Same Show With Less Go: Cupra Ateca Loses Power and Appeal With New Gasoline Engines

When SEAT launched Cupra as its performance-focused brand a few years ago, the Ateca was its first model to grace the automotive world. Essentially the same vehicle beneath the skin as the regular SEAT Ateca, it has a few chassis enhancements, sporty upgrades inside and out, and a punchy motor under the hood.
2023 Cupra Ateca 8 photos
Photo: Cupra
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Launched at the end of 2018 and facelifted almost two years later, the Cupra Ateca is a sporty crossover with a 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged gasoline engine. Mated to a seven-speed DSG and standard 4Drive all-wheel drive, it develops 296 hp (300 ps/221 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. The Spanish marque says it needs 4.9 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 kph), three-tenths quicker than the pre-facelift, while the top speed has remained identical at 153 mph (247 kph).

Besides becoming a bit faster, the updated Cupra Ateca brought some stylistic changes that further tie it to other models made by SEAT's performance brand. It has a slightly more aggressive bumper at the front, dynamic indicators in the new LED taillights, and new 19-inch wheels. The 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster was added to the cabin, alongside an upgraded infotainment system that has a 9.2-inch touchscreen display and a new steering wheel wrapped in leather. New materials are also on deck, and the car is sprinkled with the usual copper accents inside and out.

Whenever you saw a Cupra-branded Ateca out on the road, you knew it was fast. However, that is about to change, as the powertrain family has just welcomed two more members. And they're less powerful. These are the 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter TSI, which develop 148 hp (150 ps/110 kW) and 187 hp (190 ps/140 kW), respectively. They work with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and 4Drive all-wheel drive, like on the range-topping variant of the crossover, and were "designed to meet Cupra's dynamic requirements."

But why give the Ateca two less powerful engines? To keep the production costs down and make them more affordable, as "our ambition is to increase sales," said the company's VP for Sales and Marketing, Kai Vogler, who also mentioned "the same trajectory taken with the Cupra Leon."

In addition to gaining two additional mills, the Cupra Ateca has a few minor updates, like the tweaked rear diffuser on the outside, bucket seats in the cabin, and a steering wheel that can be ordered with satellite controls. Finishing off the look are the door card inserts and copper stitching.

Details surrounding the price will be revealed in due course, and the model will become available to order with the new lumps starting next month (July 2023). Pricing for the 296-horsepower Cupra Ateca starts at £42,725 ($54,470) in the UK and €50,900 ($55,690) in Germany. The two new models will be more affordable.
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About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
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After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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