Cupra Urban Rebel: first look at supermini EV and potential hot hatch

The marketplace and consumers are eagerly awaiting supermini-sized EVs, and Cupra’s aggressive little concept

Cupra will reveal an aggressive little number at the Munich motor show this year, a look-ahead concept version of the supermini-sized EV it will launch in 2025. While the eventual production model won’t share the Cupra Urban Rebel’s wildly flared wheel arches and aero devices, the concept does give us an early view of how the new supermini-sized EV will shape up. The Urban Rebel also casts light on Cupra’s plans for positioning the production car against rivals from Mini, Peugeot and Honda

Cupra has revealed some technical details that are unikely to reference the eventual production car, confirming its electric motor has the ability to produce 335bhp, with an overboost function lifting that peak to 429bhp. Its projected acceleration is 3.2sec to 62mph. The car being based on a version of the MEB platform suggests a likely motor placement on the rear axle, which would also make it rear-wheel drive – it’s unlikely that VW will engineer this entry-level platform to incorporate dual motors.

The body itself is 4080mm long, 1795mm wide and 1444mm tall, which makes it only slightly longer and wider than a contemporary SEAT Ibiza for scale, although the concept’s length has is exaggerated by the rear wing and splitter. It’s also curious to see that the body itself features only two doors, something that’s fallen out of fashion in most of today’s superminis. 

The entire VW group has been somewhat tardy in its release of a bespoke EV of smaller proportions. The simple reason for this is that lower purchase prices in this sector and the prohibitive cost of batteries limit the potential profitability of such models until substantial scale is reached. Rival companies like Mini and Peugeot have taken the plunge with models like the Mini Electric and 208-e, but both of those share structures with corresponding internal combustion variants, bringing the sales levels required to turn a profit within far easier reach.

That time for the bespoke small electric car is coming though, and with the entire VW group working on a down-sized version of the MEB platform to base theirs upon, Cupra has been the first of the brand’s out of the gate with its vision ahead of these new production models. 

More than just being the foundation for a new mass market economy car, the VW supermini-sized platform promises to be the best base yet for any potential supermini hot hatchbacks using electric power. Judging by the Urban Rebel’s tight proportions and low stance, not to mention the Cupra brand’s sporting focus, performance versions could well be on the cards for the small EV.

Peugeot has also been exploring the idea of an electric hot hatchback, with development on a high performance 208-e PSE in the works as a follow on from the brilliant 208 GTi by PS that was taken off-sale alongside the previous generation 208 in 2018.

Recommended

Alpine A290 prototype review – first taste of the electric hot hatch
Alpine A290 prototype
Reviews

Alpine A290 prototype review – first taste of the electric hot hatch

evo drives Alpine’s highly anticipated hot hatch in prototype-form as it concludes cold-weather testing in Sweden
19 Feb 2024
The new Alpine A290 hot hatch is just around the corner
Alpine A290 – front
Spy shots

The new Alpine A290 hot hatch is just around the corner

Alpine’s Renault 5-based hatch will arrive this year – here’s our first look at the new EV in prototype form
16 Feb 2024
2024 Abarth 600e revealed as the marque’s most powerful model yet
Abarth 600e
News

2024 Abarth 600e revealed as the marque’s most powerful model yet

Developed as a tribute to the brand’s colourful racing history, the new 600e crossover features the highest output of any Abarth to date
8 Feb 2024
BMW i5 and 5-series Touring revealed – here’s what to expect from the M5 estate
BMW 5-series Touring – front
News

BMW i5 and 5-series Touring revealed – here’s what to expect from the M5 estate

BMW's new 5-series Touring will spawn an M5 estate later this year – this is what we know so far
6 Feb 2024

Most Popular

Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1 – four-wheel-drive hatches go head-to-head
Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1
Group tests

Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1 – four-wheel-drive hatches go head-to-head

They’re two dinky performance cars with startlingly similar recipes, but how does the decade-old Audi S1 compare to today’s much-hyped Toyota GR Yaris…
17 Feb 2024
Driving MST’s stunning Mk1 Ford Escort recreation – car pictures of the week
MST Mk1 Ford Escort – front
Features

Driving MST’s stunning Mk1 Ford Escort recreation – car pictures of the week

In the latest issue of evo, we get behind the wheel of the glorious MST Mk1 – here are some of our favourite shots…
18 Feb 2024
The new Alpine A290 hot hatch is just around the corner
Alpine A290 – front
Spy shots

The new Alpine A290 hot hatch is just around the corner

Alpine’s Renault 5-based hatch will arrive this year – here’s our first look at the new EV in prototype form
16 Feb 2024