Cupra’s new ‘big’ electric SUV is coming to Australia

Cupra is planning a new large electric SUV to sit atop the range, which will help it enter the US market and expand its reach in Australia

The Spanish Volkswagen Group subsidiary said it plans to enter the USA by the end of this decade initially with two electric models: a next-generation Formentor with electric power, and a “bigger electric crossover SUV”.

The latter will be produced in North American Volkswagen factories, including in Mexico – a market where the Volkswagen Group already produces vehicles such as the Audi Q5 and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace for export to Australia.

The new flagship SUV has also been confirmed for not only North America, but Europe and Australia.

Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths didn’t confirm just how big the new SUV will be.

“I don’t think Cupra the brand is a family car, so I don’t think it’s going to have seven seats,” Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths told media.

“It’s going to be big, and it is big. We have the design models already ready, it’s a very impressive car in terms of design.

“Not a classic SUV, a crossover, sportier in line with what Cupra’s all about. But it’s big. It’s certainly big for Europe, and I think it’s big enough for the US.”

Standards of size are different between our market and the US. Vehicles like the Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Kluger that are considered large SUVs here, for example, are considered mid-sized in the US.

But Mr Griffiths’ remarks suggest it could be both larger and have a sleeker silhouette than the upcoming Terramar, a mid-sized, petrol and plug-in hybrid SUV that Cupra says will have more of a traditional SUV feel than its quite low-slung Formentor.

The Terramar will measure around 4.5 metres long, similar in size to the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The upcoming Tavascan electric SUV will be longer still at 4644mm long, while boasting a more coupe-like silhouette.

Whether the upcoming flagship SUV will be even larger remains to be seen. Volkswagen’s flagship Touareg, for example, also has only two rows of seating, but measures 4878mm long.

Cupra CEO Wayne Griffiths said the brand’s success in the Australian market has helped propel its global push.

“[Australia’s] not going to be for us a volume market, but it shows the potential of Cupra to expand globally,” said Mr Griffiths.

“I think if we can make it in Australia, which is a really competitive market, and you know that gives us confidence going into other markets particularly the big one, the US.”

Cupra will enter the US market where SEAT has never existed and Skoda hasn’t sold cars since the 1960s.

Mr Griffiths says the brand plans to launch in “selected states where we are sure we can find customers that are linked to the Cupra brand”, calling out the east and west coasts specifically as well as Sun Belt states, which includes Arizona.

It also plans to sell vehicles through a new, unspecified distribution model.

Cupra won’t be the only electric-only Volkswagen Group brand in the US, with Scout set to launch in 2026 with electric off-roaders.

It already has a foothold in the North American market, having launched in Mexico back in 2019.

MORE: Sell your car with CarExpert

Leave a Comment