Currently reading: The Cupra plan according to R&D boss Matthias Rabe
Here’s what’s in store for Seat’s newly launched hot division

The Cupra brand is officially here now that its first model, the Ateca, has been revealed.

We catch up with the company’s research and development boss, Matthias Rabe, to find out what’s next for Seat's new performance division.

What does a Cupra brand do that Seat Cupra models can’t?

“We want to say the best from Seat comes from Cupra, a brand belonging to Seat and connected to Seat but more determined, more focused.”

Cupra sub-brand could get latest powertrain tech before Seat

Cupra ateca 004h 0

Will we see Seat models launched as Cupras in future, with mainstream versions following?

“Yes, probably. We are in the middle of our biggest product offensive, with many more models coming by 2020. Why not start some of those in a special Cupra style?”

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Will there be Cupra versions of most Seat models?

“Not most. For the beginning, we will concentrate on Ateca and Leon. We see potential for the smaller cars but we have to look at financial feasibility… If there is room, then I would like to do it, but the smallest would be the Ibiza. Below it, offering something doesn’t make sense.

New Cupra Ateca revealed

Will prices increase compared with Seat Cupra models?

“We will do everything we can to keep the competitive position. The new brand gives us more freedom to make special versions or to offer equipment we can charge more for, but it would be wrong to make the Cupra Leon or Cupra Ateca €1000 more expensive just because of the brand. That would not work.”

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Mike Duff

Mike Duff
Title: Contributing editor

Mike has been writing about cars for more than 25 years, having defected from radio journalism to follow his passion. He has been a contributor to Autocar since 2004, and is a former editor of the Autocar website. 

Mike joined Autocar full-time in 2007, first as features editor before taking the reins at Being in charge of the video strategy at the time saw him create our long running “will it drift?” series. For which he apologies.

He specialises in adventurous drive stories, many in unlikely places. He once drove to Serbia to visit the Zastava factory, took a £1500 Mercedes W124 E-Class to Berlin to meet some of its taxi siblings and did Scotland’s North Coast 500 in a Porsche Boxster during a winter storm. He also seems to be a hypercar magnet, having driven such exotics as the Koenigsegg One:1, Lamborghini SCV12, Lotus Evija and Pagani Huayra R.

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eseaton 22 February 2018

They should launch a sub

They should launch a sub brand of Cupra and call it 'VW'.