While it may not have the catchiest name, it does preview Cupra’s first standalone model

SEAT’s 2019 Geneva International Motor Show stand was abuzz with activity this year, most of which was focused around a design study premiere, the Cupra Formentor concept. However, it’s not really a concept at all and it actually previews the first Cupra-badged model not to be shared with the SEAT parent brand.

Cupra Formentor Concept steals the show at SEAT's Geneva stand
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It also previews that model’s means of motivation - the concept runs a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 242 horsepower that we’ve seen before in the Skoda Vision RS Concept. It pairs a 148 horsepower 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder and the rest all the way to 242 horses is provided by an electric motor.

Claimed range on electricity alone is 50 km or around 30 miles.

Cupra hasn’t officially ruled out adding more power to the Formentor package, so that will hopefully happen in the future - 242 horsepower doesn’t really do its sporty, elegant design and styling justice, now does it? The VW group does have more powerful plug-in hybrid powertrains at its disposal, so it’s not out of the question.

It promises to be good around bends too, thanks to adaptive suspension, variable rate steering and a locking differential to help put the power down.

Cupra Formentor Concept steals the show at SEAT's Geneva stand
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The thing with the Formentor is that while it is being touted as the first proper model under the Cupra crest, there may even be SEAT-branded versions of it in the future, probably cheaper versions with lower spec and power outputs. But that would defy the purpose of it being created specifically for the Cupra brand and would dilute it before it’s even had a chance to prove its mettle.

Once this vehicle hits the market in production form, it will face an entire galaxy of talented plug-in hybrid crossover rivals, although most of the ones that are the same size as it arent’ actually electrified, or if they are they are not performance minded.

Only real rivals will probably have to be the BMW X30 with the new 30e plug-in hybrid powertrain that was revealed and detailed in Geneva and maybe the Lexus RX450H.
Cupra Formentor Concept steals the show at SEAT's Geneva stand
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The model is expected to go on sale in production form sometime in 2020, although the production version will have to be revealed first.

Further reading

2019 Cupra Formentor Concept
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Read our full review on the 2019 Cupra Formentor Concept.

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