Three hundred horsepower, acceleration from 0 to 100 kph in 5.2 seconds and a speed of 247 kph: such explosive numbers unequivocally reveal a new model’s potential. Often, however, such exhilarating performance channels vehicle aesthetics along a forced path involving air intakes, big wheels, contrasting profiles and other flashy details inspired by racing cars.
In the case of the Cupra, the new, high adrenalin brand from the VW group, the approach turned out to be more refined right from the start (see Auto&Design n. 219). The approach to the colours and the careful combination of materials and forms, part of a more general focus on making the car more readily customisable, projected the car’s design in the direction of a particular kind of universe, without however giving up anything in matters of sporting edge.
The result is a visual cocktail that we haven’t seen before, with content halfway between premium and generalist, that we were able to savour in Barcelona. The use of carbon-fibre-effect upholstery in the interior is particularly striking, with the abandonment of strips and inserts for soft seat contours. In addition, there is a widespread presence of glossy black profiles and Alcantara surfaces in the same shade, but opaque, with copper-coloured stitching acting as a contrast. Metal red stands out on the outside, with a signature shade for logos and wheels, in a particularly successful combination with the Mineral Grey paintwork of the official photos. The aggressive front bumper is thus the only real concession to convention. For the rest, the car’s delicate refinement will appeal to those who are not looking for performance alone.