SEAT is part of the Volkswagen Group and Cupra is the performance division of SEAT. This week at the Munich auto show, Cupra will unveil the UrbanRebel concept car shown above. Will it ever see production? Don’t be silly. It’s a show car and like all show cars, it is intended to burnish the reputation of the company presenting it and get feedback from the members of the public. That feedback, in turn, may help guide the company as it decides what products to manufacture in the future.
Almost every 4-door concept car has back doors that are hinged at the rear. They give the concept a sense of enormous interior room and they are oh so trendy, but they never make it into production. (The Porsche Mission-E that later became the Taycan was one such recent example.)
That ridiculously huge rear wing and those massive fender flares shown on the UrbanRebel concept will never appear on a production car, but they sure do make an impression. Here’s a sampling of the reaction by several members of the reddit EV community:
- It’s awful and I love it!
- It’s cool but stupid!
- It’s stupid but cool!
- It’s not stupid and it’s hella cool!
The most important thing about the Cupra UrbanRebel is that it is based on Vollswagen’s MEB Entry electric car platform, a scaled down version of the original MEB chassis that is the basis for the ID.3, ID.4, ID,5, ID. Buzz, and a host of other medium size cars. (Volkswagen is also working on large car platform it calls Trinity.)
The MEB Entry is intended for a range of smaller, less expensive electric cars that appeal primarily to urban dwellers who don’t need more than about 150 miles or so of range to get where they need to go every day and who prefer more nimble cars for the cut and thrust driving that takes place on city streets.
Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths tells Autocar the UrbanRebel is “a radical interpretation of the company’s urban electric car” that will be launched in 2025. The firm chose to showcase it as a motorsport concept to highlight that “racing is at the core of Cupra’s DNA” and hints that the concept “gives an idea of the design language of the future street car and will inspire its creation.”
There will be a production version of the UrbanRebel, although it will likely be toned down considerably from the concept. It will join the upcoming Volkswagen ID. 2 and smaller EV models from Skoda and Audi that will be manufactured at the Martorell factory in Spain. The least expensive versions are expected to be priced under €20,000. Griffiths says, “The urban electric car is a key strategic project not only for our company, but also for the Volkswagen Group, as our aim is to produce more than 500,000 urban electric cars per year in Martorell for different group brands.”
Dimensionally, the UrbanRebel is just over 4 meters long and 1.8 meters wide. It is expected to have 335 horsepower (429 bhp peak) and a 0 to 100 km time of 3.2 seconds. Volkswagen originally hoped to have its MEB Entry-based cars available by 2023, but the challenge of hitting its under-€20,000 price target has pushed that date back to 2025. Autocar says the lowest priced models are likely to use LFP batteries because they cost less than current battery cells. The small EVs are expected to have a range of between 120 and 180 miles.
Say what you will about the benefits of concept cars. Some people think they are a waste of time and resources, but as one reddit user said in a comment, “I want 10!” Perhaps that is just the response Cupra was hoping for.