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CUPRA unveils powerful VZ5 Formentor

Prepare to unleash your inner hooligan - because CUPRA has revealed its new performance-oriented VZ5 Formentor.

CUPRA Formentor VZ5 front view

The Formentor is a great looking, compact SUV that comes in a range of guises to suit pretty much all tastes.

You’ve got the Formentor e-HYBRID, a tempting vehicle with an electric only range of 36 miles and a healthy power output of up to 245 PS.

You could opt for the sensible, yet head-turning, base V1 model, which utilises a 1.5 litre petrol engine for that winning mix of good fuel economy as well as a real sense of purpose.

Or, if you crave a little more excitement, the VZ3 Formentor is equipped with a 2.0 litre petrol engine producing 310 PS and which is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds.

All great options, and all to be commended.

But then… the new VZ5 enters the fray, and it’s a different option entirely.

CUPRA Formentor VZ5 side angle

Underneath that sculpted bonnet is a 2.5 litre, five cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that’s been borrowed from the Audi RS Q3 and which produces 390 PS. That grunt equates to a 0-62mph time of just 4.2 seconds.

And the good news keeps coming for petrolheads.

CUPRA has now confirmed the VZ5 will also feature torque splitter technology and a ‘Drift Mode’ for ‘maximum stability and agility during high-speed cornering’.

The electro-hydraulic, fully variable torque splitter system uses two separate clutches to enable independent torque control on each rear wheel.

CUPRA Formentor VZ5 rear view

In practical terms, it can shift power to the rear wheel which needs it most during cornering - ie, the outside wheel - to provide optimum traction and agility.

A CUPRA spokesperson explains:

“The multi-plate clutch pack has its own ECU that constantly analyses wheel speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, yaw angle, steering angle, accelerator pedal position and the selected gear – before sending the required amount of torque to the wheel with the most load to ensure greater turn-in speed and stability mid-corner.”

If you switch to Drift Mode, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is completely disconnected while the torque splitter continues to directs full power to the outside rear wheel. When you combine that with 480Nm of torque, you should be able to drift like a pro with minimum fuss.

Dr. Werner Tietz, Executive Vice-President for Research and Development at CUPRA and SEAT, adds: 

“The CUPRA Formentor VZ5 is the most powerful and sophisticated variant of the high-performance crossover SUV ever created.
With the addition of the torque splitter and the new Drift Mode, car enthusiasts will be able to experience the ultimate in terms of driving dynamics on closed tracks.”

So what’s the bad news?

Well, the VZ5’s launch will arrive in the form of a limited production run of 7,000 units - all of which are left-hand drive.

If that doesn’t appeal, we’d argue the VZ3 should provide similar thrills at a more affordable price.


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Tuesday, 27/07/2021