Volkswagen’s sporty Spanish subsidiary Cupra will launch a new small to mid-size SUV in 2024, with mild or plug-in hybrid power.
Volkswagen-owned Spanish performance brand Cupra has confirmed plans to launch a new mid-size SUV in 2024, twinned with the Audi Q3 and offering a range of hybrid powertrains.
One of four new models the Cupra brand plans to launch over the coming years – including two electric cars in 2024 and 2025 – the new SUV will measure 4.5 metres long, placing it above the company’s current Formentor (4450mm) and Ateca (4386mm) medium SUVs.
As for plans for an Australian launch, a Cupra spokesperson told Drive: “We look forward to welcoming the Leon PHEV and Formentor PHEV at the brand launch of CUPRA and further electrified model announcements will be made in due course.”
Cupra’s specific reference to the Q3 Sportback suggests synergies between the Audi and Cupra SUVs will extend beyond a common MQB platform, possibly to a shared 2680mm wheelbase or even certain body panels or chassis components.
The Cupra SUV will be available with mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains, the latter including new-generation technology (and likely larger batteries) set to enable all-electric driving ranges of up to 100 kilometres.
In Europe, the Q3 Sportback can currently be optioned with a plug-in hybrid system badged ‘45 TFSI e’, which pairs a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine with an electric motor and 13kWh battery for 180kW/400Nm combined outputs and 50km of claimed WLTP range.
The same powertrain in the Cupra Formentor is capable of 55km of WLTP range – suggesting the new Cupra SUV would need around 20kWh to 25kWh of energy capacity to achieve its targeted electric driving range figure.
European Q3 Sportback buyers can option a mild-hybrid system with its entry-level 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine.
While Cupra’s teaser image gives little away, the new model does appear to feature triangular headlight graphics per the current Leon, Formentor and Ateca, and a high bonnet edge akin to the Cupra Born electric hatchback.
The mystery 2024 SUV is one of four new Cupra models due by the middle of the decade, alongside the Tavascan electric mid-size SUV in 2024, an electric city car for 2025 known provisionally as the UrbanRebel, and what teaser images released last month suggest will be a mid-size wagon akin to a Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake.
While the new SUV will be only 50mm longer than a Formentor, Cupra CEO Wayne Griffths insists it will add to the range, not “substitute”, telling Autocar last month: “Those two cars, from a Cupra perspective, have to add on, not substitute, so we have to stay away from the other cars.
“We’ve got quite a lot by then if you add it up: we’ve got Formentor, Ateca will probably still be around, we have the Tavascan, the Born and we have the small BEV [battery-electric vehicle], so there is still room for more cars, and we are looking at models for the future.”
Speaking to Auto Express last month, he added: “I can tell you that they [the new cars] will be in segments that are growing. There will be, I think in a lot of cases, crossover [between segments]. Not in a classical segment.
“There will always be something that is a mixture, something unique. Instead of just a classical SUV, or a classical coupe, or a classical limousine [sedan].”
Cupra plans to double its sales in 2022 – from 79,300 in 2021, to nearly 160,000 – aided in per by its entry into the Australian market.