Positioned as the sporty brand within the Volkswagen Group stable, Spanish brand Cupra has been confirmed for Australian sales in the second quarter of 2022. Offering three core models for now: the Leon, Ateca and Formentor, Cupra will offer a wide range of petrol engines but – surprisingly – also plug-in hybrid options for both Leon and Formentor buyers. 

According to Cupra director Ben Wilks, Cupra is a great choice for Australia. 

“CUPRA represents a great opportunity for VGA as a whole,” Mr Wilks said.

“Australians love performance vehicles. Two out of three new private sales are SUVs. CUPRA’s debut Australian range nails the brief, enabling VGA to offer more of what the discerning private customer wants.”

To be sold online and via an agency structure through the group’s existing investors, Cupra will be ‘highly visible’ nationally through pop-up sales points and outlets in higher-profile retail environments. All local Cupra models will be offered with a five-year/unlimited km warranty – just like their Skoda and Volkswagen cousins – and service plans will also be on offer. We anticipate that Cupra servicing will be done through existing VW Group outlets. 

While full Australian pricing is yet to be announced, Cupra has given a guide of just above $40,000 for the entry-level 140kW Leon to just above $60,000 for the top-spec 228kW Formentor AWD. All Cupra models sit on the same MQB platform as their VW Group cousins and all come with the latest in tech such as advanced safety systems. 

As detailed when Cupra’s arrival was announced a few months ago, the brand will focus on three core models: the Leon hatchback, Ateca SUV and Formentor coupe-style SUV. 

The Cupra Leon hatch – not wagon, unlike Europe, for now – will be offered with four drivetrains: a 140kW/320Nm, a 180kW/370Nm and a 221kW/400Nm tune of the same ‘EA888’ 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that serves in a wide variety of VW Group products. 

Surprisingly though, given VW Australia’s recent attitude on plug-in hybrids, a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 85kW/330Nm motor with a 12.8kWh battery pack plug-in hybrid – for maximum outputs of 180kW/400Nm – option will also be offered. This will give buyers around 50km of electric-only range. All Leon hatches are front-drive.

The Cupra Ateca – basically Seat’s version of the Skoda Karoq and VW Tiguan – will be offered solely with the 221kW/400Nm 2.0L turbo and all-wheel drive drivetrain at launch. No other drivetrains will be offered with the Ateca for now, as it is being positioned at the top of the VW Group small SUV tree – the Karoq Sportline occupies the 140kW spot with the Tiguan 162TSI slightly higher up.

Finally, and the sole unique Cupra product for now, the Formentor coupe-like SUV that will be offered with the same 140kW, 180kW and 228kW (+7kW) petrol engines, as well as the 180kW 1.4TSI PHEV, as the Leon. The 140kW and 228kW models will be all-wheel drive, with the 180kW petrol and PHEV twins being front-wheel drive.

Like their Skoda and Volkswagen cousins, it’s expected that the Cupra range will be well equipped in Australia with a handful of options extending to colour and trim. 

Cupra Australian lineup: 

Leon: 140kW, 180kW and 221kW 2.0L turbo petrol

Ateca SUV: 221kW 2.0L turbo petrol with AWD

Formentor: 140kW and 228kW 2.0L petrol with AWD – 180kW with FWD

Plug-in hybrids: 180kW 1.4TSI in Leon and Formentor

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