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New 2024 Cupra Formentor gets fresh look and power boosts to keep hot streak going

Cupra’s sporty SUV now produces up to 328bhp, while plug-in hybrid boasts 62-mile EV range

The Cupra Formentor arrived just over three years ago and it’s already a best-seller in Europe, not to mention the brand’s most popular model globally. Hoping to keep the sporty SUV’s hot streak going, the Formentor has been given a dramatic makeover, interior tweaks and some big engine upgrades.

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The new “shark-nose” front end, distinctive three-triangle headlight signature and enormous mouth are all part of Cupra’s latest design language that we first saw on its forthcoming Tavascan coupe-SUV flagship. Meanwhile, the very open grille pattern and thin air intake just below the nose are meant to provide plenty of cooling, with the Cupra badge relocated to the bonnet.

At the rear, the three-triangle motif is repeated in the tail-lights, and the full-width LED light bar features an illuminated Cupra logo. The bumper has been tweaked to make the Formentor look wider, and incorporates a diffuser.

Inside, the Formentor now features a 12.9-inch central touchscreen running a new infotainment system that Cupra says has a more easy-to-use interface, particularly with regards to the climate controls. It still uses touch-sensitive sliders for the cabin temperature and volume, but they are now illuminated. 

Drivers can add customisable widgets on the new infotainment set-up, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Cupra says it’s improved the digital driver’s display as well, and the new 15-watt wireless charging pad has a cooling function to help prevent your phone from overheating.

Cupra worked with Sennheiser to develop a new 12-speaker, 425-watt sound system that’ll be available as an optional extra in the updated Formentor, as well as its sister cars, the Cupra Leon hatchback and Estate, which have just been facelifted as well.

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The brand has apparently worked on improving the interior quality, adding new material options, like 73-per cent recycled vegan microfibre upholstery for the bucket seats in select models. There are, of course, still lots of copper accents throughout the cabin.

The new Formentor will be available with a choice of petrol, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, with power outputs ranging from 148bhp to 328bhp.

The entry point to the range is a 1.5-litre petrol engine, paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. The same engine is available with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system (also new), which provides some electric assistance to help make the start-stop system smoother, and improve efficiency by allowing the car to coast in certain situations and recuperate energy when slowing down.

Meanwhile, the plug-in hybrid setup is now equipped with a much larger 19.7kWh battery – up from 12.8kWh before – which has boosted its pure-electric range to “more than” 62 miles. In addition, the Formentor e-Hybrid used to have a maximum charging speed of just 3.6kW, but the upgraded version can reach 11kW when hooked up to a home wallbox, and boasts DC rapid charging capabilities up to 50kW if you wanted to top up the battery quickly while on the road.

The updated Formentor e-Hybrid will be offered with either 201bhp or 268bhp, produced by a 1.5-litre petrol engine working together with a single electric motor.

For those less interested in fuel economy, the range-topping turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine that previously produced 306bhp is now being offered in two states of tune: 261bhp and 328bhp.

The first is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive. However the more potent 328bhp version benefits from all-wheel drive and a new torque-splitting technology which can shift power independently between the rear wheels during corners. 

This has allowed the company to introduce a Drift mode on the hottest Formentor variant, plus an exclusive Cupra drive mode that’s been optimised for race tracks. Also reserved for this specific model is the option of six-piston Akebono brakes.

The new facelifted Cupra Formentor is due to go on sale this autumn. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we don’t expect there will be much of an increase over the car’s current starting price of £32,580, while the 328bhp Formentor VZ3 could crack £50k.

Click here for our list of the best hybrid SUVs...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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