In partnership with CUPRA
With so much talk about electric cars in the zeitgeist – for good reason, I’ve been curious about making the transition lately. I’ve driven an electric car for a few months and although it feels smooth, I’ve had a few reservations. It can feel light – at times like a go-kart. Let’s say I feel like I might just blast off into the wind (which sounds pretty fun, actually!)
Enter the CUPRA Born, 100% electric, and I’m swiftly converted. It has a certain level of grunt; it feels beefy, strong and carries a sound system that brings me joy. I’d heard great things about this car (RUSSH content director Elyssa Kostopoulos recently test drove the Born), so I was across the considered creation and design elements of the vehicle. The bucket seats while comfy, are also a product of a partnership between CUPRA and SEAQUAL INITIATIVE, incorporating SEAQUAL® YARN, a recycled polymer fibre fabric made from plastic waste extracted from the Mediterranean Sea, as well as other oceans, rivers and estuaries.
Driving it exceeded my expectations. Charging stations are widely available on roads in many European cities and regional areas too, so now is the time to start thinking about making your switch, as Australia will no doubt follow suit in that regard, if in time.
I drove the CUPRA Born around Barcelona for a trip like no other, amidst soaking up sets during Primavera Sound, (“the world’s best music festival” as coined by several artists during the 3-day mammoth lineup – Caroline Polachek being one).
The charging range on the Born is a whopping 511km, plenty of juice to get me to one of the most thrilling moments during my visit to the Spanish city: the CUPRA Exponential Experience at a racing track, just out of town. (Second only to the roar from the crowd when Kendrick Lamar and Rosalía took the stage, respectively.) This is Virtual Reality with a twist. What you see is virtual, what you drive is real.
I masked up with my headset before entering a wonderland reminiscent of Sega World. I drove from Barcelona to Berlin in under 12 minutes, racing on a track lit up by the city night skyline. This is the kind of VR experience I can get behind; it feels like fantasy but has a level of “reality” to it. I drifted from broad daylight into a mixed state of vision and finally into a situation of fast flow on the virtual track, all while moving in real time physically. While never having had the opportunity to drive a race car, I feel as though I ticked this one off the bucket list thanks to CUPRA Racing team, who have big plans for this exciting project.
Back at Primavera Sound, the energy was palpable as the sun set slowly over the ocean. After documenting the mood around the festival, running in its 22nd year, we sat and had a drink at the CUPRA Boiler Room bar. We paced ourselves for the night ahead. Some of our all-time favourites were up next: John Cale, The Voidz, The War on Drugs, Caroline Polachek and, of course, the incomparable Rosalía. All of which were perfect and special in their own way, but the standouts at Primavera Sound would have to be Rosalía (duh!) and Caroline Polachek.
Special mention to John Cale, still doing it live at 81 years old, covering Waiting For The Man. This had the crowd excited and grateful to hear a Velvet Underground original by one of its founding members. Depeche Mode and Kendrick Lamar were also standouts.