Cupra celebrates a year of life with high-performance hybrid SUV concept
Spanish automaker Seat's high-end spin-off Cupra made a splash last year with its Ateca, a sports-focused SUV. This year, Cupra is hitting Geneva with ... a sports-focused hybrid SUV. And while the Formentor (yes, that's really its name) is just a concept, it looks just about ready to roll.
Lower and sleeker than the Ateca, and with even less pretense to off-road ability, the Formentor is named after a peninsula jutting into the Balearic Sea from the Spanish island of Mallorca, roughly next door to Ibiza. It's a small island, around 60 km (37 mi) across, and the Formentor is a plug-in hybrid capable of about 50 km, or 31 miles, of purely electric motoring between charges.
Floor it, though, and you'll awaken a gasoline engine of unspecified dimensions and aspiration technology to get yourself a peak of 242 horsepower, or 180 kilowatts, offered through a dual-clutch transmission for quick, smooth shifting. That's all we've got so far on the powertrain.
On to the interior, then: carbon-backed, leather-clad bucket seats put the driver down in a lower and sportier driving position than the Ateca. The dashboard "seemingly floats," as does the 10-inch "panoramic" touch screen interface in the middle of it. It looks very nice, in a steadfastly non-outrageous way that makes us suspect this is much less of a concept than a production car in waiting.
As to the exterior, the nicely integrated but thoroughly unnecessary rear diffusers and front splitters are the first things to strike us. Otherwise, it's a tidy, mildly futuristic and attractive design with a logo on the front grille that looks like a tribal tattoo mated with a Spiderman logo. If you want to hear some more effusive praise for its looks, Cupra's own Director of Design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos sounds like a mother trying to set her son up on a date: "the beauty of its proportions, the strength of its lines, the refinement of its surfaces and the sublime color concept ... I truly believe that Cupra Formantor inspires pure desire."
The Formentor will be inspiring pure desire at the Geneva Auto Show in early March.
Source: Seat Cupra