It has been a hot minute since we’ve seen anything quite this wild from a concept. Mini has been bolting big wings and wild aero to compact boy-racer hot hatches for a while, and the current JCW GP is probably about as close as you can buy right now to something this extreme. Remember when it seemed like the way to get attention in the automotive space was to build a compact sedan or hatch with a ton of power and a big wing?
Cupra is seemingly looking back in time at stuff like Subaru’s WRX STI before it got boring, and Mitsubishi’s Evo before it got dead, and kicking things up a notch. The Cupra UrbanRebel concept looks pretty damn close to a modern WRC car, but with lower suspension and bigger wheels. That’s a pretty damn great way to attract my attention. Even though this is just a concept, Cupra says it will preview a future model (probably a less bonkers city car) the company is readying for 2025.
“The CUPRA UrbanRebel Concept is a radical interpretation of the company’s urban electric car, due to be launched in 2025. This racing concept gives an idea of the design language of the future street-car and will inspire its creation” said Wayne Griffiths, CEO of CUPRA. “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. The urban electric car will democratize and make accessible electromobility to the masses.”
With Volkswagen set to launch a compact ID.2 electric hatch in the near future, it would stand to reason that whatever Cupra has on the horizon will share that same ‘MEB Short’ architecture with unique bodywork to match this look. If one or both of them are three-door hatchbacks like this, I’ll jump up and down with joy. The Cupra will likely be a performance-oriented hot hatch from the outset, but if VW offers a GTX version, I might have to line up to order one.
Set to unveil to the public at the IAA show in Munich, the UrbanRebel is nothing more than a concept at the moment with an eye toward hints at the future. The specs are meaningless, but Cupra says the car will sport a peak of 430 horsepower-ish electric propulsion and sprint from 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. No mention is made of how that power is delivered, but I’d guess a dual-motor setup, maybe two of the 201-horsepower motor units found in the ID.4 GTX with unique tuning.
Whatever it is — big wing, aero covers for the wheels, and wideboi fenders — it rips. Even if the wacko quotient is reduced a bit, and even though I know Cupra is never going to sell anything here in the U.S. market, I still hope the UrbanRebel makes it to production. The world used to produce truly wild shit, like the Renault Clio V6, and it is about damn time the hot hatch world got some fresh blood.