Like all of the brands within the VW Group, electrification is high on the agenda, so it's little surprise that the Formentor will be coming to the UK with a PHEV powertrain. It will join a CUPRA line-up which will soon include a Leon PHEV and the el-Born battery electric vehicle, based on the VW ID.3. Down the line, CUPRA will add more EVs to its range and has previously teased the Tavascan SUV, though much of this depends on cars like the ID.4 coming available.
Anybody familiar with the PHEV versions of the SEAT Leon, VW Golf and the like will immediately realise that the powertrain in the Formentor is common with various other Group models. Here, it is available in two power levels – 201bhp and 242bhp.
Under the bonnet is VW's do-it-all 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol engine which is good for 148bhp on its own. This is paired with an 113bhp electric motor with the different states of tune delivered by software, rather than any mechanical differences. Torque is decent, coming in at a stout 295lb-ft. A six-speed DSG gearbox deals with the cog-swapping in its typically efficient manner.
The battery comes in at 13kWh and should provide around 31 miles of range on electric-only power, meaning the Formentor is on par with most of the other mid-sized SUV PHEV rivals. Where it should differentiate itself from many rivals is in the corners, with front MacPherson struts and rear multi-link suspension set up for spirited driving rather than simply lugging the kids around.
Before we get round to talking about trim levels, it's worth pointing out that CUPRA has done a great job in making the Formentor look good. It's not too upright, yet not too overt in its coupé styling which is arguably where Audi's sportback SUVs fall down. CUPRA's hexagonal logo is recreated in styling touches throughout the car, and in exterior details.
On the outside, buyers can choose from four soft metallic paints, three premium colours as well as two matte colours which are arguably the ones to go for. Across the range there are six trim levels, and in no instance are you going to find yourself feeling short changed.
At the low end is the CUPRA Formentor V1 and the spec list is extensive. Exterior highlights include: 18 inch alloys, LED head and tail lights with range control and dynamic indicators, rain sensing wipers, fog lamps with cornering function, rear diffuser, electric folding mirrors and welcome light. On the inside you'll get: ambient lighting, 10.25 inch configurable digital cockpit, 12 inch touchscreen with navigation, Full Link integration and DAB radio, wireless phone charger plus two front and two rear USB connectors, multi-function steering wheel, sports seats, rear parking sensors and a range of driver aids and safety systems.
Step it up to the Formentor V2 and buyers get all of the above plus 19 inch alloys, an electric tailgate, electrically-adjustable black Nappa leather heated bucket seats with copper stitching, leather dash and side trim panel, heated steering wheel, park assist and a rear view camera.
The VZ1 gets part PVC part cloth bucket seats with height and lumbar adjustment, dynamic chassis control, sports suspension, front parking sensors, rear view camera plus an enhanced safety and driving pack including high beam assist, side assist blind spot monitor among other features. The VZ2 is as the VZ1 but features Nappa leather seats and copper stitching, leather dash and side trim panel and heated multi-function sports steering wheel.
The VZ3 gets 19 inch copper or black alloys and Brembo brakes, and finally the VZ Edition car gets a panoramic sunroof.
Prices for the CUPRA Formentor PHEV will be revealed in due course and we will let you know as soon as we do. Deliveries of the most powerful ICE Formentor will begin before the end of the year, but we'll have to wait until spring 2021 for the PHEV to arrive.