New Cupra Tavascan all-electric SUV debuts in Frankfurt

Striking performance concept could point the way to how future Cupra products will look

It’s a scant 18 months since SEAT announced that Cupra was to be ‘a new sports car brand with its own identity’ and yet here we have the third SUV to be given Cupra branding – the all-electric Tavascan Concept. There’s no doubt it’s a rather arresting design, but is it desperately… sporting? While the sports car market is shrinking, demand for SUVs is exponentially rising, and Cupra reckons the all-electric coupe SUV sector is growing at 15 per cent a year and it is keen to get on board. 

The Tavascan (named after a village in the Pyrenees) is based on the VW Group’s MEB electric platform, and as it’s destined to be the brand’s halo model it features the most powerful combination of batteries and electric motors possible. There are two electric motors – one for each axle – with a combined output of 225kW (302bhp) which endows the Tavascan with a sub-6.5sec 0-62mph time. The 77kWh battery pack gives a WLTP range of around 280 miles. With the batteries mounted low down in the vehicle’s structure, Cupra says its latest SUV offers ‘a truly dynamic drive’.

> New Cupra Ateca SUV starts from £35,900

While we’d perhaps rather be seeing a Cupra hot hatch rather than an SUV, there’s no getting away from the Tavascan’s striking exterior which its manufacturer says ‘marries the presence of an SUV with the sleekness of a sporty coupe’. The chiselled design features a front end with two large S-shaped ducts that channel cooling air to the battery pack and enhance its aerodynamics and is finished off with an illuminated version of the Cupra’s somewhat divisive badge.

Cupra says airflow around the Tavascan is a crucial part of its design and the 22-inch turbine alloys have been designed to minimise resistance to the airflow past them. At the rear the diffuser provides aerodynamic functionality, while a full-width LED rear brake light spans the width of the vehicle, broken up by another illuminated Cupra logo.

While the exterior looks like it could be not far off a potential production car, the interior is currently still very much at the concept stage with four heavily sculpted seats. Instrumentation is taken care of by a pair of screens – one in front of the driver, the second being of the horizontal iPad-style device seemingly so popular with manufacturers these days.

Cupra won’t be drawn on whether the Tavascan will form the basis for its next stand-alone offering, but there’s no doubt that parent company VW will be keen to exploit the new MEB electric platform as much as possible, which could well lead to Cupra offering yet more ‘performance’ SUVs in the future.

Recommended

2022 Cupra Born revealed – a sporty Spanish take on the Volkswagen ID.3
Cupra Born reveal – front quarter
Cupra

2022 Cupra Born revealed – a sporty Spanish take on the Volkswagen ID.3

Cupra’s new Born EV capitalises on VW’s vast electric investment, but with a distinctive sporty edge
25 May 2021
Full Cupra Leon range now on sale – 308bhp Cupra Leon ST to start at £38,475
Cupra Leon
Cupra

Full Cupra Leon range now on sale – 308bhp Cupra Leon ST to start at £38,475

All of the Cupra Leon variants have now been priced in the UK, with Estate models starting at just under £39k
30 Apr 2021
Cupra Formentor 310 TSI 2021 review – an impressive example of the breed
Cupra Formentor 300TSI VZ2 - header
Cupra

Cupra Formentor 310 TSI 2021 review – an impressive example of the breed

The best take on the performance crossover at its size and price point so far, and with genuine charisma and style to boot
3 Apr 2021
386bhp Cupra Formentor VZ5 revealed – crossover gets hot new powertrain
Cupra Formentor VZ5 revealed grey
Cupra

386bhp Cupra Formentor VZ5 revealed – crossover gets hot new powertrain

Cupra unveils a new Formentor flagship with a familiar five-cylinder and a halo status
22 Feb 2021

Most Popular

Triumph Lynx – Dead on arrival
Triumph Lynx
Features

Triumph Lynx – Dead on arrival

With a 3.5-litre Rover V8 under the bonnet and TR7 fastback styling, the Lynx could have been British Leyland’s answer to the Ford Capri
18 Jun 2021
New 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring revealed – now available in manual and PDK
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring – rear profile
Porsche 911 GT3

New 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring revealed – now available in manual and PDK

The Touring pack has returned, combining the 992 GT3’s set-up with more understated looks
15 Jun 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
17 Jun 2021
The reluctant LaFerrari driver – evo archive
evo archive – LaFerrari truck extraction – stop!
Ferrari

The reluctant LaFerrari driver – evo archive

How do you get a £1million hypercar out of the back of a delivery truck? Very, very, slowly…
15 Jun 2021
Next generation BMW 7-series spied – flagship saloon to once again set the tone for future models
Next generation BMW 7-series spied – front quarter
BMW 7 Series

Next generation BMW 7-series spied – flagship saloon to once again set the tone for future models

All-new saloon to feature IC and EV powertrains, but once again it’ll also lead the way aesthetically
16 Jun 2021
MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn
MAT Stratos – front tracking
Lancia

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn

It’s been a long time coming, but this Ferrari F430-based reimagining of the Lancia Stratos is finally here
11 Jun 2021
BMW M5 CS 2021 review – a class act that reaffirms the M division’s brilliance
BMW M5 CS – front cornering
BMW M5 saloon

BMW M5 CS 2021 review – a class act that reaffirms the M division’s brilliance

Nonsensical on paper, but sublime in practice. Never has a modern supersaloon been more tactile or more engaging
14 Jun 2021
Hyundai i20 N revealed – Ford Fiesta ST rival priced from £24,995
Hyundai i20 N car pictures
Hyundai i20 hatchback

Hyundai i20 N revealed – Ford Fiesta ST rival priced from £24,995

N division's second model set to shake up the junior hot hatch establishment
17 Jun 2021
Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition 2021 review – a 720bhp tribute act
Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition – slide
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition 2021 review – a 720bhp tribute act

Immense performance from about the coolest modern muscle car out there. It’s expensive, but there’s nothing else quite like it
12 Jun 2021
Ferrari F8 Tributo replacement to be revealed June 24
Ferrari F171 spy 2021 – header
Ferrari

Ferrari F8 Tributo replacement to be revealed June 24

Ferrari’s going hybrid and V6 for its next mid-engined supercar
16 Jun 2021
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?
Audi RS3 manufacturer spy 1
Audi RS3

2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?

Audi Sport is putting the final touches on its new RS3 hot hatch and saloon
10 Jun 2021
2022 Polestar 3 teased – all-new Audi e-tron rival a stepchange model
Polestar 3
Polestar

2022 Polestar 3 teased – all-new Audi e-tron rival a stepchange model

Yes, it’s another electric SUV, but this one will be the first ‘true’ Polestar
17 Jun 2021
GTO Engineering Squalo interior sketches revealed – new-build Ferrari 250 GTO hommage draws closer
GTO Engineering interior
Ferrari

GTO Engineering Squalo interior sketches revealed – new-build Ferrari 250 GTO hommage draws closer

New details, including the interior, have been revealed about the GTO Engineering Squalo
15 Jun 2021