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SEAT Announces Cupra As Standalone Performance Sub-Brand

6 February 2018 - motor1

SEAT Announces Cupra As Standalone Performance Sub-Brand

First Cupra models to be showcased in Geneva early March.

The rumors were true. Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo is indeed spinning off Cupra as a standalone sub-brand responsible for performance models. The announcement made today by the VAG-owned marque comes as a follow-up to a trademark filling from August 2017. Besides releasing images of the new logo, SEAT has also revealed the new brand will celebrate its official debut on February 22 during a special event.

SEAT says we will get to see the first Cupra-badged cars at the beginning of March during the 88th Geneva Motor Show, with one of them likely being a hot Ateca, which was first seen undergoing testing back in November 2016. Pictured below, the model is set to use a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine shared with plenty of other models from the Volkswagen Group and is expected to be tuned to around 300 horsepower delivered to both axles.

As a refresher, the newest Cupra model to come from SEAT is the Leon Cupra R special edition launched last September with 310 horsepower and production capped at just 799 units. There are rumors of an even more powerful 335-hp Leon ST Cupra R wagon slated to arrive at some point this year, so it would be a suitable candidate to eschew the SEAT branding to adopt the Cupra trademark.

It would make sense for the Ibiza supermini to receive the Cupra treatment and serve as a Spanish equivalent of the new VW Polo GTI. However, such a model is not in the pipeline as a SEAT official said last year the company won't launch a more powerful engine above the 150-hp 1.5-liter TSI.

Besides spinning off Cupra, SEAT's agenda for 2018 also includes the launch of a large SUV set to serve as the company's flagship model.

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