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What’s the difference between CUPRA and SEAT?

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What’s the difference between CUPRA and SEAT?

Everything you need to know about the CUPRA & SEAT brands. Learn the differences between CUPRA & SEAT, including models, performance, and history.

  • Much like Mercedes-Benz has AMG and BMW has the M range, SEAT has CUPRA. It’s SEAT’s performance-driven brand, made with insane performance and luxurious designs.

    But up until 2018, it wasn’t a separate brand. You could get a SEAT Leon CUPRA or IBIZA CUPRA, which were the top-of-the-range models. Back in 2018, SEAT split CUPRA into its brand. Now you get the CUPRA Leon, the CUPRA Leon Estate, the CUPRA Ateca, and the CUPRA Formentor.

    Explore New SEAT Cars Explore New CUPRA Cars

    The History of SEAT & CUPRA

    Before the CUPRA brand existed, SEAT’s performance models were made by SEAT Sport. SEAT Sport competed in rally championships and touring car racing, as well as creating high-performance road cars for the SEAT lineup.

    The CUPRA name comes from the blending of the words ‘Cup Racing’, hinting to the brand’s decorated past in rally driving.

    The 1996 SEAT Ibiza GTI Cupra Sport 16v was the first time the CUPRA badge sat proudly on a road car, marking the move to creating the high-performance range enthusiasts know and love today.

    Since 1996, there’s been plenty of beloved iterations of SEAT road cars with the sporty CUPRA stamp. The last SEAT-badged CUPRA car was the 2018 Leon CUPRA R ST, actually revealed at the CUPRA brand launch event.

    Since 2018, CUPRA has its own badge, designs, and versions of SEAT cars. Their first model was the CUPRA Ateca, joining the SUV craze. Instead of the bold S logo, CUPRA cars come adorned with a sleek new badge - a symmetrical cross design in a bold bronze colour.

    Three of the five cars under the CUPRA marque are based on SEAT models, the Ateca, the Leon, and the Leon Estate. Then there are the two CUPRA exclusives: Formentor & Born. The Formentor was the first-ever model with no SEAT equivalent, with the all-electric Born being the second.

    You can still get the CUPRA variants by exploring used SEAT cars, or have a look at some of the latest used CUPRA-badge cars.


    With CUPRA broken out as its own brand, SEAT replaces the top-end models with FR and FR Sport models.

    Bear in mind that these are only trim levels. With the FR, you’re still getting a SEAT, but with a CUPRA you’re getting something made for sporty performance.

    Shared SEAT & CUPRA Models

    Explore the models shared between both the SEAT and CUPRA brands below.

  • Leon

    A popular hatch with great drivability. The SEAT Leon is always a popular choice for city driving, with the CUPRA Leon being a performance-focused version of this everyday compact model.

  • SEAT Leon

    SEAT Leon
  • CUPRA Leon

    CUPRA Leon
  • Leon Estate

    The Leon Estate introduces added practicality in the form of more boot space, also available as from CUPRA.

  • SEAT Leon Estate

    SEAT Leon Estate
  • CUPRA Leon Estate

    Cupra Leon Estate
  • Ateca

    SUVs are only growing in popularity, with the Ateca being a fan-favourite due to cavernous space and an amazing driving experience. CUPRA models include all this, plus serious performance.

  • SEAT Ateca

    SEAT Ateca
  • CUPRA Ateca

    CUPRA Ateca

  • CUPRA Exclusive Cars

  • CUPRA Formentor

    The CUPRA Formentor is the brand’s first standalone car. It’s a bold SUV instilled with an athletic edge. The Formentor looks the part too, with seriously eye-catching designs inside and out.

  • CUPRA Formentor
  • CUPRA Born

    CUPRA's second-ever exclusive car. And it's all electric. The brand-new CUPRA Born brings together the brand's penchant for performance with a cutting-edge electric powertrain. Standout stats include:

    • 0-31mph in 2.9 seconds
    • Up to 310 mile-range
    • 161-mile fast charge in 30 minutes
  • All-New CUPRA Born Electric


    Still have questions? Explore below to find some of the most common SEAT & CUPRA questions. And if you can't find what you need, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

  • Who makes CUPRA cars?

    CUPRA is the high-performance road car branch of the SEAT brand, so CUPRA cars are made by SEAT under the CUPRA brand name.

    How do you pronounce CUPRA?

    CUPRA is pronounced 'koo-pruh', not 'cup-ra'.

    Where are CUPRA cars built?

    The CUPRA Formentor and Leon are built in the SEAT Martorell factory in Catalonia, Spain.

    The CUPRA Ateca is built in the SEAT Kvasiny facgtory in the Czech Republic.

    The CUPRA Born is built in the Volkswagen Zwickau-Mosel Plant in Germany.

    Are CUPRA cars electric?

    There's only one all-electric CUPRA car: the brand-new Born. And the CUPRA Leon & Formentor are available as hybrids.

    Where is SEAT from?

    SEAT is a Spanish car manufacturer, with their car names coming from iconic locations in span: Ibiza, León, Tarragona (Terraco) etc.

    Who makes SEAT cars?

    SEAT have their own factories across Europe, mainly based in Spain. But SEAT is owned by The Volkswagen Group, with a few models produced alongside other brands (e.g. Skoda) in other countries like Germany and the Czech Republic.

  • Get in touch

    Whether you’re after an everyday runaround or super sporty model, contact your local CUPRA & SEAT Pentagon dealerships to learn more. Our friendly advisors are happy to answer any questions about both new and used cars or book you in for a test drive. Get in touch now or give us a ring on 0333 222 0424.

Article by
Jordan Armitage
Jordan Armitage
Digital Marketing Manager at Pentagon Group
7 months ago
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