Currently reading: Promoted | The CUPRA Ateca: in one lap
We asked a pro driver to describe what it’s like to drive CUPRA’s performance SUV. The twist: he had just one lap of Anglesey to tell us. Cue the action…

The Cupra Ateca has re-defined the style, comfort and pace you can expect from a performance SUV. We’ve already found out what it’s like to drive the CUPRA on one of Britain’s most scenic and demanding roads. We’ve also got the verdict of our Autocar and What Car? readers.

But what is the story of the technology that underpins the CUPRA Ateca’s stunning acceleration and grip? We gave former rally driver Andrew Coley the keys to the CUPRA Ateca and an empty Anglesey circuit on which to show us. But, with a lot to say, and just one hot lap in which to say it, he knew he’d have to talk fast…

To learn more about the CUPRA Ateca, head to

Fast off the line

It all starts with stunning acceleration off the line. The CUPRA Ateca’s advanced 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine delivers 300PS and 400Nm of powerful torque. Working with a dedicated launch control mode, it helps the CUPRA Ateca reach 62mph from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds – even in the atrocious wet weather of Anglesey. 

It’s challenging conditions like these where the CUPRA Ateca’s advanced 4Drive (all-wheel-drive) delivers real confidence – analysing the road in real-time and diverting power to the wheels that need it most, even as the CUPRA’s LED headlights carve our path through the Welsh gloom.

Add in a seven-speed DSG gearbox that has been engineered for faster, smoother and sportier precision shifts on the way to a top speed of 152mph, and it’s only a few seconds before we’re approaching the first turn – the tight Banking Hairpin.

Sharp into corners

Large Brembo brakes provide powerfully precise and accurate stopping power into this challenging turn, while the independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and the multi-link rear suspension offer crisp levels of grip for a more confident turn-in.

Through the bend, adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control delivers enhanced stability and response as the CUPRA Ateca’s weight shifts from front to rear, with 4Drive enhancing the grip under acceleration out towards Church Corner.

A brief lift through Church, and we’re onto the School Straight with just a few seconds to admire the view and appreciate the sporty rumble echoing from the CUPRA’s quad exhaust before another big brake into the Rocket Hairpins.

Responsive handling

The double-switchback of Rocket provides another challenging test for the CUPRA Ateca’s brakes, suspension and handling – a hard stop into a tight left, followed by an immediate switch to a fast right.


Read our review

Car review

The first model from Seat's standalone performance brand is an unconventional launchpad with some pace and precision, but lacks the hallmarks of a great driver’s car

Back to top

But, with the drive mode switched to the performance-focused CUPRA mode – Comfort, Sport, Snow, Off-Road and a customisable Individual mode are also available – we’ve got the confidence of a sharper throttle response and more responsive handling. And that raucous exhaust note to keep a smile on our face.

Through the twists of Peel and Corkscrew, and we’re onto the Tom Pryce Straight. There’s finally time to enjoy the cossetting surroundings of the CUPRA Ateca’s stylish interior. 

Stylish and comfortable

There’s that large panoramic sunroof that brings extra light into the cabin – even on an overcast day like today – and the copper-stitched Alcantara sports seats that offer firm support in the bends and cossetting comfort on the straights. Gloss black and carbon fibre effect surfacing completes the premium feel. 

In front of you, a large crisp customisable high-res digital dashboard and the advanced 9.3-inch central touchscreen for the media system work together to let you blend 3D navigation with music and apps from compatible Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphones. 

Alternatively, you can pick more performance-focused dials, such as a prominent rev counter or a G-force meter – perfect for measuring the braking and cornering forces through the sharp hairpin that takes you back down the run to Bus Stop.

Just a few more seconds to appreciate that stunningly precise and powerful braking, the confident grip through the final turn, and the burst of acceleration onto the final turn – all accompanied by the burble of the quad exhaust – before our lap is done, and the story of the CUPRA Ateca is told.

To learn more about the CUPRA Ateca, head to

Add a comment…