The Spanish brand is diligently testing the compact SUV – which is just a smudge longer than a Mini JCW Countryman – and we have the chance here to see it testing completely undisguised.
This hot hatch crossover, we need to invent a new niche here because there will be other representatives next to the JCW Countryman and the Ateca Cupra, for example the Audi SQ2, has been spied lapping the Nurburgring and the Green Hell looks very prepared to see the car come back with those “Ring Wolves” in it – people that know the track extremely well, have tuned hot hatches and like to chase around unsuspecting supercar drivers. By the way, the Ateca Cupra is looking decidedly ready to crown itself king of the compact performance crossover niche – the Juke Nismo RS is nothing to write home about due to that CVT, and the John Cooper Works Countryman has gotten really fat at 1,550 kg.
In addition, the 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo engine with 231 hp will have no argument against the Volkswagen Group’s powerplant that comes from the Golf R and will most likely develop 300 horsepower in the Ateca Cupra as well. And that means the Spanish performance model is going to give a run for the money – at half the price, probably – to the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45. Everyone expects a standard AWD and DSG, so the sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) should be brisk and take around 5 seconds.