Cupra, the performance sub-brand of Seat, Volkswagen’s Spanish subsidiary, has taken the wraps off the first vehicle designed specifically for the brand. The design-forward crossover is called the Formentor, and it will be made available in a plug-in hybrid version as well as a range-topping petrol variant.
Named after Cap de Formentor, the scenic cape on the Spanish island of Mallorca, Cupra had originally intended to debut the vehicle in Geneva until the coronavirus scuttled those plans. Nevertheless, the rugged-looking crossover also draws its design inspiration from those rocky, wind-swept cliffs, most notably with its side blisters, elongated hood, swept-back roof and crisp edges. It features an upper and lower grille up front, with angular LED headlights, and taillights that stretch across the length of the hatch in back. Overall, it features a relatively compact hatchback-like profile.
Dimensions are 4,450 mm (175.2 inches) long, 1,839 mm (72.4 inches) wide and 1,151 mm (45.3 inches) tall. The wheelbase is 2,680 mm (105.5 inches), and the brand says there’s ample headroom, rear legroom and a cargo capacity in back of 450 liters (15.9 cubic feet). It’s fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels that are also available in copper and feature 18-inch performance Brembo brakes. Color choices will be four metallic paints, three special colors (graphene grey, dark camouflage and desire red) and two matte paint alternatives.
Inside are lots of high-end materials, copper accents and dark aluminum-brushed highlights. There’s a welcome light projected onto the floor, petrol blue or black leather bucket seats and horizontal full-LED wraparound ambient lighting around the front of the cabin and doors. There’s a 12-inch panoramic floating infotainment screen on the dash that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, few physical buttons and an engine start button and mode selector both integrated on the steering wheel. An embedded SIM card will also make available online services and download apps via the Connect app, plus driving data, diagnostic status and other information via a smartphone app.
The range-topper will use a 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged engine that makes 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and is linked to 4Drive, Cupra’s version of all-wheel drive that can deliver power to the correct wheel when it needs it. In the PHEV, version, the Formentor combines a 1.4-liter TSI engine with an 85-kW electric motor and 13-kWh lithium-ion battery to make a combined 241 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, with an electric-only range of around 50 km (31 miles). Both powertrains are mated to a dual-clutch transmission with electronic gear shifting and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The Formentor also boasts an advanced intelligent DCC chassis setup for customizable driving modes and what it calls “progressive steering.”
Included in driver assist technologies are predictive adaptive cruise control, emergency assist, travel assist, and side and exit assist.
There’s no word on what all this will cost, but deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2020. Don’t expect to see the Formentor in U.S. showrooms. But it certainly looks like the kind of stylish and luxurious compact crossover Americans would buy.