UPDATE - 21.05.2019
Cupra has revealed the first dynamic images of its upcoming Formentor along with confirmation that its plug-in hybrid powertrain will produce 245hp. While we’re not given further technical details, that output adds fuel to expectation that the VW Group’s latest 1.5-litre triple ‘Evo’ motor will be at the Formentor’s heart, coupled to a DSG auto gearbox and working in tandem with an electric motor.
An all-electric range of 31 miles is claimed for the system, ranking the Spanish SUV directly alongside the Golf GTE - which makes sense, because it is expected to share its powertrain with the hatch. Cupra is marketing the Formentor as a plusher, sportier offering than anything Seat will offer to this segment, hence the sharper design features. But the Seat connection is definitely there, particularly at the model’s front, while the integration of a light bar at the back is somewhat routine for VW Group SUVs.
There are no new images of the cabin to add to the one computer generated picture that was released in February (see story below). That shot confirmed the interior will make use of VW Group architecture (obviously), with a central infotainment touchscreen and digital instrument cluster. Expect there to be soft touch dash materials and leather seat trim in order to justify an inevitably higher list price than we’re used to from a Seat performance offshoot. On that note, any guesses as to what the price will be?
ORIGINAL STORY - 22.02.2019
For those who've struggled with the idea that Cupra is now a separate brand to Seat, maybe the launch of its first standalone model will help. Called the Formentor, it's a new crossover that still uses the VW Group's ubiquitous MQB architecture but gets bespoke styling, as well as a plug-in hybrid powertrain developing 245hp.
The concept - a production version is due to reach roads in 2020 - is headed to the Geneva motor show and takes influence from the Seat 20V20 crossover that was shown there four years ago. It's a tauter, more aggressive shape than that of the Ateca, with a swooping rear roofline and raked rear window. Cupra has optimistically tagged it a coupe-crossover - but don't expect that to catch on.
Compared to the Ateca, the Formentor - which gets its name from a peninsula of Majorca - looks slightly smaller, with a lower ride height and slimmer glass house, although the front angle suggests it could actually have wider tracks. We'd guess that the more conventionally-shaped Ateca will remain the most spacious model in Cupra's line-up, however, with the Formentor's cabin combining familiar VW Group tech with bronze highlights.
As to what capacity the car's powertrain is, we're yet to learn. The plug-in VW Golf GTE combined a 1.4-litre engine with its electric gubbins, but that 205hp setup is expected to be superseded by a new one that uses a 1.5-litre triple 'Evo' motor - something we'd assume would be integrated into the Formentor as well. Either way, Cupra said the concept gets a DSG gearbox and can do 30 miles on pure electric power. That's all we have for now, but more is likely to come when the Formentor makes its public debut in Geneva in a couple of weeks.