Seat Ateca Cupra – 300bhp SUV to arrive next year
Second sighting of a pepped-up Ateca development car suggests the Cupra will land next year
A hot Seat Ateca Cupra model is being developed for launch in 2017 with as much as 300bhp.
The pepped-up SUV, first spotted by Autocar at a Seat facility and now seen again on the road, has Cupra wheels, large brakes, quad-exit exhausts and more aggressive bodywork. Despite the sighting, Seat is yet to confirm the model’s existence, but sources are confident it’s on the way and will be powered by the 2.0-litre petrol engine used in the 286bhp Leon Cupra.
It is not clear if this engine will be tweaked to deliver different performance characteristics. In the four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R, for instance, the same engine makes 296bhp. A 0-62mph time of 6.5sec is expected for the Ateca Cupra. A glimpse of the car’s rev counter suggests that it’ll have an 8000rpm redline.
The standard Ateca is on sale now and will be joined by a smaller SUV this time next year and potentially a seven-seat SUV around 2020.
Seat’s bosses were believed to be debating how to extend the reach of the Cupra brand. However, this latest sighting confirms the idea has progressed significantly.
The Ateca is the most likely of the three SUVs to be sold in Cupra guise because it will vie for sales in the most hotly contested section of the SUV market.
The Ateca is expected to become the firm’s best-selling model. With a mooted price of around £35,000, though, a Cupra version would become Seat’s most expensive model.
“The fast SUV market is evolving quickly at the premium end, but in the mainstream, there is no real credible contender,” said an insider. “That opens the opportunity for Seat to take leadership and to really differentiate itself from the opposition in the crowded SUV market. An Ateca Cupra could have a very significant halo effect for the rest of the brand.”
Reports had suggested the Ateca Cupra might appear at the 2016 Paris motor show in September but it’s thought that idea was dropped to prevent the mainstream model being upstaged by the Cupra version.
In addition, demand is said to be outstripping supply for the Ateca in Europe. This indicates there is no pressing need for a halo model to be launched. As a result, the Ateca Cupra is being mooted for an on-sale date in late 2017.