VW adds an­other name to the wider sta­ble

Horowhenua Chronicle - - BITE -

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.

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