Automotive

Cupra celebrates a year of life with high-performance hybrid SUV concept

Cupra celebrates a year of lif...
Cupra's Formentor concept, with its aggressive rear diffusers, is ready to bring serious downforce to your urban commute
Cupra's Formentor concept, with its aggressive rear diffusers, is ready to bring serious downforce to your urban commute
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Cupra Formentor: 50km all-electric range from a plug-in hybrid powertrain
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Cupra Formentor: 50km all-electric range from a plug-in hybrid powertrain
242 peak horsepower from a hybrid powertrain
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242 peak horsepower from a hybrid powertrain
Sporty leather bucket seats with weight-saving carbon backs
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Sporty leather bucket seats with weight-saving carbon backs
The Formentor's 'foating' dash and 10-inch touchscreen
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The Formentor's 'foating' dash and 10-inch touchscreen
Splitters at the front for extra downforce
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Splitters at the front for extra downforce
Cupra's Formentor concept, with its aggressive rear diffusers, is ready to bring serious downforce to your urban commute
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Cupra's Formentor concept, with its aggressive rear diffusers, is ready to bring serious downforce to your urban commute
Tidy rear design
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Tidy rear design
The Cupra grille logo: pretty out there
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The Cupra grille logo: pretty out there
A lower, sleeker looking sporty SUV than the Ateca
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A lower, sleeker looking sporty SUV than the Ateca
Front grille and splitters
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Front grille and splitters
Aggressive venting helps the Formentor look quick
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Aggressive venting helps the Formentor look quick
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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.

The Formentor's 'foating' dash and 10-inch touchscreen
The Formentor's 'foating' dash and 10-inch touchscreen

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.

Sporty leather bucket seats with weight-saving carbon backs
Sporty leather bucket seats with weight-saving carbon backs

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."

Splitters at the front for extra downforce
Splitters at the front for extra downforce

The Formentor will be inspiring pure desire at the Geneva Auto Show in early March.

Source: Seat Cupra

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