So those spy videos were right! We've ummed and ahhed about whether those Cupra Formentor prototypes warbling around the Nurburgring really were five-cylinder models, and now it's been confirmed: a Formentor VZ5 will "harness the power of the five-cylinder petrol engine, enhancing an already-exhilarating ride and making the ultimate expression of performance." Tremendous news.
For the moment, that's all Cupra is willing to confirm, with full details of the VZ5 to follow on February 22nd when the car is revealed online. But frankly it is enough to get excited about - especially if you're already intrigued by the standard (and rather good) Formentor. Because we all know just how good that 2.5-litre Audi-built unit is, and it delivers on the one thing that remains conspicuously absent in most compact SUVs - a personality.
In its most recent installations the engine produces 400hp for the TT RS and RS3, a tune which would make it a logical flagship in a range that currently features a 310hp variant. Or perhaps it'll be slightly detuned to ensure the top-dog status of Audi's models with the same engine isn't impacted. Anything above 350hp would give the VZ5 a useful performance advantage over the standard Formentor and help to justify whatever premium the manufacturer opts to charge for the range-topper.
The unveiling of the five-cylinder Formentor marks the brand's third birthday as a standalone business. The VZ5 will be a "limited-run addition to the Cupra community", and apparently isn't all we can look forward later in the month - other "significant announcements" are promised. But we can all agree, surely, that a plug-in Ateca is rather less interesting than a Formentor powered by one of the great modern engines. More to follow soon.