Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid
By Bill McCarthy
WHEN SEAT decided to split the sporty arm of its brand, Cupra, away, they came up with something special with the Formentor design.
It is a dramatic looking vehicle bold and in your face, yet at the same time chic and sophisticated, while eye-catching copper colour to badge and bits of trim to give it a certain uniqueness.
Previously, Cupra was the badge given to more sporting SEAT models, being a combination of Cup and Racing, ergo Cupra. In the periodic table, copper’s symbol is Cu, which derives from Cupra, Latin for copper, which features heavily on the vehicle.
Now, a bit like DS with Citroen, it has split and become a brand of its own, while remaining part of SEAT.
It is a kind of coupe/crossover/SUV with a low set, predatory look with muscular wheel arches, distinctive alloy wheels and striking light clusters and the distinctive Cupra badge, a copper coloured inverted triangle. The puddle lights on the electric door mirrors are also a nice touch.
The interior is stylish and features high end trim and upholstery and logical and intuitive layout. The copper colour features again on the stitching of the leather bucket seats which also see the Cupra logo incorporated into the head restraints. It is also visible with the copper coloured and aluminium accents.
It feels spacious, with good head and legroom thanks to its 2.68m wheelbase. It’s very practical as well with a boot capacity of 450 litres which stretches to 1,475 with the rear seats folded.
Central is the 12-inch touchscreen, the brains of the car, which controls navigation, sound system and connectivity via smartphone. In addition, it features a customisable digital binnacle which provides key information for the driver. The flat-bottomed steering wheel also incorporates gear change paddles plus the stop/start and sport mode buttons.
On the road, performance matches the sporty look with rapid acceleration and plenty of torque available.
The model tested here was one of the plug-in hybrids, with a combination of a 1.4 litre petrol engine and electric motor developing 245PS combined. That’s a fair bit of power and depressing the throttle doesn’t disappoint.
It can hit 60mph in just seven seconds, with a theoretical top speed of 130mph, unless you are in Germany of course.
As a plug-in hybrid it is also capable of running on battery power only for up to 34 miles, perfect for low emission or congestion zones, while combined CO2 emissions are just 33g/km.
The ride and handling inspire confidence and thanks to a sports-tuned chassis, drivers can push the car that little bit extra. It delivers a firm ride but comfortable enough with responsive steering and plenty of grip. Press the sport mode and everything sharpens up for a more engaging drive.
The five trim levels are well equipped and include the V1, V2, VZ1, VZ2 and VZ3.
As standard on V1 trim, there are 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, wireless smartphone charger, rear parking sensors.
This model adds further bells and whistles, including the powered seats, heated steering wheel and door mirrors and rear diffuser with twin exhaust pipe on each side
In addition the safety and driving pack includes Dynamic Road Sign Display, High Beam, Assist, Side Assist, Exit Assist, Lane Change, Assist and Emergency Assist
Prices start at £27,745, a competitive price for a stylish premium quality vehicle. A new kid on the block, but it sure to be familiar sight in the near future
Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid 245PS VZ2
Mechanical: 245PS, via combined 1395cc, 4-cylinder, petrol engine and electric motor driving front wheels via DSG transmission
Max Speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 7 seconds
Combined MPG: 176-188
Insurance Group: 26
C02 emissions: 33g/km
Bik rating: 11%
Warranty: 3yrs/62,000 miles