A Closer Look at the Cupra Formentor Powertrains

The Spanish car manufacturer has a long tradition of releasing high-performance versions of its cars under the Seat Sport and more recently, the Cupra names. The latest iteration is the brand’s first performance SUV, the Formentor.
Cupra Formentor 6 photos
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Previewed as a near-production concept vehicle at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and entering production earlier this year, the Formentor gets its name from a peninsula on the island of Mallorca, the largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands.

It is marketed as a coupe SUV and it is the first model produced exclusively under the Cupra sub-brand, which was established in 2018 as an independent brand that manufactures exclusive high-performance models for the Spanish carmaker.

The compact SUV is built on the Volkswagen Group MQB Evo platform, which it shares with the eighth-generation VW Golf, fourth-generation Audi A3, Skoda Octavia, and Seat Leon.

Cupra Formentor
It will be available in a wide range of powertrains split into two categories: the entry-level versions with a power output bellow 245 PS will only bare the Formentor name, while more powerful models will be part of the VZ range, a name inspired by the Spanish word veloz, which means quick or fast.

The lower range powertrains include a diesel 2.0-liter TDI that produces 150PS (110kW) and gas 1.5-liter TSI with the same power output and are both available with either a manual 6-speed transmission or the DSG automatic.

There are two more powertrains to choose from in the lower range, a 2.0-liter TSI 4Drive with an output of 190PS (140kW) and an e-Hybrid version, which features a 1.4-liter TSI engine that produces 204PS (150kW). Both versions are only available with the DSG transmission.

The truly fun Cupra Formentors are the more powerful VZ versions. The lineup features a 2.0-liter TSI capable of producing 245PS (180kW), an e-Hybrid 1.4-liter TSI with an output of 245PS (180kW), and the most powerful engine option of all, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4Drive version that spits out 310PS (228kW) and a more than decent 400Nm of torque.

All these wonderful VZ versions of the Formentor only come with DSG transmissions and are equipped with Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) as standard. This system continuously adapts damping forces for each wheel depending on the driving conditions and the driving mode selected by the driver.

Cupra Formentor
Except for the two 2-0-liter TSI 4 Drive models, all Formentor powertrains are front-wheel-driven. 4Drive is an electro-hydraulic multi-disc traction system that runs real-time analysis of road conditions and can increase power to improve traction.

It also uses an electronic limited-slip differential that controls torque on either side of the vehicle and locks the slipping wheel relative to the opposite side.

The system is integrated into the rear axle, at the end of the drive shaft in front of the rear differential, which exponentially improves weight distribution and reduces inertia and reaction time, making the compact crossover handle a lot like a Leon, its hot-hatch sibling.

The SUV coupe is currently only available with a choice of two powertrains, the lower range 245 PS (180 kW) 1.4-liter plug-in hybrid or the mighty VZ 2.0-liter turbo that generates 310 PS (228 kW).

Although it will not compete with the BMW X3 M or the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and you might have a hard time explaining the badge to your friends, the Formentor is nonetheless a well-built and designed performance SUV that should be very fun to drive.


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