ABT CUPRA XE presents new design

CUPRA, the Spanish automotive brand, today presented its Tavascan Extreme E Concept, set to be implemented into its ABT CUPRA team racing vehicle in the all-electric off-road racing series.

The concept launch took place at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich and was presented together with ABT Managing Partner Hans-Jürgen Abt, ABT Sport Marketing boss Harry Unflath, along with Jutta Kleinschmidt, race driver for the ABT CUPRA Extreme E team.

The all-electric off-road racing car is the next stage in the brand’s Extreme E adventure, which also hints at the design language to be used in the future series production CUPRA Tavascan, the brand’s second 100 per cent electric model, and first electric SUV, which will be designed and developed in Barcelona and will reach Europe and overseas markets in 2024.

“We strongly believe in the Extreme E project as a whole,” said Antonino Labate, Director of Strategy, Business Development and Operations at CUPRA. “Electrification, sustainability, gender-balance and diversity are common values between CUPRA and Extreme E. The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is clear proof of the hard work that we’re doing at CUPRA in order to be able to compete next season.”

“Almost exactly a year ago, we announced our partnership with CUPRA and unveiled the design of our e-CUPRA ABT XE1. Since then, we have generated a lot of attention together, both on and off the track,” says Thomas Biermaier, CEO of ABT Sportsline. “The development of our own bodywork by the designers and engineers at CUPRA is the next step in our close and successful collaboration. The Tavascan Extreme E Concept simply looks mega, right down to the smallest detail. Now it’s our job to score the first trophies with it soon.”

The design of the front and rear has changed considerably from the vehicle competing in the current Extreme E season. LED technology delivers greater freedom to produce a vehicle with CUPRA DNA; the headlights in three triangle groups on either side provide a more imposing look.

And the lighting is set into a 3D printed frame – a technology chosen to give the CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept an edge.

The 3D printed parts are more efficient as they can be manufactured in just six hours. That means the team can adapt to changes very quickly; whether it’s because of an incident or changes to the light position, the components can be modified in a very short time without the need for cumbersome and expensive tooling.

However, the Extreme E racing series is about increasing environmental awareness and the CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is pushing boundaries here, too, making the vehicle even more sustainable.

Constructing as much of the body structure as possible from flax fibres – extracted from the flax plant – means that the carbon fibre components can be replaced reducing the vehicle’s impact on the environment. And there’s no detriment to performance; the material can be worked in the same way, achieving the same shapes and radii required by engineers. It is already a technology that could easily be adapted to production vehicles.

“The car is the next evolution with even more CUPRA DNA and a design that hints at the future direction of the brand,” says Xavi Serra, Head of Technical Development at CUPRA Racing. “The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept uses flax fibres throughout the body for even more sustainability and 3D printed elements that can be recreated quickly.”

The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept’s revitalised body is finished with a livery that will help it stand out whether it’s racing in the arctic, desert, glacier or ocean locations.

The all-electric off-road racecar is finished with copper accents – a time-honoured CUPRA mark – parametric texturing and dynamised lines to help the exterior shimmer and move as the vehicle shifts through the landscape and an overlapping CUPRA logo to create a powerful 3D effect.

“The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is looking incredible and in addition to being fully electric, it is now even more sustainable, using recyclable and organic materials such as flax fibres,” said Jutta Kleinschmidt, CUPRA driver. “I cannot wait to compete with this newly designed version!”

The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is equipped with a 54-kWh battery, placed behind the cockpit to produce a real rear weight distribution and can go from 0-100 km/h in about four seconds meeting the race series’ regulations.

CUPRA has been part of Extreme E from the outset. It was the first automotive brand to announce its participation, joining forces with ABT Sportsline as the team’s main partner. The Extreme E series is enhancing CUPRA’s electrification research while promoting electrification, sustainability, and gender equality.

The precise date for when the new generation car is to be deployed into Extreme E is still to be confirmed, but anticipation is already high. “The CUPRA Tavascan XE is a truly stunning design. I can’t wait to see it make its racing debut,” says Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of the series. “This move also supports our goal of establishing Extreme E as a global marketing showcase for partners. Congratulations to this future-thinking and visionary team.”

After its appearance in Greenland at the end of August, Extreme E will host its next race – the Island X Prix - in Sardinia on 23/24 October.