Volkswagen Group’s new car brand takes the lead with its first standalone model

Cupra, the latest addition to Volkswagen Group’s car brand network, may not have caught your attention yet.

It could be because, up until this week’s launch, the vehicle has performed very similar to when Seat began using its Cupra branding. Cupra’s model range was a collection of faster versions of Seat’s Ateca series-production models. These could have easily been Seat Leon Cupras, but colour and trim aside, without anyone being aware.

Cupra’s Formentor is a large, stylish, high-rising, high-design hatchback. It comes with both front-driven plug in hybrid powertrains and four-wheel-drive performance. It is the first brand-exclusive model and, although it is based on the VW Group platform, it feels like a unique and distinctive crossover hatchback.

We’ll explain the reasons why that is in due time. But suffice it to say that very few tools were left to either the engineer or the designer in order to support the unproven idea that Cupra has finally created genuinely innovative, attractive and alternative cars.

A glance at the Formentor line-up

This spring, the Formentor model lineup will be expanded. The 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre turbo models were the only ones available at the time. However, two 2.0-litre 4Drive variants with lesser power will be joining them, along with two front-drive 1.4 litre plug-in hybrids.

The trim line-up is five-step, with V1 starting and VZ3 finishing. However, a limited-numbers VZ Edition version with copper/black two-tone 19in alloy tires will be available at launch.