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.
CUPRA: A new Brand is born
Today, SEAT officially confirms the launch of the new CUPRA brand and presents its new logo, giving a first glimpse of what CUPRA will become.
CUPRA has always been the sportiest expression of SEAT. Now the time has come for it to gain its own soul, its own DNA, its own identity by becoming a new entity. All new CUPRA vehicles will feature the new CUPRA logo.
The new Brand will make its official debut on February 22nd during a special international media event. Shortly afterwards, the first CUPRA models will be introduced to the public at the beginning of March during the Geneva International Motor Show.