A 400 metric horsepower Cupra SUV is testing at the world-famous Nurburgring. This lightly camouflaged Cupra Formentor test mule is set to spawn a new flagship model for the young Spanish brand.
Representing a hefty step up from the standard 306bhp Formentor, the new car uses a totally different engine. Borrowing Audi’s five-cylinder charisma factory from the RS Q3 will set the as-yet unnamed hero model (Formentor R, anyone?) apart from the rest.
Sources say we should expect a more aggressive front end and wheel package than we see here, but that the interesting Lexus IS-F-like diagonally-stacked exhaust tips should stay as a key stylistic feature.
The cooking-spec Formentor should rack-up the 0-62mph sprint in five seconds or so. Audi’s RS Q3, weighted down a little by luxury materials and sound insulation, still manages the same launch in 4.5 seconds. If the top-of-the-line Formentor can cut 100kg out of the RS Q3’s chub we could see a very interesting set of specs.
As the 2480cc engine is one we know well, we also know the new Cupra will be auto-only, with no manual option at all. Peak power in the RS Q3 comes at 5850rpm with a flat torque curve and plenty of muscle - up to 354lb ft - at almost any speed. This will be the third wildly different engine option in the Formentor, alongside the 2.0-litre four-pot EA888 shared with most VW Group performance cars and a hybrid option based around a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
It’s even possible that parent conglomerate VAG might permit a slight power boost over the Audi from which the engine is borrowed. How else will it make a strong enough statement about Cupra’s standing as a true performance brand? We can expect more info on the hotter Formentor in the early stages of 2021, if not before the end of the year.