Audi has finally let one of its fellow VW Group brands in on the turbo five-pot action. The 2.5-litre turbo engine is now available in a special version of the Cupra Formentor SUV, which is dubbed the ‘VZ5‘.
It’s here to mark the third anniversary of the Cupra brand being spun off from Seat to form a standalone entity, something the hot crossover will celebrate by sending 385bhp to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. That’s 10bhp less than it makes in various Audi settings, but don’t worry, the Formentor VZ5 is actually a smidge quicker than its RS Q3 cousin.
You’re looking at a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds in the Cupra, vs 4.5 in the Audi, so long as the launch control system is engaged. Keep going, and you’ll hit the usual electronic buffers at 155mph.
At first glance, it doesn’t look all that different from the standard Formentor, but on closer inspection, there are a few giveaways. Chief among them is the new diagonally stacked exhaust layout, which has some strong Lexus F vibes. There’s also a redesigned bonnet, a new carbon fibre rear diffuser, a tweaked front bumper with a carbon fibre splitter attached, and 20-inch wheels with a snazzy copper finish.
It sits 10mm lower on those wheels, behind which are Akebono brakes, with beefy six-piston calipers used at the front. The front and rear tracks are a little wider, with the arches slightly flared to match.
In the cabin you’ll find curiously named ‘CUPBucket’ seats, copper accents and a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system. We’re particularly digging the brown contrasting leather spread about the interior.
Production is capped at 7000 units, and although we are expecting some of those to make it to the UK, the whole run will be exclusively left-hand drive. With the spendiest 2.0-litre Formentors already topping £40,000, the VZ5 won’t be cheap. It should dramatically undercut the RS Q3 though - the Audi starts at £51,120 and is easy to spec beyond £60,000.