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 The Cupra Formentor is a rather important car. It is the first exclusive model released since Seat’s racing division established itself as a standalone brand. And as far as debuts go – this is up there with the best. 

For starters, it is a properly stylish car. Thanks to a sleek and sport body design, even the entry-level models have serious kerb appeal. It just looks fantastic from every angle. The sculpted front end features angular headlights and aggressive lines. The rear haunches are broad and distinct. At the rear there’s a full-width tail light and sloping roofline, plus quad exhausts on this 310PS VZ2 model. 

It’s the same story on the inside, too. Your eyes are instantly drawn to the large, bucketed front seats. But I would argue that the dashboard is the true masterpiece here. Its slim, tiered design makes it appear far less cumbersome than others, and allows for some incredible ambient lighting right around the cabin. The variety of textures and materials give the cabin a premium feel. Copper accenting – from trim surrounds to contrast stitching – complete the Cupra theming. 

“The variety of textures and materials give the cabin a premium feel”

On a practical front, the Formentor offers more head and leg room throughout than its sleek body lines would have you believe, whilst also being capable of swallowing a four-wheel drive system or hybrid powertrain. A 420-litre boot on 4WD models offers a decent load area. This VZ2 model is also rated to tow 1,800kg, making it surprisingly versatile. 

When it comes to engines, the Formentor has a huge variety on offer, although it should be noted that there are no diesel variants here. Instead there are a range of petrol and plug-in hybrid engines, ranging from a 1.5-litre 150PS unit right up to the one you see here; a 2.0-litre 310PS 4DRIVE monster that will go from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. 

I expect that the 1.5-litre 150PS engine will be popular amongst private buyers, offering a balance between affordability and economy. Costing from £28,000 and capable of 40+mpg, it is available with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic gearbox. For company car users the e-Hybrid models will provide a lower benefit-in-kind (BIK) rate, thanks to CO2 emissions from 27-33g/km. 

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And for those who want something extra special, there is the Cupra Formentor VZ5. Featuring the same 2.5-litre 5-cylinder petrol engine as the Audi RS 3, it has 390PS, an incredible soundtrack and even an active drift mode. But with global production limited to 7,000 units, all left hand drive, don’t expect to see many – if any – in the UK. 

“When it comes to engines, the Formentor has a huge variety on offer”
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