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We love the CUPRA DarkRebel and its metal 3D printed spine

The concept car has been designed by users and has over 270,000 configurations

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Introduced at the Volkswagen Group Night IAA in Munich (and later presented at the CUPRA Open Space at the IAA Mobility 2023, also in Munich) the CUPRA DarkRebel is the maximum expression of the brand’s obsession. A car that pushes the boundaries of design and performance, that questions the way the car will be imagined and created in the future. It’s the physical translation of the first car fully created in the virtual space, for a future generation of drivers. Anywhere this kind of customization is required, additive manufacturing must play a part.

And it does. The CUPRA DarkRebel pushes the boundaries of design in its interior too. Its use of parametric design and additive manufacturing delivers a more substantive approach to sustainability. And on entering the vehicle, passengers find themselves in an embracing, radical, extreme environment.

The key element of the car’s cabin is the central spine with its asymmetrical shapes, lightness, and sculptural appearance. Produced using the latest 3D metal printing technology, it provides structural performance with maximum lightness, emerging from between the base of the seats and extending forward to embrace the driver. Considering that most CUPRA cars are built in Catalonia, Spain, where HP 3D printing is based, and that the Volkswagen Group (to which CUPRA ultimately belongs) has already partnered with HP, it is likely that the technology they used is metal binder jetting, and specifically HP Metal Jet.

We love the CUPRA DarkRebel and its metal 3D printed spine, designed by users with over 270,000 possible configurations

Once sat in the Supersport bucket seats, with headrests made from glass and copper inserts and covered with 3D knitting fabric, the driver sees the steering wheel, which combines geometries from the world of racing with the interactivity of the world of gaming.

A Hyper Configurator

More than 270,000 CUPRA configurations from the CUPRA Tribe, including brand ambassadors like FC Barcelona players like Alexia Putellas, Marc ter Stegen, Ansu Fati and the actor Daniel Brühl helped shape the design of the CUPRA DarkRebel. Data collected from the virtual Hyper Configurator was injected into the final design of the car, which has now moved from the virtual to the real world with the reveal of the physical version at the IAA in Munich.

The result is a 100% electric two-seat sports car with a shooting brake architecture that pushes the passion and disruptive mindset of the CUPRA brand. Incorporating an enigmatic exterior liquid body colour, light as a tangible material and heightened attention to sustainability.

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 show car. 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”.

Rebel rebel

The vehicle’s central spine, like a sailboat keel made of glass, connects the front and the rear of the CUPRA DarkRebel. This concept emphasizes the vehicle’s progressive design, inspiring its sporty appeal. Sensual surfaces with a strong combination of sharp lines, create tension in the design, expressing a concentration of energy and purpose. All underscored by the enigmatic liquid body color.

The fluid character of the dark violet tone evolves and changes depending on how environmental light touches the vehicle’s body, enhancing the strong stance and setting the tone for the DarkRebel as an ultra-sporty car created to drive.

Seating the DarkRebel to the ground, its wheel design is influenced by the brand’s racing cars, with performance and efficiency key attributes. The triangular-shaped CUPRA logo is expanded parametrically through the whole wheel, from the structure to the aero covers and designed copper parts.

We love the CUPRA DarkRebel and its metal 3D printed spine, designed by users with over 270,000 possible configurations

The CUPRA DarkRebel’s cutting-edge exterior CUPRA design is enhanced by its dimensions of 4.5 meters in length, 2.2 meters in width, and 1.3 meters in height, the DarkRebel comes to life, especially when its doors open to a height of 2.2 meters. These helped achieve its 1/3 cabin in contrast to the 2/3 body proportions and strong shoulders that deliver its sporty soul.

“The CUPRA DarkRebel condenses all of the brand’s DNA and values. With wider shoulders, a long bonnet and lower cabin focused on the driver. It stands for people who love to drive and not be driven,” said CUPRA Design Director Jorge Diez. “The CUPRA Dark Rebel is designed to enter a new dimension where desire, emotion and pushing without limits are our obsession.”

From the interior, the driver is well-placed to experience the CUPRA DarkRebel’s blistering performance on the asphalt. The CUPRA DarkRebel is the most powerful show car ever made by the brand, with over 450 horsepower (peak power), accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in under 4 seconds.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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