Cupra Formentor VZ5: The Spanish RS 3

Cupra Formentor VZ5: The Spanish RS 3


Cupra is doing well. Seat’s sports division, which has been independent since 2018, seemed to find its way a little in the first years of its independence, but now it has found it. And Birth, for example, the Cupra has an electric model in its range even before the Seat. Together with GuardianThe Spanish brand has a great style that is not based on the existing Kit.

For details

Formentor undoubtedly owes this success to its elegant and sporty design and range of engines. Because apart from the sporty VZ with 4 cylinders 2.0 TSI of 310 hp, there are many other engines under its hood. And these do not necessarily have sporty characteristics: 2.0 TDI, hybrid e-Hybrid, and even 1.5 TSI in the entry-level version. Today, the VZ5, with – yes – 5 cylinders, has been added to the top of the range.

Visually, it differs from the Formentor 310 hp, which until recently was at the top of the range, only in detail. The first is the front bumper, which has a different cut and uses carbon fiber accents. The grille is edged in black on this version of the VZ5, the wheel arches feature custom 20-inch rims and Akebono brake calipers – a name you know well from Polestar. The entire rear end is the most recognizable sign: in addition to the diffuser with a carbon fiber accent, this Formentor VZ5 is equipped with dual exhausts on each side, but with the tailpipes stacked diagonally.

Good and less good

Inside, the VZ5 takes elements from Formentor’s other sports models. That means two extra buttons on the steering wheel: the drive mode shortcut and the start button – on base trims the start button is on the center console. In the middle is a 12-inch infotainment screen, which, like all recent models from Seat and Cupra, is mostly controlled by a touch screen whose ergonomics could be significantly improved.

Cupra Formentor VZ5

Optional seats for Cup games, at that time, cannot be upgraded. Their support is perfect. Build quality is another plus point. Although this VZ5 is not afraid of hard plastics, everything seems solid. The steering also sits well in the hand and, unlike the Golf R or Golf GTI, still uses conventional buttons. Since there is no mechanical link between the gear lever and the box, this Formentor VZ5 also uses limited control. To change gears yourself, you will have to use the paddles on the steering wheel. Only they can be bigger.

keep a beat

And you will want to move yourself, because the 5-cylinder under the hood does not ask for anything but revving. Yes, we find the front part of the block 2.5 TFSI as in the file Audi RS3 and the RS Q3, and it’s the first time another brand in the Volkswagen lineup has been allowed to use this rock solid engine. Audi obviously had to respect the lead, as the Formentor has to concede 10 hp and 20 Nm to the RS 3. However, 390 hp and 480 Nm is still plenty. 100 km / h is passed in 4.2 seconds and the maximum speed is limited to 250 km / h.

Cupra Formentor VZ5

So it is mainly in the middle of the rpm that this 5 cylinder gives its best. There, he has so much flexibility and reserve that you will never enter the red zone, even if it is better that way for one thing. The couple’s five-piece song provides a playful and serious background, but we’ve experienced it in a more lively way. In the TT RS for example. At the peak of dominance, the Cupra Formentor gives its freedom feelings sound.

all the way back

To get that power down, the Formentor VZ5 uses familiar technology. For example, the seven-speed DSG gearbox, which like many other sporty products from the Volkswagen Group, has an annoying habit of ignoring your gear choices if it thinks it’s better. Then there is the suspension lowered by 10 millimeters with dynamic springs that can be adjusted in no less than 15 different positions.

Cupra Formentor VZ5

But above all there is a four-wheel drive, which the Spanish still call 4Drive. VZ5 does not use the classic Haldex system, but torque split of RS 3. The Golf R uses the same trick: with two bolts on the rear axle, the 5-foot power can be sent completely to the rear, where it can be distributed to each of the two different wheels. This means that, like the Audi RS 3 and VW Golf R, this Formentor VZ5 can be towed.

To do this, it will be necessary to set the driving mode to “Drift” through the on-board computer. It is highly recommended, not for drifters – because they can be quite brutal – but because Formentor comes more to play from behind. This gives it a completely new look, because in ‘Cupra’ mode it is an efficient and fast machine, and in ‘Normal’ mode it is a smooth, quiet and comfortable companion. The fact that there is also a Game mode, an Individual mode and an Offroad mode is a good thing.

Conclusion

With its 5-cylinder engine and the chassis technology that goes with it, this Cupra Formentor VZ5 is almost an Audi RS 3 with a Spanish touch, but above all a car with many faces. At 7,000 units, production is limited, but the question of course is how much Audi’s strong image will play a role with reluctant customers. Especially since this Formentor VZ5, RS 3 and RS Q3 are more or less in the same price range. On the other hand, now that Cupra is doing well, it’s the right time to unveil the best model.

Cupra Formentor VZ5