Cupra Formentor: prices, specs and performance

Seat's sporty brand, Cupra, has released the sleek Formentor SUV. Up to 306hp and a plug-in hybrid version mean it's likely to prove popular

James Wilson
Mar 18, 2020

Cupra – Seat's performance car sub-brand – has revealed a sporty coupe-SUV called the Formentor. Prices are expected to start at around £40,000 when sales begin later in the year with both plug-in hybrid and traditional petrol models set to be available.

Since it first hit the market with its sporty version of the Ateca, Cupra has begun pushing to establish itself as a performance car maker among rivals including BMW’s M Division and Mercedes’ AMG branch. While Cupra’s models are visually striking, they use the same underpinnings (engines, electronics, safety tech etc) as fellow Volkswagen Group cars from VolkswagenAudi and Skoda.

Being that VW Group brands share engineering with one another, the UK market should expect a less sporty Formentor-based coupe-SUV to be offered with Seat badges not too long after sales of the Cupra version start.

Not only will the Cupra Formentor have to compete against in-house rivals from VW, Audi and Skoda, there are numerous external competitors out there, too – with more and more drivers looking for a sporty but high-riding car.

Cupra will no doubt be hoping that the Formentor's high levels of equipment, striking looks and exclusivity will help attract buyers from other brands. Keep reading for the complete low-down on the Cupra Formentor – including specs, performance and more.

Quick facts

  • Plug-in hybrid and petrol models expected
  • Up to 306hp and 400Nm of torque
  • Matte, metallic and “special” paint hues available
  • Automatic transmission only
  • 12-inch media display as standard
  • Deliveries expected to start in late 2020

Cupra Formentor performance

The plug-in hybrid Cupra Formentor uses the same hybrid set up as seen in a number of recently launched VW Group cars: a 1.4-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor. In total the system produces 242hp and 400Nm of torque.

Petrol models, meanwhile, will come with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine powering all four wheels and producing 306hp and 400Nm of torque. All versions come with a seven-gear automatic gearbox – referred to as DSG in Cupra-speak – connected to steering wheel-mounted paddles that allow the driver to change gears manually.

To help make the most of the performance on tap, Cupra is offering dynamic chassis control. This system collects data from the road surface and driver inputs (such as how much the accelerator is being pressed) and adjusts the suspension accordingly.

Cupra Formentor range and charge time

Hidden beneath the Formentor’s bodywork is a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Fully charged, Cupra is claiming that the Formentor is able to travel up to 31 miles before the battery needs charging. However, bear in mind that this is affected by conditions such as temperature and wind direction, so expect a little less in reality.

Cupra is yet to confirm official charge times, but assuming it is capable of using a 7kW wallbox (very common nowadays) it should take roughly two hours to charge. It is worth noting that even though the Formentor shares its underpinnings with the likes of the Golf GTE, its all electric range is worse, most likely due to the extra size and weight of its SUV body.

Cupra Formentor specification and technology

In line with Cupra pitching itself as an upmarket performance car brand, the Formentor's standard equipment is plentiful. All Formentor models come with a 'floating' 12-inch information and media unit – with 'floating' being a glitzy way of saying 'stuck to the top of the dashboard'.

Also standard is a digital driver’s display (replacing traditional analogue dials for information such as speed and fuel level), Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility and four USB-C ports.

There is also a decent helping of safety/driver assistance kit. This includes adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition (which works with cruise control to adjust the Formentor's set speed when driving into areas with a different speed limit), blind spot monitoring and exit assist. Exit assist refers to an audible warning that is emitted when the car detects a vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian in your blind spot as you go to leave the vehicle.

Something genuinely original on the Cupra is the wraparound LED cabin light which Cupra has designed so that it flashes when blind spot detection and exit assist identify a hazard. As for body colours, there is quite the smorgasbord – there are matte, 'soft' metallic and even 'special' paints on offer. So whatever finish you're after, you should be able to find it on the Formentor.

The matte options extend to a blue and grey, while the metallics include silver, black, grey and white. The 'special' hues include Graphite Grey, Dark Camouflage and Desire Red. The colour choice continues inside as well, with the sports bucket seats available in either Petrol Blue or black leather.

As standard all Cupra Formentor models come with 19-inch alloy wheels which hide massive performance brakes. What isn’t particularly massive is the 450-litre boot space. For comparison a Skoda Karoq SUV offers 521 litres of cargo volume, making it the more practical family car.

Cupra Formentor rivals and alternatives

SUVs are hot property at the moment despite concerns that they are contributing towards increased carbon dioxide emissions due to their extra size and weight. As a result, if you can think of a type of SUV chances are there will be more than one on sale – and the upmarket mid-sized performance SUV sector is no exception, although sleek coupe-SUVs are rarer.

The Porsche Macan is a class act and comes with a range of engines that can match (and even beat) either the plug-in or petrol-powered Formentor for performance. Plus, the Macan comes with Porsche build-quality and badge appeal, although neither of these do any favours for affordability.

Then there is the Audi RS Q3, with a new updated version expected to arrive before the end of 2020. The RS Q3 is set to come with closer to 400hp and cost nearer to £50,000, though, making it a far more expensive proposition.

Outside of the VW/Audi family of brands there is the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35, which is due later this year and is set to promise similar levels of performance to the Formentor although prices are as yet unconfirmed. Also, there is a home-grown option in the Mini Countryman JCW, which again offers similar performance but for around £37,000.

Cupra Formentor prices and delivery date

Cupra is yet to confirm pricing for its latest model, but it is expected to come in just under the £40,000 mark – which will mean it undercuts the entry-level Porsche Macan by a good few thousand pounds. Deliveries are expected to start in the last quarter of 2020.

 

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