ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS DRIVES THE CUPRA ATECA
With some 300PS at the command of the right foot, the stability of four wheel drive and an eye catching profile, the Cupra Ateca is simply one of the most desirable SUVs currently on the market.
If you ever thought an SUV was boring, think again and like me, get behind the wheel of this very attractive Spaniard.
The Cupra brand is a cousin of SEAT and is very much the one which screams performance, as I discovered. Clearly those who brought the Ateca to market took inspiration from motorsport and their mission was to translate this into a road going vehicle that would deliver in all of the key areas.
The Cupra Ateca uses the same turbocharged power unit as is in the Golf R, a two litre unit delivering just shy of 300PS through a seven speed DSG transmission. In performance terms this translates to rest to 100kph (62mph) in just 5.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 246kph (153mph). The Dynamic Chassis Control is designed to suit the needs of the driver and the 4Ddrive is optimised to work with the six driving modes. The VW may be a little sharper in performance, but after all this Cupra model is heavier. Of course this SUV is only one of a growing number of performance geared SUVs, an area of the market which is decidedly on the increase.
The Cupra Ateca certainly gets a lot of attention with its bold styling, a very strong grille and badging and it is youthful and a vehicle with a lot of appeal.
It would be very wrong to simply consider the Cupra brand for the young set. Yes, it is targeted in this respect by SEAT, but take it from me, anyone of any age would really enjoy the Cupra Ateca. The brand is lifestyle with performance- there is no getting away from this, and after all most people like a vehicle filled with passion, one that you simply want to get behind the wheel and enjoy. Matching the sports exterior is an equally well laid out interior, dark with sharp digital instrumentation and of course the now widely accepted sports steering wheel.
Comfort levels are good with excellent vision thanks to the high ride position on the road. Yes, the ride is firm, after all this is a performance vehicle, but in no manner is it harsh. Performance, comfort and I must not omit to add practicality; boot space is some 485 litres, ideal for everyday use or that motoring weekend away. I would go as far as to say that this vehicle has two personalities, a sports vehicle and dare I say even a family vehicle, no doubt all members of the family will give this Cupra the thumbs up. After having spent some time with it, alas not enough to provide accurate economy figures, I strongly approve of its stand out looks, power aplenty and it is a vehicle just that little bit different from the norm. There is a lot more coming down the line in performance terms from Cupra, I did have a brief look at the Formentor which will arrive next year. Again it will deliver the benefits of a performance car with the qualities of an SUV. Powering this exciting newcomer a high performance plug-in hybrid 1.5 litre engine with a total power output of 245PS and in pure electric mode a range of fifty kilometres.
Amongst the many highlights of the Formentor, an intelligent DCC chassis, a digital cockpit, a generous panoramic floating navigation system and carbon backed sports bucket seats.