Cupra took advantage of the Munich auto show to exhibit the models that are expected in the coming months. But it was above all the Cupra DarkRebel that turned all heads with its futuristic design.
In just a few years, Cupra has become Seat’s locomotive. Models such as the Cupra Formentor or the 100% electric Cupra Born are seeing their sales figures explode, so much so that the young brand has become one of the fastest growing manufacturers in Europe. To maintain its momentum, several new models are expected in the coming months (Cupra Tavascan and Cupra Raval for the electric ones, Cupra Terramar on the hybrid side), some of which were visible on the Cupra stand during the IAA which is currently being held in Munich.
But the real star of the show remains the Cupra Dark Rebel, an electric shooting break with a daring design. Cupra has pushed all the sliders for this model, whose genesis dates back to a digital model first created for Metahype, a space dedicated to the brand in the Metaverse. But at the IAA, it was downright a rolling Cupra DarkRebel that made the show. An electric car with a deliberately provocative lookwhich invokes both the crazy Batmobile from Tim Burton’s film with its impressive endless streamlined hood, or its XXL rear diffuser.
Being a young brand, design director Jorge Diez told us that Cupra had no heritage to respect and everything was allowed. To add to the extravagant side of this electric car, the electric doors have an elytral openingwhile the paint required seven coats to obtain a liquid metal effect worthy of the T-1000 of Terminator 2.
A supercar escaped from a video game
Designed using the famous Unreal Engine, the Cupra DarkRebel looks straight out of a video game with its bodybuilder surfaces and lighting technology that gives it an almost human look. Speaking of lighting, the show car inaugurates a new original technology with its three triangle light signature which is directly integrated into the bodywork. To do this, the paint, which plays on the reflections with its chrome effect, has been worked with a laser to let the light through. Once turned off, headlights disappear into matter. Bluffing while waiting why not, an approved version in the future.
Another atypical design detail, the Cupra DarkRebel benefited from the support of the Cupra community for the final rendering. Indeed, the manufacturer had put online a virtual configurator called Hyper Configurator when launching the virtual version. In total, more than 270,000 configurations have been made. A substantial base that was used by Cupra to shape the physical version of the Dark Rebel.
3D printing and ecological manufacturing processes
Identical in all respects to the digital original, this represented a real challenge for its construction. Some parts, such as the perforated center console, were impossible to create with the standard techniques that are currently used in factories. To overcome this obstacle, Cupra used 3D printingwhich also makes it possible to limit scrap that ends up in the scrap heap.
This sustainable development approach is reflected in the choice of materials. Unlike Premium brands, Cupra has moved away from leather or real wood, preferring for example use bamboo which makes up 90% of the floor of the Cupra DarkRebel. Recycled materials were also used while the seats use 3D Knitting technology (3D knitting) again to limit waste.
A 70 kWh battery for the Cupra DarkRebel
At first glance, it’s obvious that aerodynamics played a huge role in the design of the Cupra DarkRebel. Just observe the huge air intake in the front, or the oversized diffuser at the rear to be convinced. Because even if it is only a show car, it was according to Jorge Diez of design a car like the production models.
And if the car is visually impressive, it is not discreet either with its 4.5m long, 2.2m wide and 1.3m high. Mounted on large wheels (a classic in terms of design), the Cupra DarkRebel seems literally posed on the road. The driver and his passenger sit in seats that are surprisingly low for a 100% electric car. To do this, the battery had to be integrated elsewhere only in the floor as is the norm in the electric car market today.
With a capacity of 70 kWh, it therefore takes place behind the only two seats. An integration that was facilitated by the Shooting Brake body of the Cupra DarkRebel if we are to believe Werner Tietz, the vice-president in charge of Research and Development of Cupra. Based on the 800 Volt platform which allows higher charging power, the battery powers a single motor placed on the rear axle, but whose power has not been specified. The absence of a front engine allows free up room for a frunk (front trunk) which completes the trunk located next to the battery.
Finally, a word on the passenger compartment with its central console attached to the dashboardwhich moves forward to adjust the steering wheel according to the size of the driver. The steering wheel is inspired both by video games with a lot of LEDs there too, but also by competition. He is ahead a digital screen dedicated to the instrumentation while a second panoramic screen takes place under the windshield. This works by projection, with the projector which is directly integrated into the ceiling light. It can display various information related to driving, and even telemetry, timer and the layout of a circuit when the Exponential Cube driving mode is activated. Additional evidence, if needed, video game origins of an electric car like no other.