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SEAT launches Cupra as separate brand

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SEAT is to turn its Cupra performance trim level into a separate, standalone brand.

In a similar fashion to Citroën’s move in 2015 to establish DS Automobiles as a separate entity, Cupra will become its own line, and SEAT has announced its formation by unveiling a new copper-shaded logo. Industry sources suggest that as with DS Automobiles, Cupra models will appear without SEAT branding.

The first Cupra models are set to be unveiled at an event on 22nd February and will then make their public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. No details of these models have yet been released but they are expected to include the Leon and Ibiza variants that have traditionally spawned hot Cupra models, and be headed by a Cupra variant of the Ateca SUV.

However Cupra – the name is derived from ‘Cup Racing’ – could also expand to encompass new standalone models, such as pure sports cars, that are not in the mainstream SEAT line-up.

Motorsport linked

The Cupra brand is expected to work closely with the SEAT Sport competition division that produces cars for international motorsport series, notably the TCR touring car category that has recently adopted for the FIA’s World Touring Car Cup.

“Cupra has always been the sportiest expression of SEAT,” a release launching the new brand stated. “Now the time has come for it to gain its own soul, its own DNA, its own identity by becoming a new entity. All new Cupra vehicles will feature the new Cupra logo.”

SEAT Leon Cupra The Car Expert
The next Leon Cupra is unlikely to wear a SEAT badge.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.