Cupra Gears Up for a New Chapter Focused on Cutting-Edge Design

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Cupra Gears Up for a New Chapter Focused on Cutting-Edge Design

This week marked a pivotal moment in Cupra’s journey as an emerging car brand. Taking to Madrid’s Palacio de Cibeles for its annual World Premiere, the Barcelona-based company revealed plans for its next chapter, which it referred to as “Design Obsession.”

Over its six years as a standalone brand, Cupra has become known for its cutting-edge design, whether it’s the distinctive shark-nosed bonnets or its state-of-the-art City Garages. “Design is basically what we are,” says Cecilia Taeib, the brand’s director of communications. All too familiar with Cupra’s unique identity, she sat down with Hypebeast ahead of the event to talk about the new chapter. “Design Obsession is a way to explain to people what our brand is. Throughout the years, we’ve presented many cars and the way that people perceive us is through the design because we’re different. We’re bolder. It impregnates everything that we do.”

At the World Premiere event on Monday, Cupra unveiled its new Leon and Formentor cars, guiding audiences through the latest evolution in their design languages. The first model, recognized as the original source of inspiration for the brand, comes with a fresh A-line shape and low transfiguration. Meanwhile, the iconic Formentor adorns a new high bonnet design, sag nose and sporty bumper. In terms of technical features, both hybrid models are powered by a bigger engine with a longer electric range as well as a new navigation system.

Reflecting on the new models, Taeib says, “We know people are going to criticize the cars and may think this is too aggressive or unconventional. At the end of the day, we’re not a brand for everybody to like, we’re a brand for some people to love.” However, the true test for its bold design vision isn’t in the line-up of already successful cars, instead it’s in the new design house that it plans to open later this year.

The announcement of the design house came after the procession of cars. Upon a large mirrored screen, the brand projected a series of avatars that represent the values of the CUPRA DNA, which was then followed by a speech by CEO Wayne Griffiths. Its aim is to combine the design in its automotive sector with its supporting fashion collections and other design collaborations in one house. When speaking to Taeib, she mentions that the biggest piece of the puzzle in taking Cupra beyond the car industry is how it “collaborates with other brands”, noting that the new design house will facilitate these special projects.

So far in 2024, the brand boasts two major collaborations: a new bracelet with Barcelona jewelry label MAM and the Dipping light made by long-standing partner Marset. Both items were exhibited at the entrance hall of the grand venue, giving attendees a taste for the type of products that will be released under the house. Though the pieces are wildly different, they find ways to connect Cupra with other design-focused industries. For example, the MAM accessory reimagines the original Cupra Tribe bracelet and will be gifted to those who purchase any of its cars, while the portable Dipping light reinterprets the brand’s Dark Rebel show car through different shades of gray, blue, and purple.

Tying everything together in one World Premiere, the event showcased how the brand intends to use its distinct identity in design to evolve. From new collaborations to its latest car models, it shows how each aspect is carefully considered to create a meaningful future for its new customers as well as the next generation of Cupra fans.

Take a look back at the World Premiere event in the gallery above.

To find out more about Cupra and its portfolio of cars, head to the brand’s website now.

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