Cupra Formentor VZ5 gets 385bhp five-cylinder birthday treat

As far as birthday presents go Cupra’s latest gift to itself is a cracker.

To mark its third anniversary the Spanish performance brand has built the Cupra Formentor VZ5 - a five-cylinder, 385bhp version of its hot SUV. And it’s not a selfish one-off, the firm is building 7,000 examples for customers.

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The Formenter is Cupra’s first ground-up car, rather than being based on a model from parent company Seat. Normally the sporty SUV is powered by a 306bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine - like that in VW Golf R. However, for this anniversary model, Cupra has bagged the 2.5-litre five-cylinder unit normally found in things like the Audi RS3 and TT RS.

With 385bhp and 354lb ft, that means the Formentor will reach 62mph in just 4.2 seconds (compared to 4.9 for the 2.0-litre) and on to a top speed of 155mph. Putting that power on the road is an all-wheel-drive system and seven-speed DSG gearbox.

The Formentor’s ride height has been dropped by 10mm over the standard car and the steering retuned. Adaptive dampers offer 15 levels of adjustment, manually configurable or linked to the car’s adaptive chassis control system and five selectable drive modes. Braking is provided by 18-inch six-piston callipers from Akebono - the brand that makes brakes for McLaren and Polestar - hidden behind 20-inch copper coloured alloys.

The brand’s trademark copper finish is carried over to the stacked quad exhaust pipes, brake callipers and interior trim while unique carbon fibre details adorn the exterior, including the rear diffuser and front splitter. A specially designed bonnet, grille and flared wheel arches distinguish the VZ5 from the regular Formentor, along with the option of an exclusive Taiga Grey paint.

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Inside, exclusive CUPBucket sports seats are finished in leather, there’s a new steering wheel, and a special interior finish with graduating graphics featuring a copper spot design will be available.

Cupra hasn’t revealed the price of the Formentor VZ5 yet but has confirmed that the car will make it to the UK. You’ll have to be dedicated though, as all versions will be left-hand-drive.

Werner Tietz, executive vice-president for research and development at Cupra commented: “The Cupra Formentor provides a blank canvas to develop a range of vehicles that maximise driving fun and performance and enhance the attitude of the brand.

“Among them, the VZ5 is the most powerful and sophisticated variant ever created to date and I am convinced that with its exclusive performance elements, it will become a dream for car enthusiasts.”