Following its reveal in March, Cupra has now revealed UK pricing and specifications for the Formentor, a small SUV set to sit alongside the Cupra Leon hatchback and estate. The new model is already in production and first examples are set to hit our roads before the end of the year.
Less potent mainstream Formentor variants will come in due course, but for the moment only the hot 306bhp model has been announced starting at £39,830 in VZ2 trim, rising to £43,840 for the range-topping VZ Edition. This VZ2 trim comes well equipped with a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, a 12-inch infotainment system, nappa leather seats, adaptive sports suspension and 19-inch wheels as standard, with the more expensive trim levels adding uprated brakes, copper accents and a panoramic sunroof to the equation.
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Like the Leon, the Formentor will eventually arrive with a variety of powertrains, including a 242bhp plug-in hybrid powered by the familiar 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol, and less potent 187bhp 2-litre and 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrols – the latter should bring prices down to just over £27,000. Recent test mule sightings may also point towards the introduction of an even more powerful performance model in the future too, perhaps equipped with Audi’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder, but until that car arrives Cupra’s dealer-fitted Abt performance kit will also be available lifting power on the 306bhp model to 345bhp.
As with the Leon, the 306bhp Formentor sends its power through all four wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and a familiar Haldex-style all-wheel drive system. The underlying chassis layout – Macpherson struts on the front, and a multilink rear – is also shared, so too the adaptive dampers which constantly monitor the road conditions and adapt accordingly. The more powerful variant also adopts the high-output Cupra Leon’s enlarged Brembo brakes, and sits on standard 19-inch wheels.
Speaking of size, the Formentor is lower, longer yet 2mm narrower than the more upright Ateca, and rides on a longer wheelbase to unlock more interior space. Instead, its dimensions are driven more directly by the new Leon, a model of which shares an identical interior dash layout and user interface. This of course is no bad thing, as the new Leon’s minimalist interior is a big improvement on that of the Ateca’s older layout.
It’s the exterior design that Cupra is banking on to make it different from its multitude of rivals – both in-house and out – one driven by the aggressively raked rear screen and long bonnet. The quasi-SUV body styling, bespoke colours and copper detailing only accentuates the Formentor’s premium look.
The Formentor will reach Cupra showrooms by the end of 2020, expanding the model range, and finally offering a bespoke model to help give it some much-needed distance from SEAT. Whether another SUV model is the right one for it will remain to be seen.