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New Cupra Formentor and Leon get more power and drift mode for 2024

Cupra’s popular Leon and Formentor models have been given a facelift for 2024, gaining an interior overhaul, a bold new design and a performance boost

Cupra has launched its newly-facelifted Leon and Formentor, bringing new plug-in hybrid powertrains, chassis upgrades and fresh new designs to the marque’s most popular models. UK pricing and availability is yet to be disclosed, but both will launch towards the end of the year.

This mid-life update has given the Leon and Formentor distinctive new designs, applying an aggressive ‘shark nose’ front bumper, redesigned matrix LED headlights (standard on the VZ3 trim) and a Dodge Viper-esque illuminated badge within the full-width rear light bar. As before, both will be available with 18 and 19-inch wheel options, with Century Bronze and Enceladus Grey matte colour options now on the menu.

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Built around the MQB Evo platform, both models have lifted elements from the newly-updated Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, including much-needed HMI improvements. The Leon and Formentor now come with illuminated touch sliders for climate and volume control, and certain elements have been redesigned to improve ergonomics. A larger 12.9-inch central infotainment display now sits alongside an updated digital dashboard as standard, with the use of more sustainable materials across the range.

A new bucket seat option in the VZ3 features 73 per cent recycled microfibre, and while the upholstery and bolstering is unique to Cupra, the carbonbfibre shell itself is identical to the one first seen in the Audi RS6 GT – tick this option and select bronze interior trim is swapped for a more stealthy dark chrome finish. The Leon is also available with plenty of carbonfibre trim, including mirror caps and a roof-mounted lip spoiler. 

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New for 2024 is a plug-in eHybrid offering, providing up to 268bhp and 62 miles of pure electric range in both the Leon and Formentor, joining mild-hybrid eTSI models. The entry point for the lineup is a 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol with a manual transmission, moving to 201bhp and 261bhp 2-litre four-cylinder variants with a DSG as standard. 

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The pure-combustion range is where the performance lies, with the 2-litre turbocharged EA888 four-cylinder now sending 328bhp to all four wheels in the range-topping Leon Estate and Formentor – 22bhp more than before. The five-door Leon hatchback makes do with front-wheel drive and the same 296bhp output as the outgoing car. As standard, the range-topping VZ3 models receive larger 375mm, six-piston Akebono brakes at no cost, and are equipped with Cupra mode for a sharpened throttle response and tweaked gearbox mapping.

All models across the lineup have received chassis updates for improved dynamics, with tweaked spring and damper rates. Not only have these new models taken interior updates from the new Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3, they’ve also received the same torque splitting rear axle. Available only in the all-wheel drive range-topping Leon Estate and Formentor, the new rear axle is designed to provide more engagement on the limit thanks to variable torque distribution, sending power to the outside rear wheel through the use of a trick electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch. This new hardware has also opened the door for a dedicated drift mode…

There are no official performance figures for these new range-toppers, but expect marginal improvements on the current stats. In outgoing VZ3-form, both the Cupra Leon Estate and Formentor cover the 0-62mph sprint in 4.9sec, with the Cupra hatchback eight tenths behind at 5.7sec – top speeds stand at 155mph. 

Final UK pricing and availability is yet to be announced, but the current lineup begins at £31,565 with the five-door Leon and £32,580 for the Formentor, rising to £37,890 and £39,830 for the most potent variants respectively. First cars are expected to hit the road in Q3 2024.

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