Cupra Splits from SEAT to Form Standalone Brand

Seat’s performance subbrand, Cupra, is taking the “sub” out of its identity and spinning off into its own car brand.

Rumors that Cupra would spin off into its entity first hit the internet last summer after a trademark application was found bearing the name. Now, Cupra and SEAT have officially announced the decision in the video below.

Mmmm, yes. Crystal clear.

Just what that means as far as products are concerned, though, remains to be seen. But will be revealed February 22, at Cupra’s official debut. Cupra has promised that models (note the plural) will be introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Currently, the only Cupra available is the hot Leon Cupra R, which is roughly similar to the Golf R. That car was designed by the Cupra Engineering team, though, which is responsible for the Leon Cupra Cup car, which is the basis for both the Golf GTI TCR and the RS3 LMS.

With more models on their way, though, a degree of that performance focus will likely be lost. Currently, there are rumors of a Cupra version of the Ateca (SEAT’s Tiguan).

Rumors of a Leon ST Cupra R, the wagon, also abound. That model would also have VW’s ubiquitous four-cylinder turbo, but might even pump up the power to give the hot wagon 335 hp.

Whatever models actually materialize, though, the Cupra brand will likely operate like AMG and Polestar, offering a range of modified versions of parent-company cars. If the move goes well, Volkswagen may take note.

With Jost Capito in charge of VW’s R brand and its ever-growing nature, a success for Cupra could eventually lead to a spin-off for that brand, too.