The 2021 Cupra Formentor VZ5 has been revealed overnight for left-hand-drive European markets.
Developed by Volkswagen-owned, Spanish performance brand Cupra, 7000 examples of the limited-edition version of its Formentor performance SUV will be built for European markets – all employing Audi-sourced turbocharged five-cylinder power under the bonnet.
That's 7kW down over the Audi twins – a move likely to prevent the cheaper Cupra cannibalising sales of the four-ring brand's RS products – but a significant 59kW and 80Nm up over the previous most powerful Formentor variant on offer, powered by a 228kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder shared with the Audi S3.
Drive is fed to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive. Cupra claims a 4.2-second sprint from 0-100km/h – 0.3 seconds quicker than the RS Q3 – towards an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.
Under the skin, the VZ5 sits 10mm lower than its 2.0-litre range-mate, with standard-fit adaptive dampers with 15 different settings coupled with a gamut of drive modes: Comfort, Sport, Individual, Offroad and Cupra, the lattermost able to be activated directly via a button on the steering wheel.
20-inch copper machined alloy wheels fill the flared wheel arches – designed to house the flagship model's wider track – and hide large Akebono performance brake discs clamped by six-piston calipers up front.
On the styling front, upgrades over the 'standard' four-cylinder Formentor include a new sculpted bonnet, a revised front bumper, VZ5 badging and a bespoke carbon-fibre rear diffuser with stacked quad exhaust tips reminiscent of high-performance Lexus F models.
Cupra's signature shade, copper, adorns the wheels, exhaust tips and badging, while exterior colour options comprise Midnight Black, Magnetic Tech Matte, Petrol Blue Matt and Taiga Grey, the lattermost a new hue designed for the VZ5 (and pictured throughout this story).
Inside, all-new, body-hugging 'CUPBucket' sports seats – trimmed in Petrol Blue or black leather trim – are standard, along with brushed dark aluminium trim, copper accents and an array of standard technology features including a a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a digital instrument cluster.
Less aggressive perforated sports seats trimmed in brown nappa leather (with a copper backplate) are also available, as are Dinamica Black interior graphics.
Standard active safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane-following assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, Exit Assist and Emergency Assist.
The 2021 Cupra Formentor VZ5 will go on sale in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2021, with 'just' 7000 units to be built, all in left-hand-drive.
As with all Cupra models – irrespective of which side their steering wheel sits on – the Formentor VZ5 won't come to Australia, with local enthusiasts needing to look to the $89,990 Audi RS Q3 and $92,900 Audi RS Q3 Sportback (both before on-road costs) for their five-cylinder performance SUV fix.