The Cupra Formentor VZ5 is a car that has a story to tell, as it is quite unusual in messing up the usually rigid hierarchies within the Volkswagen Group. While it is not a mystery that dozens of very different cars belonging to various brands are born and born from the MQB platform, on the other it is known that certain key components remain specific to a brand and therefore escape this logic. sharing. This is the case of the 5-cylinder in-line turbo petrol engine, which has been one of the pillars of Audi tradition since the early Eighties and which has never ended up under the hood of a German group car that did not have four rings on the bodywork. Here, the Formentor VZ5 has dispelled this taboo and declares it openly in the acronym after its name, where the five follows the contraction of “Veloz” which does not need translation. Moreover, only 7,000 units of this VZ5 will be produced for the global market, to which the 1,000 of this special Taiga Gray version must be added.
Returning instead to the “straight five” of Ingolstadt, the only price Cupra had to pay Audi to use it, are 10 HP and 20 Nm less than the configuration used on the RS3 Sportback. Considering the 390 hp and 480 Nm total of the VZ5, it is practically a trifle, a kind of habit to leave the round figure to the “donor”. Obviously, the transmission and four-wheel drive are also the same as the Audi hot hatch, and it is a great luck because the new scheme includes the torque splitter; this actively distributes the torque between the rear wheels in a totally variable way, defining oversteer behavior, even in excess if necessary. The rear differential uses two electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutches: one for each semi-axle at the rear: when cornering, the system distributes the thrust between the rear wheels, favoring the external one, which has the greatest grip. If it were not yet clear, with the Formentor VZ5 you can perform perfect drifting, especially by selecting the Drift mode.
But that this Cupra is a high-performance and fun car, it is immediately clear. From any angle you look at it, it sends a clear message that speed is its job. At the front, the large grilles seem to want to devour the air, while the muscular sides end in the tail where the extractor and the double vertical twin exhaust stand out, creating a hoarse and guttural sound; the widened wheel arches and the carbon fiber front side splitter that channel the air into the intercoolers are also very nice. All this without counting the details such as 20-inch alloy wheels and 18-inch Akebono brake calipers with six-piston calipers. Inside the ergonomics borders on perfection, once the seat has been adjusted you feel wrapped like a glove. Attention to detail is obsessive, with copper-colored profiles embellishing various areas of the passenger compartment. The precious pieces are undoubtedly the racing steering wheel and the 12.3-inch infotainment system display, which works in synergy with the 10.25-inch digital instrumentation.
Then there are also the small attention, like the key which has the perfect shape to enter the small glove box to the left of the gear lever. Once in motion, even when speeds rise – the maximum is limited to 250 km / h and the sprint from 0 to 100 km / h takes 4.2 seconds – the ride of this Cupra is always fluid and intuitive, accompanied by a always present feeling of security. The feature that most amazed us is the balance between comfort and performance, which makes it seem like a superior category. The credit for all this also goes to the electronically controlled adaptive suspension (they have fifteen levels of adjustment) and the progressive steering, while the suspension has been lowered by 1 cm, compared to the already very sporty one of the 310 HP Veloz. . All this, however, has to be paid for, with the price list of the limited series Taiga Gray that exceeds 70,000 euros.
Cupra Formentor VZ5, the card
What is that: the sportier and more performing version of the Spanish crossover
Dimensions: length 4.45 meters, width 1.85 m height 1.51 m, pitch 2.68 m
Trunk: 410 liters
Motor: 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbo petrol, 390 hp at 5,700 rpm and 480 Nm at 2,250 rpm
Exchange: automatic 7-speed double clutch
Traction: whole wheat
Benefits: performance, driving pleasure, finishes, style
Defects: lower part of the anonymous dashboard, high price
Production: Martorell, Spain
Prices: The list prices of the Cupra Formentor VZ5 start at 66,700 euros, for the limited series Taiga Gray they go up to 71,250 euros