Following on from the update to the regular versions of the Ateca SUV, SEAT has announced that its CUPRA spinoff high-performance brand is also updating the 300hp version of the Ateca.
CUPRA taking a big chunk of Ateca sales
CUPRA's first model as a standalone brand, the Ateca has been something of a Spanish success. "The CUPRA Ateca marked the brand's entry into a new segment, becoming a great success along the way, selling over 10,000 units in 2019, and allowing CUPRA to grow its position in the Ateca family - representing 15 per cent of the mix," said CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths. "The high-performance SUV was the key driver in CUPRA achieving a 72 per cent growth year on year."
While the 300hp 2.0-litre turbo engine and four-wheel drive system remain unchanged (400Nm, 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds, top speed of 246km/h) the CUPRA Ateca has been given a number of updates and improvements.
Chassis and steering tweaked
The 4Drive four-wheel drive system has been updated, and CUPRA says that an updated rear differential now means that the Ateca is "is more responsive and controlled in all driving conditions." There have also been updates and changes to the steering and the suspension. The front and rear track have been increased to 1,575mm and 1,549mm respectively.
In the cabin, you'll notice the biggest difference. The engine start button has migrated, Alfa Romeo-style, to the steering wheel, while on the other spoke, a button marked with CUPRA's off two-prong badge gives you access to the driving modes.
These are Normal, Sport, Individual, and - of course - 'CUPRA' modes, that last being basically 'maximum attack' mode. They allow you to tweak the throttle response, the ferocity of the gearbox, and the stiffness of the adaptive suspension to your liking.
On the styling front, there's the same new, more upright, grille seen on the standard Ateca, but for the CUPRA it comes in a dark chrome finish. The new headlights are full-LED units (ditto for the brake lights) while the 19-inch alloy wheels (which can be optionally finished in a dark copper colour, which is the brand's signature hue) hide massive brakes - up to 18-inch front discs with copper-coloured Brembo calipers, if you tick the right options box.
Inside, there is more copper and dark aluminium highlighting, while there are new 10.25-inch digital instruments and a 9.2-inch central infotainment screen.
That screen includes a new voice control system which, as with the standard Ateca, responds to 'hola, hola' (better start practicing your Spanish accent) and there's also Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity. There's also integration for the SEAT Connect smartphone app, which allows you to remotely access driving data of previous journeys and remaining range, parking position, lock and unlock the doors, set up speed alerts so you can be warned if someone using your vehicles is driving too fast, be alerted if your vehicle has been stolen, or activate the horn and turn signals to find the car more easily in a crowded car park.
On the safety front, the CUPRA Ateca has been upgraded with new Pre-Crash Assist, Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Travel Assist, Emergency Assist and Side and Exit Assist systems - that last one warns you if, when you're backing out, there's traffic or a bicycle coming towards you in the blind spot, and will emergency brake the car if you ignore it.
"With the CUPRA Ateca we made a clear statement in the high-performance SUV segment and with the new version we underline and strengthen this position," said Axel Andorff, Executive Vice-President for Research and Development at SEAT.