New CUPRA DarkRebel electric supercar designed with help from celebrities
The stunning scissor-doored shooting brake concept previews signature CUPRA designs cues and alludes to a future production sports car.
With no real heritage to speak of ( CUPRA has only been a standalone brand for the last five years) the up-and-coming Seat spin-off had almost total freedom when devising a vehicle to showcase future styling concepts. As such, the design team took an unusual approach.
To create the fundamental shape of DarkRebel, CUPRA Design Director, Jorge Diez, and his team first focused on achieving perfect proportions. And it’s fair to say they succeeded, as the 1/3 cabin to 2/3s body ratio offers a sleek and sporty stance with “strong shoulders.”
The next stage in the design process was a little more unique. Offering their 270,000 strong fanbase, (named Cupra Tribe) the chance to have a say in the final product, CUPRA’s online configurator was used to determine the colour scheme, as well as various trim options. Interestingly, among the enthusiastic audience of budding designers, were the likes of film star Daniel Brühl and FC Barcelona players Alexia Putellas, Marc ter Stegen, and Ansu Fati.
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According to Wayne Griffiths, CEO of CUPRA: "Thanks to the passion and creativity of the CUPRA Tribe, we have now been able to make one of our most powerful obsessions into a real showcar. The CUPRA DarkRebel is the maximum provocation of CUPRA design. It is a rebel with a purpose: to prove that electric cars in the future can be sexy and emotional.”
While no plans to build a production ready equivalent have been revealed just yet, CUPRA has confirmed that more specific design elements will be carried over to the brand’s road cars. Chiefly, the DarkRebel’s emotive triangular light signature — applied through DRLs (Daytime Running Lights).
Inside, light is also used deftly to create an atmospheric environment, with an illuminated gearshifter inviting the driver to take control. Weight reduction is another key theme (presumably to negate the impact of the heavy EV batteries). To this end, cutting-edge 3D metal printing has been used to create sculpted cabin elements.
The DarkRebel is more than merely a static sculpture, though. Underneath the outlandish co-designed exterior lies a hidden intensity unlike any CUPRA that has gone before. As the brand’s most powerful showcar ever, 450 bhp propels the Rebel to 60 mph in under 4 seconds. However, impressive though this might be, we think there’s still some room for CUPRA to turn the wick up further. After all, with supercar-esque looks like these, buyers will expect performance to match.
Do you think more manufacturers should consult their fanbase in the design process, or should automotive styling be left to the experts?
Hero image credit: CUPRA