Seat sister brand launches first standalone model with 242bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain
Seat sister brand Cupra has revealed its first standalone model, a 242bhp plug-in hybrid coupé crossover called the Formentor.
The concept machine, which will make its public debut at the Geneva motor show, is the second to be badged a Cupra following the Cupra Ateca, and the first not to be based on a model from parent firm Seat. Cupra says the Formentor offers “the benefits of a performance car with the qualities of an SUV”.
The Formentor takes styling cues from the Seat 20V20 concept shown at Geneva in 2015. As a coupé crossover, it also fits Seat’s vision for Cupra as a ‘premium performance’ brand, rather than as a producer of pure high-performance vehicles.
The Formentor sits lower than most crossovers and features a sloping roofline, sharp sculpted lines on the side, a two-tone body and pronounced rear haunches. The front grille of the car takes cues from the Seat Tarraco large SUV, while the rear features a single LED light strip running the length of the car’s boot lid. The car will be displayed in Geneva in a new matt petrol blue colour.
While Cupra has yet to provide the Formentor’s dimensions, it is likely to be slightly smaller than the Ateca, although it is understood to be slightly wider to boost handling.
The concept car presented at Geneva features what Cupra calls “a high-performance” PHEV powertrain, with a system output of 242bhp, and a WLTP-certified electric-only range of around 30 miles. The power is delivered via a dual-clutch DSG transmission. The use of a hybrid system fits Seat's plans to use Cupra as a 'technological flagship'.
The Formentor features the Volkswagen Group’s DCC chassis set-up system and differential lock along with progressive steering. Cupra says the system has been tuned so that it handles “majestically.”
While no interior images have been revealed yet, Cupra says it features a leather-clad steering wheel and bucket seats, dark chrome trim on the dashboard, a digital cockpit and a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen.
The Formentor takes its name from a peninsula on Majorca, following parent firm Seat’s convention of naming cars after Spanish geographical features.
A production version of the Formentor is set to go on sale in 2020, as part of Cupra’s plans to reach 30,000 sales within three to five years. The brand sold 14,400 models last year, a figure that includes Seat-badged Cupra models such as the Leon Cupra R.
Cupra design chief Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos previously told Autocar that the new Formentor was "100% designed as a Cupra", but added that "there could be Seat versions" of it in the future.
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