As is the way with electric cars, the normal rules don’t apply. If you want the fastest-accelerating Cupra Born, you don’t actually want this, the most expensive version. Instead, you need the 228bhp e-Boost version with the smaller battery. Less weight, you see.
Still, with the biggest battery (77kWh usable), this particular Born e-Boost is the one with the longest range. The theory is 305-340 miles and in the real world that bears out as high-200s, so ever so slightly ahead of cars like the Kia e-Niro.
Being ‘the schporty one’, the Cupra gets more power than its Volkswagen ID 3 sibling. With 228bhp and 229lb ft, it’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.0sec (7.3sec for the ID 3, 6.6sec for the 58kWh e-Boost Born).
Inside, our test car is the top-spec V3 version, so it gets the lovely Granite Grey Dinamica electric seats that are grippy and relatively figure hugging. There’s also a nice design detail in the fabric, so it feels special, albeit not £42k special. The V3 also gets 20in wheels as standard.
In terms of dynamic ability, this particular Born is no different from the others. That’s no bad thing: with its rear-wheel drive, it tilts towards a bit more handling dynamism than is normal in this class. It’s no Ford Fiesta ST, but the chassis is at least a bit more adjustable on the throttle than those of other supermini EVs.
Like all Borns, the e-Boost models get adaptive dampers as a £790 option (fitted to our car), so it rides with a compliance that’s welcome on a long journey. The caveat to this is that the normal springs are also surprisingly comfortable, albeit with a little less give, so either way you’re good.
As we’ve touched on, the range is impressive and gives the Cupra more flexibility. My commute is over 100 miles so, certainly in summer, I can get away with a round trip with no charging in this model. All of a sudden, that’s making this EV a stand-up rival for cars like the ICE Volkswagen Golf. This is a genuinely usable machine.
If we’re honest, that’s probably the sole reason to get this version of the Born as the power deficit of the 201bhp model isn’t a deal breaker. Crucially, that lower power output also drops it under £40k.