CUPRA is embarking on the next stage of its electric journey as it joins in the Extreme E racing series as the main partner of the ABT Sportsline team.
The announcement, made at the opening of Europe’s first CUPRA Garage in Hamburg, Germany, means CUPRA becomes the first automotive brand to join the electric SUV off-road competition. The opening also saw the unveiling of the striking electric SUV race showcar.
Extreme E is planned to start in early 2021 and is set to travel across some of the world’s most extreme and remote environments, chosen to raise awareness of climate change issues.
CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths and SEAT Executive Vice-president for R&D Dr. Werner Tietz unveiled the team’s car, accompanied by Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E, and Hans-Jürgen Abt, managing partner of ABT Sportsline.
During the unveiling, it was confirmed CUPRA e-ambassador, Rally Cross and DTM Champion, Mattias Ekström will be one of the team’s drivers for the first season of Extreme E. The Extreme E series has a gender-equal sporting format, teams will field one male and one female driver.
CUPRA decided to join forces with ABT Sportsline as the racing team’s main partner, contributing to the line-up of engineers and drivers for this electric odyssey.
SEAT Executive Vice-president for R&D, Dr. Werner Tietz, commented: “The Extreme E series represents the CUPRA challenger attitude in the racing world and its ambition to explore new motorsport experiences. For this reason, the decision to become the first automotive manufacturer to participate in the competition and reinforce our cooperation with ABT is proof of both partners’ shared vision of reinventing the world of high-performance cars through electrification.”
CUPRA and ABT Sportsline have worked together since 2018, producing enhanced versions of the Leon CUPRA and the CUPRA Ateca. This partnership continues to bring together the expertise of the world’s first 100% electric touring racing car, the CUPRA e-Racer; and the ABT Sportsline team that has participated so successfully in Formula E.
“We love innovation, competition, e-mobility and the feeling of being a pioneer in something completely new. With CUPRA we now have a partner at our side who, like us, firmly believes in the revolutionary concept of Extreme E, both in terms of sport and in terms of off-track marketing”, said ABT managing partner Hans-Jürgen Abt.
The CUPRA Garage in Hamburg is the second flagship store worldwide, following the first opened in Mexico City last year. Located in the outskirts of the city, the 340 square meter space, formerly an early 20th century industrial building, has been remodelled into a contemporary ground-level store inspired by a garage and exclusively dedicated to the brand.
CUPRA celebrated the official opening of the first CUPRA Garage in Europe in the city of Hamburg, and with it there are now 105 points of sale already established across the country: “Germany is CUPRA’s largest market, where we sold more than 10,000 cars last year and we are now back to double-digit growth. The opening of the first CUPRA Garage in Europe adds to the 247 CUPRA Specialists we already have across the world and represents a step forward in our distribution strategy towards becoming a global brand”, explained Wayne Griffiths.