New 2020 Cupra Formentor arrives as brand’s first unique model

The sleek Cupra Formentor performance SUV gets 242bhp plug-in hybrid and 306bhp turbocharged petrol options

This is the Cupra Formentor, the first unique model launched by the Spanish company since it was spun off from SEAT as a standalone brand.

Cupra officials always hinted that the production Formentor’s styling would remain faithful to the concept version that was revealed at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. Indeed, save for some subtle colour changes - the fins in the front bumper are black rather than body coloured, and the alloy wheels now have copper-coloured detailing - the two cars are pretty much identical.

Measuring 4,450mm long and 1,511mm tall, the Formentor is 87mm longer and 104mm lower than the Ateca, lending it a sportier, coupe SUV-like appearance, while more flamboyant creases around the wheel arches give a more dramatic look. At the rear, there’s a full width light bar - a feature also seen on the Cupra Leon.

The Leon also lends its dashboard design to the Formentor, too. Copper highlights are dotted around the interior and can be found on the stitching on the seat and the door trim, air vent surrounds and steering wheel.

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The dash is topped off with a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The display features customisable homepage functions, while touch-sensitive controls for the climate functions sit on a small ridge just below. As standard the infotainment system gets both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay - the latter is able to connect wirelessly. It’s complemented by a digital instrument panel ahead of the driver.

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Like other parts of the Formentor, the two powertrain options are also borrowed from the Leon range. The first is a plug-in hybrid model that pairs a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor that develops 242bhp and 400Nm of torque. A 13kWh battery allows the Formentor to cover 31 miles on electric power.

The range-topping Formentor uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 306bhp and 400Nm, and is mated to a four-wheel drive system. Performance figures are still to be confirmed, but expect a 0-62mph time around the five second mark.

There’s no manual gearbox option available in the Formentor; both powertrains are mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, controlled by a ‘shift-by-wire’ selector switch mounted on the centre console. Those wishing to control the gears manually can use the steering wheel-mounted paddles.

Both versions of the Formentor are offered with Cupra’s Dynamic Chassis Control system. DCC consists of adaptive dampers whose rate of response alters based on one of the four driving modes selected: Comfort, Sport, Cupra or Individual. The settings are selected via a button mounted on the steering wheel. 

Predictive adaptive cruise control features among the Formentor’s suite of safety systems. When engaged, this makes use of both the car’s forward-facing camera and GPS data to proactively adjust the cruise control speed based on speed limit changes, junctions, roundabouts and corners.

Official pricing has yet to be announced, but expect the Formentor range to kick off from around £38,000. Cupra has confirmed, however, that deliveries will start in the second half of 2020.

What do you think of the new Cupra Formentor? Let us know in the comments section below...



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