The Cupra Born VZ Beats Volkswagen To Its Own EV GTI Punch

This all-electric hot hatch from Cupra could rival even a Golf R in terms of power and torque. 

For anyone who has paid any attention to the goings-on at Volkswagen in recent time, one could not have missed the continual hints the German automaker has been dropping regarding an upcoming all-electric GTI. Unfortunately though, in spite of all this recent hype, it does sadly appear that it will still be some time yet before those three hallowed letters make their way onto a zero-emissions hot hatch.  

Handily however to those wanting an all-electric GTI right this moment, there may be just the thing for you soon at its sister marque Cupra. Such is as this sporty spin-off from Seat has recently revealed a rather hot version of its ID.3-based Born EV, for which they have christened the VZ. 

Short for ‘veloz’ or ‘fast’ in English, it should be headlined first for this Born VZ to certainly live up to its name. This is after all because its single rear mounted motor has not just been beefed up to output a Golf R-rivalling 322 hp, but perhaps more impressively too is for it to be packing a whopping 545 Nm worth of torque. 

A huge boost of 94 hp and 235 Nm over the previous most potent variant of the Born, this new VZ variant with its quoted century sprint time of 5.7 seconds is now to be the quickest car based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform. This newly unlocked electric oomph has also subsequently raised this EV’s top speed from its standard 160 km/h cap, to a more hot 200 km/h.  

Aside from the fitment of a more potent e-motor, Cupra has also done some work under the Born VZ to deem it a proper hot hatch. There are for instance now new dampers and springs at the rear, which in conjunction with a tweaked front suspension arrangement is claimed to deliver better body control. 

Cupra engineers reportedly fettled its steering for better response, in addition to retuning its brakes for a stiffer and more robust pedal feel. These performance tweaks are then capped off by a set of wider 20-inch alloys with 3D-effect copper inserts (or optional forged items wrapped in performance tyres), with it further complemented by a dark chrome finish for its badges to subtly distinguish the exterior of this hot variant from its regular all-electric counterparts. 

Rather interestingly, in order for Cupra to claim that it did not sacrifice efficiency in the search for performance, this VZ’s battery capacity has also been increased by 2 kWh over the 77 kWh of the regular Born. This in turn still therefore sees for the all-electric hot hatch to be capable of claiming a more-than-reasonable WLTP-rated 570 km on a full charge, while its 170 kW DC charging compatibility capable of topping it up from 10-80% in just half an hour. 

Discussing the changes to its inside now, the interior of this hot hatch is spiced up somewhat from the standard fitment of bucket seats and paddle shifters mounted behind its steering wheel (though these are to choose from one of three levels of energy recuperation). The highest-end Born also comes as standard with a 10-speaker Sennheiser audio system and wraparound Smart Lights interior ambient lighting, but most importantly is its larger new 12.9-inch infotainment system that finally incorporates the new illuminated touch slider bar beneath it. 

Set to be a rival to the MG4 XPower and Smart #1 Brabus, the Born VZ is currently scheduled for launch come the third quarter of 2024 (just before the supposed arrival of the ID.3 GTX). Cupra has yet to announce the prices for this all-electric hot hatch yet, but it is expected to be a chunky premium over the already steep £43,735 (RM 265,000) the existing range-topper is currently commanding in the UK.  

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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