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With the evolution of the SUV sooner or later it would have to happen- performance versions and in the market today are several from the likes of Alfa Romeo etc. Relatively new to this club is the CUPRA Ateca, which has been further enhanced and upgraded to continue to be one of the ultimate dynamic performance compact SUVs.

This was the first vehicle to be launched as a standalone CUPRA in 2018, delivering the key principals of design, performance and technology, which has since been joined by the CUPRA Leon and the cross coupe SUV, CUPRA Formentor, the first CUPRA-only vehicle introduced earlier this year. A wide range of new additions and improvements have been made to enhance its appeal without compromise, this gives customers the option to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that offers the practicality of an SUV with the driveability and handling of a traditional high-performance car. The new model comes with a suite of standard equipment including Alcantara Sport Seats, 19 inch CUPRA alloy wheels, Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) suspension and an enhanced steering system to improve feel. A two litre TSI 300PS petrol engine linked to a quick-shifting seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission aided by the four-wheel drive 4Drive system, propels the Ateca from standstill to 100kph (62mph) in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 246kph (153mph) where legal to do so. Featuring a digital cabin featuring a ten inch digital driver binnacle and 9.2 inch central touch screen, occupants can access their digital lives simply and easily. This includes wireless smartphone charging in the front, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology, and SEAT Connect technology, meaning staying in touch with the car wherever you are, as well as preparing it for your next journey.

The 4Drive all-wheel drive system is the latest generation of the electro-hydraulic multi-disc traction system and allows the vehicle to deliver power to the wheels with the most traction and on to the road in a controlled manner. The system constantly monitors and analyses road conditions and driver inputs to maximise traction, making the sub-five second acceleration time possible. The system is integrated into the rear axle and sits at the end of the drive shaft, in front of the rear differential, improving weight distribution and reducing inertia, meaning the new model is more responsive and controlled in all driving conditions. Driveability is based on its relationship between the engine and chassis that gives it the distinctive dynamic performance. The SUV’s chassis has been tuned to offer the most precise, involved and responsive ride possible from the platform. The steering calibration and throttle response have been updated to give the vehicle maximum agility and enhance feedback for drivers putting the vehicle’s credentials to the test. The CUPRA Ateca reacts to changes in driver inputs, including steering angle, acceleration or braking as well as road conditions via the Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) system, adjusting suspension and damper settings within milliseconds to perfect the driver experience, making the most of the driving conditions. Four different driver profiles allow this SUV to be tuned to the specific nature of the journey; ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’, ‘CUPRA’, ‘Individual’ to change the vehicle’s character.

The front and rear track has been increased to 1,575mm and 1,549mm respectively. The inclusion of optional ventilated 18-inch Brembo brakes mean it stops as quickly as it starts and gives immense confidence in the corners. A striking exterior which has been updated instantly marks it as a performance vehicle and the new SUV updates the design language to amplify its bold character. The interior brings as much theatre as the driving experience does. The front seat occupants receive bucket seats as standard and the new micro suede CUPRA steering wheel houses the engine start button and the selectable driver profile button. The Digital Cockpit shows all the key vehicles information in high-resolution and the pedals are finished in aluminium. Throughout the interior, Copper and Dark Aluminium details bring a sense of performance; including the air vents, touch screen and HVAC controls all benefitting from this colour combination, as well as the four illuminated type C USB ports, two in the front and two in the rear. The interior is upholstered in Alcantara with lateral seat supports. The dashboard and door panels are both finished in dark aluminium with copper stitching. All round a very eye-catching vehicle with performance to match.

CUPRA was formerly known as SEAT Sport- the high performance motor sport division of SEAT, founded in 1985 succeeding the SEAT Special Vehicles department which had been formed in 1971 with the mission to enforce the brand’s participation in rally championships, taking 11 titles between 1979 and 1983. It has competed in rallying and touring car racing, and also develops high performance versions of road cars. The result of this effort has been rewarded through SEAT’s most prestigious titles in FIA championships, three conquests with the SEAT Ibiza Kit-Car in the FIA 2L World Rally Championship 1996, 1997 and 1998 and two times with the SEAT Leon in the FIA World Touring Car Championship WTCC in 2008 and 2009 and it was two years ago SEAT created the CUPRA brand.

Ian Lynas


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