VW adds another name to the wider stable
The announcement last year that Volkswagen AG was to scythe off SEAT’s performance arm, Cupra, and create a standalone sub-brand raised a few eyebrows. After all, just how crowded does Wolfsburg want its car park to be?
The Cupra name goes a long way (mainly in Europe) and carries plenty of cred (again, mainly in Europe). But with such a busy marketplace for fizzed-up performance takes on existing models available from the wider VW gene pool, would Cupra really stand a chance against the well-established R, RS, vRS brigade?
Not that we’ve driven it yet here in New Zealand, but the Cupra Ateca midsized SUV looks like a safe bet and will probably be a fun steer.
But a dress up is still a dress up. And the fire-breathing Ateca still sticks to a template. Is this all Cupra can offer?
Thankfully, no. In fact, we’ll see a not-available-as-any-othermodel Cupra in about 18 months.
It’ll be called the Cupra Terramar and, says Volkswagen AG, it will be the first “100 per cent Cupra”.
The Terramar will be one of those coupe-crossover thingies (think BMW X4) and will be powered by the same 221kW four-cylinder turbo as featured under the bonnet of the Cupra Ateca. There are lots of dramatic edges and creases and, in all, can’t be mistaken for a SEAT in wolf’s clothing.
There will soon be a onemake Lamborghini Urus race series. The Italian manufacturer has announced the new Urus ST-X isn’t a Navara ute as you were thinking but instead a dedicated track-only version of the twin-turbo V8 SUV.
We know what you’re thinking. But before you cry “Do we really need another one-make tarmac race series?” the hook to this championship is that the circuits will be a mix of track and off-road racing.
Okay. Tell us more.
Each four-wheel drive Urus STX will develop 477kW peak power and 850Nm of torque. The race edition Uruseseses will be fitted with an FIA-approved roll-cage and fire safety system and have had around 25kg of internal gubbins removed from underneath the sheet metal in order to have them race fit. The first round of the series “proper” is scheduled for late 2019.
That doesn’t sound too bad, especially when you throw in the leveller of dirt track action. While they’re at it, an exciting support race to the support race would be to stage some gravity-defying stadium truck racing with original Lamborghini LM002s. Now that would be a spectacle. Although we’re presuming the world’s modest supply of LM002s are either a) too priceless or b) too thoroughly unreliable, so that’s not likely.
But just maybe an Urus dressed up in battle mode would suffice? It should be more entertaining to watch than yet another straightforward circuit race series for rich dudes.