CUPRA has taken a significant step forward with the launch of the CUPRA Formentor, the first model developed exclusively by the brand.
The high-performance coupé crossover is the embodiment of the CUPRA DNA: sophistication, innovation and a dynamic driving experience. At a time when the coupé crossover segment is forecast to grow exponentially, the CUPRA Formentor coupé SUV combines the benefits of a performance car with the qualities of an SUV.
The CUPRA Formentor is full of character, sculpted to emphasise its attributes and exude motion. It sits closer to the ground than other SUVs to highlight its sportiness, while visual emphasis placed towards the rear of the vehicle and accentuation of the bonnet underscores its dynamic character.
"The CUPRA Formentor encapsulates the essence of the brand and will be key in establishing the brand as a relevant player in the market. Thanks to this model, we expect CUPRA to expand its international presence and double its sales volumes. Together with the CUPRA Leon and CUPRA Ateca, the CUPRA Formentor will also integrate two plug-in hybrid versions, proving that electrification and performance are a great match.," said SEAT President and CUPRA CEO, Wayne Griffiths.
The CUPRA Formentor, named after cape Formentor on the Spanish island of Mallorca, was designed, developed and is built in Martorell, Barcelona. Production began on 29th September 2020 and is the first model to be homologated under the CUPRA brand.
For the UK market, Formentor has been curated to include a long equipment list as standard across six highly-specified trims, named V1, V2, VZ1, VZ2, VZ3 and VZ Edition. As standard on V1 trim, customers get 18-inch alloy wheels, 12-inch infotainment touchscreen with connected navigation, 10-inch digital driver binnacle, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, Adaptive Cruise Control, wireless smartphone charger, a leather steering wheel and rear parking sensors. A full equipment list per trim can be found at the bottom of the document.
Order books in the UK opened on the 20th October 2020, with the 2.0-litre TSI 310PS 4Drive DSG, in VZ2 specification, costing from £39,830 on-the-road. Alternatively, customers can purchase Formentor from £399 per month on Solutions Personal Contract Plan (PCP).
As of 3 December 2020, further trims and engines have become available to order, with the 150PS V1 model, the entry point into the Formentor line-up, costing from £27,395 on-the-road, or £299 per month via PCP.
Customers in the UK had been able to pre-order the CUPRA Formentor since 8 July 2020. Only 100 examples of the limited-edition CUPRA Formentor VZ Edition will come to the UK, packed full of the latest performance and connectivity technology, with exclusive upgrades for 50 pre-bookers. The name VZ comes from the word 'Veloz' in Spanish, translating as 'Speed' or 'Fast'.
Exterior design: the essence of CUPRA
The CUPRA Formentor is named after the wild cape on the Spanish island of Mallorca, in the Balearics. The vehicle encapsulates all the attributes of the unique setting, reflected in the high-performance crossover's exterior design. The rocks of the cape, which have been sculpted by the wind, served the design team as inspiration for the side contours that show dynamism and a feeling of movement.
The two-tone body is reminiscent of a robust all-terrain vehicle, but the CUPRA Formentor's design uses an aesthetic technique to lighten the vehicle's silhouette. Unlike a traditional SUV, the vehicle merges all-terrain attributes with the compact and sporty appearance of a hatchback, in coupé crossover form.
The dimensions of the car allow Formentor to meet the needs of today's customers. The CUPRA Formentor is 4,450mm long and 1,839mm wide. Its height of 1,511mm provides excellent headroom for all the passengers while the wheelbase of 2,680mm offers significant legroom for rear occupants and a boot capacity of 450 litres (420 litres for 4Drive models) or 1,475 litres when the rear seats are folded.
The dynamic proportions of Formentor is underscored by the visual emphasis placed towards the rear of the vehicle, with seamless coast-to-coast rear lights that add a subtle visual width to the vehicle, while a lengthened bonnet accentuates the car's sportiness.The sporty aesthetic is completed with standard 19-inch alloy wheels - available in Copper finish - which house 18-inch performance Brembo brakes.
CUPRA Formentor benefits from a wide colour palette chosen to complement the design: there are four soft metallic paints (Urban Silver, Midnight Black, Magnetic Tech and Candy White); three special paints (Graphene Grey, Dark Camouflage and Desire Red) as well as two matte paint options (Petrol Blue Matte and Magnetic Tech Matte).
Interior design: contemporary vision of sportiness
The CUPRA Formentor's exterior design is perfectly matched by its high-quality interior, providing a sense of modernity and sportiness that customers of CUPRA would expect.
As occupants enter Formentor, the CUPRA logo is projected on the floor via the puddle lamp. Once inside, they will be cocooned by high-quality materials, with brushed dark aluminium and copper accents making the cabin feel modern and contemporary.
The bucket seats, available in both Petrol Blue and Black leather, are mounted low in the cabin to maximise space, allow a more ergonomic seating position, and give a sense of the dynamic performance before a wheel has been turned.
The dashboard appears to float, an impression created by the horizontal full-LED wraparound ambient lighting which runs the width of the dashboard and in both front doors. This light is not only an aesthetic feature, it also includes safety functions, flashing yellow when Blind Spot Detection or Exit Assist are activated.
The centrepiece of the dashboard is the 12-inch touchscreen which provides the functionality and connectivity to all occupants and reduces button count. The driver benefits from a fully-customisable digital binnacle (Digital Cockpit) as well as a flat-bottomed steering wheel that houses the engine start and CUPRA driving mode buttons, as well as the larger gearbox shift paddles.
In front of the transmission shifter found on the centre console is the 'ESP' button, allowing users to turn the electronic stability control to 'Sport' (press of the button) or off (press and hold), to maximise the driver's control of the vehicle.
Powertrains: performance for the future
The CUPRA Formentor engine line-up is comprised of five outputs, all of which are RDE2 certified. The 1.5-litre TSI engine is available with 150PS while the 2.0-litre TSI will be offered with 190PS.
For drivers who want the dramatic design of a CUPRA with eco-conscious performance, a plug-in hybrid variant will be available. A 1.4-litre TSI 150PS (110kW) petrol engine is paired to a 115PS (85kW) electric motor, powered by a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and can be tuned to either 204PS or 245PS. The e-HYBRID has a predicted electric-only range of 31 miles (50km).
Both the 1.5-litre TSI and 1.4-litre plug-in hybrid variants will be available to order in the UK from quarter one 2021.
The ultimate expression of CUPRA's performance will be the 2.0-litre TSI turbocharged petrol engine with 4Drive (4WD) technology and a seven-speed DSG transmission. The pulse-raising engine provides peak power output of 310PS (228kW) and 400Nm of torque, accelerating Formentor from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph, with an emotive sound that adds to the allure of the vehicle.
The 4Drive system constantly monitors numerous sources - steering angle, wheel speed and yaw of the vehicle - to deliver power to the correct wheel at the precise time, giving a sense of confidence behind the wheel in any driving scenario.
Customers will be able to choose between a six-speed manual (150PS model only) and a seven-speed DSG (direct shift gearbox) dual-clutch transmission. The shift-by-wire technology is designed so that the gear selector is no longer mechanically connected to the gearbox, instead using electronic signals to indicate a shift. This not only enhances efficiency but also offers a more engaging drive.
"The CUPRA Formentor provided the development team with a blank canvas, they were able to integrate powertrain technologies that deliver the optimum in high-performance, balanced against incredible efficiency," said Dr. Werner Tietz, SEAT's Executive Vice-President for R&D. "Combining our combustion engine with an electric motor offers incredible performance and effortless acceleration; hybridisation is a perfect technology for the CUPRA Formentor."
Sports-car chassis engineered for any journey
The chassis and steering of Formentor offer the most precise and involved drive possible, no matter which powertrain option is under the bonnet.
Based on the MQB Evo architecture, it allows the easy integration of a variety of technologies to offer the most uncompromised experience.
The front MacPherson struts and rear multi-link set-up balance the needs of comfort for everyday driving and the intuitive dynamic response required in more enthusiastic drives. The precise tuning of the spring and damper rates means the chassis can easily cope with changes in loads, aided by the vehicle's evenly distributed weight.
The CUPRA Formentor VZ 2.0 TSI 310PS features Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) as standard, which constantly monitors the road surfaces and driver inputs and makes imperceptible changes to the set-up in milliseconds to guarantee surefootedness in any condition while delivering the most engaging drive. The driver can precisely set-up the vehicle to their preferences (Comfort, Sport, Individual, CUPRA and Offroad) on the steering-wheel mounted button.
The CUPRA Formentor also features a DCC slider (available in the individual mode), giving even more control over the dynamic characteristics of the crossover (up to 15 settings), changing not only the damping force level of the shock absorber but the chassis controller setting too.
The 4Drive electro-hydraulic multi-disc traction system analyses road conditions in real time and can deliver power to the wheels with the most traction. Torque can even be controlled between wheels on either side of the vehicle thanks to the EDS electronic aid which locks the slipping wheel, meaning no transversal torque is lost.
The system is integrated into the rear axle and sits at the end of the drive shaft in front of the rear differential, improving weight distribution and reducing inertia and reaction time, meaning the new CUPRA Formentor provides surefootedness behind the wheel.
The Formentor is equipped with an electric brake booster which provides a faster response than a conventional system, as well as recovering braking energy (plug-in hybrid variants only). The electric brake booster has been specifically adapted for the high-powered CUPRA models.
Safety and connectivity for every occupant
The CUPRA Formentor will integrate the most advanced infotainment and connectivity solutions, bringing customers' digital lives with them into the vehicle and offering a more intuitive experience behind the wheel.
The 12-inch (1560x700 pixel) infotainment system, which reduces the number of hard buttons to a minimum, integrates both voice and gesture control. The touchscreen is a portal to the Full Link system which is compatible with both Apple CarPlay (wireless) and Android Auto (wired), as well as displaying the 3D online navigation. Passengers can plug their phone into the vehicle via the four USB-C connection points or connect using Bluetooth to access their eco-system of apps.
Drivers also benefit from a 10.25-inch (1280x480 pixel) digital driver binnacle (Digital Cockpit) which is fully customisable and able to show all key vehicle information. It's also available with an additional 'Sport View', putting information including RPM, torque, power, turbo pressure and G-meter in front of the driver.
Thanks to the embedded SIM (eSIM) card, Formentor customers will benefit from the CUPRA Connect app that brings online services directly into the vehicle, allowing customers to access downloadable apps, online radio and remote access to vehicle data.
At the touch of the screen, users can access driving data of previous journeys and remaining range, parking position, lock and unlock the doors, set up speed alerts so you can be warned if someone using your vehicle is driving too fast, be alerted if your vehicle has been stolen, or activate the horn and turn signals to find the car more easily in a crowded car park.
In plug-in hybrid variants, the driver can review and manage the charging process via the e-Manager, prepare the cabin for a journey by controlling the electronic air conditioning, as well as manage departure times, all from the smartphone app.
The built-in eSIM delivers the eCall service, which directly contacts emergency services should an incident occur, adding yet another level of safety to the vehicle. If an eCall is triggered, vital data is sent to the emergency services also, including position (based on GPS data), engine type, and number of passengers, making it easier for them to assist.
The range of driver assistance and safety systems makes the CUPRA Formentor one of the most relaxing and safest vehicles on the road.
Predictive and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses feeds from GPS data delivered from the navigation system and input from the front-mounted camera and Traffic Sign Recognition, allowing it to proactively adjust the cruise speed depending on the road layout ahead - bends, roundabouts, junctions, changes in speed limits and built-up areas. This reduces the requirement for driver input and mitigates against sudden speed changes and manoeuvres.
Blind Spot Detection alerts the driver to another vehicle in their blind spot when on the motorway (the wraparound LED light flashes yellow).
Exit Assist provides additional assistance when exiting the vehicle to protect other road users, as well as the vehicle. When stationary and opening a door, the vehicle will give an audible warning if traffic is coming - this can be other vehicles if on the road side, or cyclists and pedestrians if on the kerb side.
Befitting the CUPRA name and the equipment included within, Formentor can be specified in one of six highly-specified trims, each carefully curated to deliver a blend of performance, technology and design.