Cupra, the Spanish subsidiary of Volkswagen, has confirmed that its largest order of plug-in hybrid vehicles has started to arrive in Australia. A shipment of 450 Cupra Formentor VZe SUVs and Cupra Leon VZe hatchbacks has made its way to the country, marking the biggest order since the brand was introduced in Australia in July 2022. The “VZe” label signifies Cupra’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which offer an electric range of around 50 km before the gasoline engine kicks in. Supply constraints caused by the global pandemic have limited the availability of Cupra’s plug-in hybrids in Australia.
One of the major advantages of owning plug-in hybrid cars in Australia is the exemption from the Fringe benefits tax (FBT) until March 31, 2025. This fiscal benefit can be beneficial for company car drivers when it comes to tax filings. Cupra’s plug-in hybrids can be charged using a household outlet or a wall charging unit at home or the office. Once the battery charge is depleted, the vehicles seamlessly switch to gasoline or diesel to cover longer distances.
Ben Wilks, the Director of Cupra Australia, highlighted the potential cost savings for commuters. He stated that those looking to reduce costs at the gas station can complete their daily commute on battery power alone, with enough reserves to spare. The Cupra Formentor VZe, the brand’s first plug-in hybrid in Australia, starts at $65,790 before on-road costs. It features a 12.8 kWh battery paired with a 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engine.
The Cupra Formentor has been the brand’s most popular model in Australia, accounting for 1,342 out of 2,529 total sales as of September 2023. This translates to 53 percent of Cupra’s total sales. In comparison, the Cupra Born electric hatchback, the second-best seller for the brand, recorded 594 deliveries during the same period, making up 10 percent of the brand’s demand. Around 20 percent of Formentor sales have been of the plug-in hybrid version, while approximately five percent of Leon sales have been of the plug-in hybrid option.
While Cupra Australia did not disclose specific figures, it is believed that the majority of the 450 vehicles in this shipment are Formentors, with a small number of Leons included. Cupra is an independent brand in Australia that sells vehicles at fixed, non-negotiable prices. It was previously the high-performance division of the Spanish carmaker Seat, which is a part of the Volkswagen Group. Cupra vehicles were last sold in Australia in 1998.
The introduction of these plug-in hybrid vehicles reflects Cupra’s commitment to expanding its presence in Australia and offering an environmentally-friendly alternative for consumers. The brand’s focus on performance and sustainability resonates with the current market demand, and the arrival of these vehicles will provide Australian consumers with more options when it comes to low-emission vehicles. As the global automotive industry continues to transition towards electrification, the availability of plug-in hybrid vehicles like the Cupra Formentor VZe and Cupra Leon VZe in Australia will contribute to reducing the country’s carbon footprint and promoting a greener future.
In conclusion, Cupra’s largest order of plug-in hybrid vehicles has arrived in Australia, bringing more options for consumers seeking environmentally-friendly alternatives. The brand’s commitment to performance and sustainability is showcased in models such as the Cupra Formentor VZe and Cupra Leon VZe. With their electric range, these vehicles offer significant benefits for commuters, while the exemption from the Fringe benefits tax further enhances their appeal. Cupra’s expansion in the Australian market reflects the growing demand for low-emission vehicles and contributes to the country’s efforts in reducing carbon emissions.