherent in an AWD offer could see power turned up to 250kW or beyond.
If Cupra can secure the desired investment in an all-wheel drive capability for the EV models set to use MEB First, it opens up the option of Volkswagen selling a mechanically identical performance hatchback that uses the same underpinnings and rides on the same platform.
As well as a hot Urban Rebel (or Rebelde) VZx AWD model, Volkswagen could also adapt its vehicle on MEB First – the Polo-sized ID2all – to create a high-powered R version.
Volkswagen could eventually rename its ID2 to Polo, as will likely be done to the Golf name in the new electric era.
The German automaker could then market a performance version of the Polo, like it has in the past, such as the GTi or even a flagship electric R.
At the unveiling of the Cupra Urban Rebel, Wayne Griffiths said that the new model is “the car that will democratise urban electric mobility”.
Cost-consciousness has come first in the goal-setting agenda for MEB First – but if Volkswagen and Skoda share Griffiths’ zeal for AWD, it could still happen.
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