The Cupra sub-brand has hit something of a milestone this week, revealing its first-ever standalone model. Since emancipation, Cupra has revealed two models - an Ateca and a Leon - that are both merely warmed up versions of Seats, but the new Formentor is its own thing.
What Cupra has come up with is a performance SUV (how very 2020), which is a little longer, wider and lower than an Ateca. Although the bodywork is unique, the underpinnings are more familiar - it’s based on VW Group’s MQB-evo platform.
Looks-wise, it doesn’t stray far from the Formentor concept revealed at the Geneva Motor Show last year. The power output remains the same as the show car too - it develops 242bhp from a hybrid setup which mixes a 1.4-litre inline-four turbo engine with an electric motor and a 13kWh battery pack. On electric juice alone, it’ll be able to travel up to 31 miles.
It’s the same hybrid powertrain used in the new Skoda Octavia vRS, VW Golf GTE and Cupra’s own Leon. And, like its stablemate, the Formentor also gets a purely petrol-powered option with a 306bhp ‘EA888’ inline-four, here deployed with an all-wheel drive system. Performance figures haven’t been divulged, but we can expect 62mph to arrive in around five seconds.
Whichever Formentor you go for, you’ll get a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and standard-fit adaptive dampers. Exactly how the clever shocks behave depends largely on the driving mode you’re set to, something that can be tweaked via a button on the steering wheel.
The interior is very much like the Cupra Leon, with a digital instrument cluster paired with a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system. As with the Leon range as a whole, the cabin gets fancy ambient lights that also have a safety function, flashing yellow whenever the Blind Spot Detection or Exit Assist functions are triggered.
We don’t know when the Formentor will be on sale nor the price, but Seat/Cupra has said that deliveries will commence during the final quarter of 2020. The car was due to make its reveal at the now-cancelled Geneva Motor Show.