We wonder if the extreme version of the new Cupra SUV is not enough to beat the best Mercedes-AMG, Audi Sport and other BMW models.
A few months ago, the new sports division of Seat launched as planned the Formentor, a new SUV with a more aggressive style than that of its cousin Ateca. Certainly, the machine has something to seduce with its particularly playful features and its beautiful interior presentation. But this facade aggressiveness hides a certain conservatism: under the hood, no surprises to report. In its top-of-the-range version, the Formentor (VZ4) is content to take the same 4-cylinder turbo 2.0-liter 300 horsepower as the Cupra Ateca. With its serious performance but neutral behavior and not very playful, the VZ4 does not go much further than a Volkswagen T-Roc R in terms of sportiness.
The officialization of the Formentor VZ5, unveiled this week, contrasts quite radically with the conservatism of Cupra so far: for the first time in history, the famous 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbo dear to Audi Sport is found installed under the hood of a model from another make of the group. Even better, the performances announced for this Formentor VZ5 have more than enough to eclipse those of an Audi RS Q3 despite its 10 fewer horses (390 horses instead of 400, group hierarchy requires). With a 0 to 100 km / h in 4.2 seconds, it would stick 3 tenths to the heavier Audi RS Q3 (and 5 tenths to the 300 hp Formentor VZ4). But the icing on the cake is in one word: “Drift”.
The perfect ultra-sporty compact family car?
The official release of the Formentor VZ5 indeed speaks of a “Drift” mode. For now, Cupra does not give many details on how its all-wheel drive works. But the presence of this Drift mode very likely means that it is not a classic Haldex system as found on almost all of the powerful compact cars of the Volkswagen group (Audi S3 and RS Q3, Cupra Ateca and Formentor VZ4, Cupra Leon, Audi TT-S and RS …). No, the Formentor VZ5 would thus take over the all-wheel drive architecture inaugurated by the last Volkswagen Golf R. Equipped with a 4-cylinder 320 horsepower, it indeed has a torque vectoring rear differential capable of favoring the rear axle, allowing sliding outings.
The Formentor VZ5 would thus be the only vehicle of the Volkswagen group to combine the extraordinary 5-cylinder Audi Sport with this very sophisticated transmission. What to dream of a piloting rich in sensations, rocked by the magical sound of one of the most beautiful engines on the market and encouraged by a dynamic behavior much more playful than that of the compact sports cars from Audi. On paper, there would therefore be enough to allow the Formentor VZ5 to outclass references like the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S. But that, of course, will have to be checked by trying it …