CUPRA reinterprets sustainable materials
- CUPRA reinterprets materials and gives them a new value in its future electric models - the CUPRA Terramar, CUPRA Tavascan and CUPRA UrbanRebel (now CUPRA Raval)
- Natural fibres such as flax and hemp are the key elements in this evolution, which also contribute to reducing the environmental footprint
- The combination of sustainability and digital technology achieves unique designs with the use of parametric techniques, 4D design and 3D printing
In Terramar, Sitges, where it all kicked off four years ago, CUPRA unveiled its exciting vision for 2025 a few months ago, charting its future with three new electrified heroes for a new era - the CUPRA Terramar, CUPRA Tavascan and CUPRA UrbanRebel. This future will be not only electric, but also more sustainable, especially in terms of the models’ design. By applying new digital technologies, CUPRA has created a new design concept where materials are transformed to acquire a new value, proving that sustainability and emotion join in perfect unison to captivate new generations.
Reinterpreting sustainability. A new era of electric models requires a comprehensive reinterpretation of interior and exterior design, with an aim of becoming champions of sustainability. CUPRA’s Color&Trim team has been working on this concept. “We wanted to move away from the typical automotive material codes to focus on what more closely aligns with the preferences of the new generations, who value natural elements, respect the environment and promote sustainable growth. We believe that sustainability has given us the opportunity to reinterpret the authenticity of CUPRA” says Francesca Sangalli, Head of Color&Trim Concept & Strategy at CUPRA.
Lightweight performance. Sustainability is an integral part of CUPRA’s philosophy and now it goes one step further in its future electric models.
"We’re experimenting with natural elements that aren’t conventionally used in the automotive industry"
For example, they’re working with natural fibres from plants such as flax or hemp to build parts that until now have been made of carbon fibre. These plants also have the property of absorbing a large amount of CO2, which means that growing them is beneficial for the environment. “And the performance of the parts we’re making is comparable to Kevlar or carbon fibre” explains the designer.
A new value. Along these lines, recycled plastics are also being used in an unconventional way. “We’re creating parts for the car’s interior with advanced recycled polymers without ever masking their natural look, reinterpreting plastic to make it beautiful and sustainable” says Francesca. Some interior parts have been transformed by introducing metallic particles in them that give them a completely new finish.
Blending creativity and technology. In order to achieve this reinterpretation of design, sustainability has gone hand in hand with creativity and the latest digital technologies. Parametric design has been key to this transformation, as has 3D printing. “Digital technology has given us the opportunity to create impossible surfaces that come alive to the touch, generating a sense of movement. We’ve gone from designing in 2D to 4D with the new techniques, achieving structures that have become real showpieces” according to Francesca.
Less is more. Fabrics are also playing a leading role in this evolution. At Color&Trim they’re continuing along the path they started with environmentally friendly materials by using vegan leather in the CUPRA Born. And they’re going one step further with the introduction of 3D flat knitting technology, in which the fabrics are created entirely to measure to avoid waste. “We’re looking at a different architecture when it comes to design, to create a product from a different perspective, thanks to additive manufacturing. As well as being a very new, lightweight material, there’s no waste and we can create graphics within the material itself with a unique result” says Francesca, who ends by saying “sustainability isn’t just about recycling, we also have to reduce our footprint.”