A hot Seat Ateca Cupra development car has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring
The 300bhp super-SUV is being prepared for a market launch this year
The pepped-up Ateca, first spotted in prototype form by Autocar at a Seat facility last year
It Cupra wheels, large brakes, quad-exit exhausts and more aggressive bodywork
The car is expected to be powered by the 2.0-litre petrol engine used in the 286bhp Leon Cupra
It is not clear if this engine will be tweaked to deliver different performance characteristics
Seat Ateca Cupra as imagined by Autocar
The pepped-up Ateca, first spotted in prototype form by Autocar at a Seat facility last year, has Cupra wheels, large brakes, quad-exit exhausts and more aggressive bodywork. The car is expected to be powered by the 2.0-litre petrol engine used in the 286bhp Leon Cupra.
It is not clear if this engine will be tweaked to deliver different performance characteristics. In the four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R, for instance, the same engine makes 296bhp. A 0-62mph time of 6.5sec is expected for the Ateca Cupra. A glimpse of the car's rev counter suggests that it'll have an 8000rpm redline.
The standard Ateca is on sale now and will be joined by the smaller Arona next year and potentially a seven-seat SUV around 2020.
The regular Ateca is expected to become the firm’s best-selling model. With a mooted price of around £35,000, though, a Cupra version would become Seat’s most expensive model.
“The fast SUV market is evolving quickly at the premium end, but in the mainstream, there is no real credible contender,” said an insider. “That opens the opportunity for Seat to take leadership and to really differentiate itself from the opposition in the crowded SUV market. An Ateca Cupra could have a very significant halo effect for the rest of the brand.”
Reports had suggested the Ateca Cupra might appear at the 2016 Paris motor show in September but it's thought that idea was dropped to prevent the mainstream model being upstaged by the Cupra version.
In addition, demand is said to be outstripping supply for the Ateca in Europe. This indicates there is no pressing need for a halo model to be launched. As a result, the Ateca Cupra is being mooted for an on-sale date in late 2017.