The SEAT Ateca Cupra Is Almost the Smallest Performance SUV in the World

The SEAT Ateca Cupra Is Almost the Smallest Performance SUV in the World 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
If the Ateca Cupra were a burger, it would have rustic bread, Spanish beef and a double serving of jalapenos. You want one, but you just don't realize it by looking at the spy videos.
About a month after the last sighting, the hot hatch of baby crossovers is once again testing at the Nurburgring. You're not going to be able to buy one in the U.S., even though it would have given the JCW Countryman a run for its money.

The Cupra crossover very nearly could have been the shortest performance SUV in the world. The regular Ateca is about three inches longer than the MINI, but it's got a shorter wheelbase.

There's also the Juke Nismo RS. But accelerating in that thing is like beating a dead horse, especially with the CVT. No, we need to cross it off the list and maybe wait for the Audi SQ2.

While it misses out on that cigar, it's definitely going to be lighter than the 1,550kg John Cooper Works. And while this Ateca Cupra prototype looks tall, most of it has to do with design. The production model might come to within an inch of its British rival.

Did we mention the 300 HP?

Even though MINI has upgraded from a 1.6 to a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo engine with 231 HP in the JCW models, that's just not enough to justify the price. But with help from Volkswagen Group, SEAT is able to push much closer to the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45.

Everybody expects at least the 300 HP of the Leon facelift hot hatch. And with AWD and launch control, the Ateca can move the red needle from 0 to 100 km/h in about 5 seconds.

That's not bad, especially in the context of a 5.2 sec time for the Porsche Macan GTS, which is about a foot longer, by the way. Of course, that doesn't mean you're going to have as much fun, but at around €40,000, the Cupra badge could be sitting on the performance bargain of the segment.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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