While CUPRA's two-door shooting brake EV DarkRebel is nothing more than a virtual concept bound for the Metaverse, it is a sign that the marque and ABB FIA Formula E World Championship team mean business when it comes to EVs. Due to appear as a "physical model" shortly, the radical concept car's online configurator gives users the chance to influence the final design. By interacting in different virtual environments and experimenting with colours, materials and finishes, users can push their creativity without the limitations of the physical world, creating versions of the car that could influence the next step in the design phase.
"After five years of building the brand CUPRA in a nowadays world, it is time to think about the next step. Our next dream," said CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths at the launch in Berlin. "The CUPRA DarkRebel is the ultimate interpretation of our vision."
Part Shooting-brake, part sports car, the DarkRebel's long bonnet and rearwards cab hint at the marque's intentions to make its most sports-focused car yet. With the ABT CUPRA Formula E Team already halfway through its first season in Formula E, the marque’s road car division looks set to create an EV that can transfer its all-electric racing DNA to the road.
Given its radical styling - with its short overhangs, huge air scoops and sizable splitters - there are some similarities between the DarkRebel and the production Tavascar that launched alongside it. Look past the extreme aero and you'll see CUPRA's triple-triangle headlight signature rising out of the car's metal body, while the "central spine" connecting the front and the rear is similar to the feature running through the Tavascan's interior.
On the inside, it's more of the same future-focused styling with a heavily 'gamified' steering wheel, digital display and bucket seats dominating the cabin. Other than that, there are minimal distractions in the cockpit aside from ample amounts of ambient lighting and a small screen up front for infotainment.
With no word on performance other than its all-electric, just like CUPRA's Formula E Gen3 car, the future of the DarkRebel is still under wraps. With fans able to customise the car online, in CUPRA's Metahype environment – the brand's take on the Metaverse - the final, physical car will be an amalgamation of what you see and CUPRA fans' creativity.
Now with the final half of the Formula E season to get through, the ABT CUPRA Formula E squad will be focusing hard to gain some much-needed points before the final race in London on July 30. Only five years on from its founding as a fully-fledged car company, the Spanish brand is making its mark as a performance-focused carmaker with concepts like the DarkRebel leading the way. If CUPRA's previous concepts are anything to go by, the design elements shown in the virtual DarkRebel could well become a reality. Until then, keep an eye on the marque's efforts on track as it battles with other world-leading manufacturers to inform and push the performance envelope of its future road cars.