January 22, 2021

The age of the CUV: introducing the CUPRA Formentor

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SEAT

The first model exclusively designed and developed for CUPRA

  • With the CUPRA Formentor, the brand has chosen a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) as its first model, a major challenge for the development and design team
  • The main appeal of this segment is how it combines the sportiness of a compact with the roominess and versatility of an SUV, which merge in the Formentor thanks to its studied proportions and the precision achieved in the chassis and suspension settings
  • The CUPRA Formentor can now be reserved and the first units are going to reach dealers later this month

Martorell, 21/10/2020. – If there is one segment that has been growing exponentially over the last 10 years it is the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) segment. Versatility, greater height and an attractive design have made this segment a customer favourite.

But the automotive world always goes further and explores new paths. This is the case with the rise in popularity of CUVs (Crossover Utility Vehicles), the combination of an SUV and a compact. Estimations say that this segment will represent around 500,000 units in 2028. Discover below what lies behind this segment and why the CUPRA Formentor is destined to be one of its major players.

– What is a CUV? It’s a car with the roominess of an SUV and the sportiness of a compact. This is the case with the CUPRA Formentor, the brand’s first fully exclusive model. “The SUV segment is booming and we saw that we could deliver something different by successfully transmitting our CUPRA DNA, such as sportiness and dynamism. That’s why we made this CUV, which has all the positive aspects of SUVs, but also adds that touch of the sports car or compact”, says Carlos Galindo, head of Product Marketing at CUPRA.

– Its reason for being. The choice of starting out on this independent path with a CUV is a true declaration of intent on how CUPRA aims to contribute to the world of cars and especially SUVs. The key was to create the ideal fusion between comfort and sportiness. “To create this concept in the CUV, what we wanted was a higher driving position that would enable you to master the road, but close enough to the ground to allow for sporty driving and maintain that connection you have with the asphalt” adds CUPRA Technical Director Marta Almuni.

– Its volumes. One of the key reasons for the increase in sales of these models was the need to have more space and a higher driving position, without detracting from their design and sportiness.  “Proportions are very important in the design of any vehicle, but in this one they were key to achieving the effect we were looking for.” Alberto Torrecillas, a designer with the CUPRA exterior design team, was clear about this from the start of the project. The exact balance had to be found so that the brand’s first model would stand out from the rest. “It had to be something unique, sophisticated. The CUPRA Formentor features characteristically muscular yet athletic proportions. Even with its generous dimensions, it is still lightweight and this was achieved thanks to a very elaborate design that was a challenge for everyone” explains Albert.

– Its finishes and trim. Styling its interior and exterior was the work of the Color&Trim team, led by Francesca Sangalli. Here the challenge was twofold: on the one hand, to design a new colour palette that would identify the brand, and on the other, that it would also be suitable for a CUV. “Colours are very important to identify the character of a brand. Each colour has its own personality, expresses a different attitude, and the ones we created for the first model exclusively designed and developed for CUPRA reflect an authentic personality, the CUPRA DNA” says Francesca.

– Its soul. To give it an even greater sense of sportiness, the engineering team had two collaborators who know what it’s like to experience a car – race drivers Mattias Ekström and Jordi Gené. “We worked hard to get the right settings and adjustments of the chassis, suspension, steering and engine. We tested everything with the race drivers, who helped us to ensure that the car has the cornering precision we wanted and the accelerator pedal reactivity we were looking for to convey emotions”, says Marta Almuni.

Sensations are also transmitted by the standard body-hugging bucket seats and the adaptive chassis. In addition, “you can select the driving modes on the steering wheel because we want you to be able to keep your hands on the wheel either to start the car, select the driving mode or to change gears” concludes Marta.

CUPRA’s first CUV in figures

4,450 mm long

1,839 mm wide

1,511 mm high

9 colours

R-EPS progressive steering

Independent front suspension

7 speeds

19” alloy wheels

Brembo brakes

Petrol Blue leather bucket seats

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