Currently reading: Cupra wants to build DarkRebel but profit must come first
Boss says the electric sports coupé would help build the brand but "at the moment it remains a dream"

A production version of the Cupra DarkRebel concept car remains “a dream” for company boss Wayne Griffiths.

However, it won't be launched any time soon, as Cupra has other priorities that will deliver profits and volume much sooner as it enters a period of what Griffiths hopes to be “exponential growth”.

A striking two-seat coupé EV that showcases the Spanish brand's vision of a future sports car, the DarkRebel was revealed in physical form for the first time last year, having previously been shown in digital form at the unveiling of the Cupra Tavascan electric SUV.

Griffiths told Autocar: “It’s a car I’d love to do, but you do it at a time when you can afford to do it. When you have limited resources, you need to make your priorities, so obviously for me a big priority is the next generation of Cupra cars and electric cars.

“The DarkRebel would do a great job for Cupra in terms of image and positioning, but in terms of generating profitability and volume, certainly not. 

“It could be a real game-changer for the Cupra brand at some point in the future, but at the moment it remains a dream.”

Cupra design boss Jorge Díez previously told Autocar that the car was the result of a brand that can "truly dream", saying: "[With] no heritage or need to keep to DNA, we can make it from scratch, which gives thousands of possibilities, but it's an emotional design, a human design."

The DarkRebel is 4.5 metres long (just longer than the Toyota GR Supra), 2.2 metres wide and 1.3 metres tall, or 2.2 metres tall when its two scissor doors are opened and extended fully upwards.

Cupra darkrebel concept rear three quarter

The concept is electric, but no further technical details have been released beyond that, in keeping with the DarkRebel's positioning as a design concept that shows how far Cupra can push its angular designs.

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Indeed, Díez said it was "the maximum expression of our DNA" and the result "of an obsession to create something special".

Key design elements of the extravagant concept include its striking new lighting patterns, which Díez called the DarkRebel's "eyes". These have already inspired a heavy restyle for Cupra's Leon hatchback and Formentor crossover

Like the Tavascan, the coupé also features an illuminated Cupra badge.

Cupra darkrebel concept wheels

The central cell of the car is modelled on that of a speed boat, and wrapped around it are vast wings, diffusers, spoilers, cooling and aerodynamic features.

ez said the car was always in a "fighting position", with everything in its profile pushing forwards.

The cabin features a two-seat layout with bucket seats and a gaming-style steering wheel and display screens, designed to leverage Cupra's popularity in the gaming world.

Almost every function of the cabin is geared towards the driver, while sustainable materials are used, including bamboo.

The mercury-like colour and wider colour scheme and trim of the DarkRebel is the result of more than 270,000 configurations made online of the concept since its digital debut, Cupra having selected the most popular schemes.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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MrJ 4 September 2023

Pretty sharp, and shows why Cupra has wiped Seat off the map.

Anton motorhead 4 September 2023
Well it certainly is bold and different, but too loud and extrovert for me. Apart from that any 2 seater EV coupe is welcome in the present sea of EV SUVs.
jason_recliner 4 September 2023

Looks like BMW was asked to style a Hot Wheels.