Currently reading: Cupra joins Maserati and McLaren in 2023 Formula E championship
Spanish firm partners with Abt Sportsline to enter Formula E and reveals 470bhp Gen3 racer

Cupra has become the latest manufacturer to enter the Formula E sphere, partnering with motorsport outfit Abt Sportsline for an entry into the new-look 2023 season.

The Spanish brand joins newcomers Maserati and McLaren in the electric single-seater series – as well as long-time participants DS, Mahindra, Nissan, Porsche and Nio – as part of a drive to cement its zero-emission sporting credentials.

In the five years since Cupra was hived off as a brand in its own right from parent company Seat, it has already made a name for itself in electric motorsport worldwide. It has competed in both seasons of the off-road Extreme E series, finishing mid-table both times, and claimed victory in the 2021 and 2022 rounds of the ETCR electric touring car championship.

Now, it says it is “ready for the next stage of its development" as it signs up to race in the world's highest-profile electric racing championship.

Cupra says its own brand ambitions line up neatly with those of Formula E, which has been certified net-zero since its inception, in that both aim to reach "individuals that value sustainability and are passionate about racing and performance".

Cupra's entry comes as Formula E launches a wide-reaching overhaul of its technical regulations, meaning the cars for 2023 are much more powerful and faster than those that have gone before.

The series' new Gen3 racer features a motor at both ends for a combined 470bhp and is capable of a 200mph-plus top speed. Meanwhile, 600kW regenerative braking is so strong that the cars can go without a rear braking set-up. 

Cupra's car – with a powertrain supplied by Mahindra (which, coincidentally, recently signed a deal to use the Volkswagen Group's MEB architecture for passenger cars in India) – will be driven by Dutchman Robin Frijns and Switzerland's Nico Müller. 

The brand's CEO, Wayne Griffiths, said: "Racing is at the core of Cupra’s DNA – and at Cupra we go out to win. It’s the right time to take the next leap forward and join the world’s greatest electric motorsport competition, and I can’t wait to see the Abt Cupra Formula E team competing in the heart of some of the world’s most iconic cities. 

"Joining Formula E, a unique motorsport platform, underlines our ambition of becoming a truly global relevant brand, with the aim of inspiring the world from Barcelona.”

The season kicks off in Mexico on 14 January and runs for seven months, finishing with a double-header in east London on 29/30 July. 


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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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rhwilton 10 December 2022

Your list of manufacturers involved in Formula E left out Jaguar, for some strange reason. This is especially cruel, considering they are actually involved in power train development, unlike others who are simply sticking their badge on the car. 

FastRenaultFan 9 December 2022
If Any company needed its Cupra just to get there name out there and get known more. Its good to see. Good luck to them.