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Cupra steps out from SEAT's shadow with its very own Formentor...and it is bad ass

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TOP FORM': Cupra is now its own brand and has launched the gorgeous Formentor

TOP FORM': Cupra is now its own brand and has launched the gorgeous Formentor

The Formentor interior is as premium as you would expect

The Formentor interior is as premium as you would expect

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TOP FORM': Cupra is now its own brand and has launched the gorgeous Formentor

Forget anything you think you know about the Cupra brand because as of this week it is well and truly casting off its SEAT cloak and growing up into a fine beast of a vehicle.

For years it has been associated with its Spanish parent company but its bags are well and truly packed and it has headed off to conquer the big bad world all on its own. Oh, how they grow up so fast.

First up is the delicious Cupra Formentor with prices starting from €37,135. Yes, you read that right.

Don't assume that because the 'Cupra' badge of yesteryear would have meant you were getting a pimped-out SEAT, the new stand alone car company is not just catering for premium-specked cars.

To look at it you could be forgiven for thinking that the asking price was twice the price but they are cleverly entering the market at a very competitive price point. And that is because they have the backing of the SEAT and VW members of the family. In fact, some of the elements are unmistakably in the DNA, like the MQB platform and the same petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines as the likes of the Ateca and Tarraco.

Speaking at Wednesday's virtual launch event, the company's brand director Niall Phillips was determined to reiterate the gap between Cupra and SEAT stating: "Cupra has a bright future ahead. With the addition of the new Cupra brand, we are now a company with two distinct brands, both brands have completely different target groups, and both take on very separate roles in the Volkswagen Group.

"The Formentor will be a door opener to new customers that look for exclusivity, contemporary design and innovation."

So where do you buy them? Well, currently there are four dealers but Phillips hopes to double that number by the end of 2021.

The initial asking price of €37,175 will, obviously, only get you the entry level Formentor which comes with a 1.5-litre TSI 150hp turbo petrol engine and controlled with a six-speed manual transmission (there is obvious upgrade to the DSG automatic for €40,885).

Prices vary all the way up to a mind-blowing €64,425 which will see you driving off in a 310hp 2.0-litre turbo VZ version and comes in four-wheel drive. And they firmly believe that diesel isn't dead yet because they have created a very enticing manual 2.0-litre TDI 150hp for only €39,135.

There are also the hybrid versions; plug-in hybrid to be precise. There are two to choose from - a 204hp version (€39,895) or a 245hp upgrade (€50,130). Both use the same 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol engine and come with a 115hp electric motor (13.kWh battery). Both claim to have a 54km range on the battery.

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The Formentor interior is as premium as you would expect

The Formentor interior is as premium as you would expect

The Formentor interior is as premium as you would expect

Inside it comes with all the bells and whistles and high-end finishes that you would expect.

There are sporty leather-finish bucket seats, giant infotainment screens and oodles of high-tech and nicely-branded gadgetry. There are larger shift paddles making gear changing simpler and more natural, and the multifunction buttons add to the hi-tech feel.

Finally, the CUPRA Formentor can also be configured with BeatsAudio sound system, including 10 premium loudspeakers with a 340W power amplifier, and a 10l bass box located in the boot. Satisfied? You should be.

Motormouths are due to test it in early May so expect a full review then.

Sunday World


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