- New new-production concept from Cupra
- Plug-in hybrid for performance and efficiency
- Less powerful SEAT versions are possible later
Still officially a concept – albeit very close to the production version – this is the Cupra Formentor, a SEAT Leon-sized SUV coupe. Expect something very close to this to be in showrooms within 12 months.
What is the Cupra Formentor?
There’s two facets to decode in the Cupra Formentor’s name. The first is Cupra as, despite being officially a standalone brand for more than a year, plenty aren’t aware of its existence. Cupra used to be the label applied to the fastest and most exciting SEAT models – think the equivalent of VW’s GTI models – but it’s now been spun off as a brand in its own right. So far, it’s only made one model – a hot version of the SEAT Ateca family crossover named the Cupra Ateca.
The Formentor will be Cupra’s first standalone model. Named after a Majorcan peninsula, it debuted at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Though officially still a concept, we’re expecting to see a production model in showrooms before the end of the year.
What’s under the bonnet?
So far, Cupra’s only announced one variant. It’s a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV), producing a total of 245hp and linked to a dual-clutch transmission. It claims a range of up to 31 miles in pure-electric mode, but no further performance info has been released just yet.
It’s a powertrain we’re likely to see plenty of around the mainstream Volkswagen Group brands (VW, Skoda, SEAT and Audi) in the future – we’d expect it to appear in the next-generation Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon, for starters.
Given Cupra’s focus as a sporting brand, an even more potent model could be in the pipeline. In the meantime, consider the Cupra Formentor as a stylishly sporting alternative to the likes of the Audi Q2, BMW X2 and MINI Countryman.
Will the Cupra Formentor be good off-road?
Details are pretty thin on the ground at this point, but it’s unlikely that it’ll have much of a focus away from asphalt, despite its high-rise stance.
Given how Cupra’s management want the brand to be perceived we expect this new model to be geared towards on-road performance, with a particular emphasis on handling. It seems unlikely that there will be much focus put into off-road use due to its relatively low ride height.
Is the Cupra Formentor as bold inside?
Given the bodywork’s flair, the interior looks a tad ordinary by comparison. It’s hardly a surprise that it follows themes introduced recently with the SEAT Tarraco, including the freestanding look for the 10-inch multimedia touchscreen.
However, Cupra’s gone the extra mile trimming out the concept with its bronze finishing combined with the unusual shade of blue for the leather. Whether those will make it to the production version intact remains to be seen.
Will there be a SEAT Formentor as well?
This is a distinct possibility, but less powerful SEAT-badged versions of the Formentor are unlikely to appear for at least a year after Cupra-branded models.
It’s a difficult balancing act for SEAT’s bosses: on one hand a less expensive Formentor would increase sales volumes, but could also dilute the cachet that the firm is trying to associate with Cupra – making it less exclusive could lessen its appeal.
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How much will the Cupra Formentor cost?
At this stage it’s pure speculation, but given the Formentor looks like it will sit above the Cupra Ateca in the brand’s fledgling range, we expect it will start in excess of £36,000.
It’s probable that order books will officially open before the end of 2019 with deliveries commencing in early 2020.
We’ll be keeping you up-to-date with news of the Cupra Formentor and the upcoming production version, so bookmark this page for your go-to guide.