You are here
The Cupra Formentor VZ5 will come to Britain
Cupra’s R&D boss says VZ5 will come to the UK, but only in LHD
Cupra’s third birthday present to itself, the five-cylinder Formentor VZ5, will be sold in Britain after all. The company’s R&D boss, Dr Werner Tietz, said the 385bhp crossover would “definitely” be sold in the UK, but only in left-hand drive.
The UK is Cupra’s second-biggest market behind Germany (and, curiously, ahead of its native Spain), so to deprive us of its fastest and warbliest car to date would have been an odd move. However refusing to build any in correct-hand drive is a weird one. Dr Tietz says “if you buy a British race car in Germany, it is right-hand drive. [The VZ5 is] a Spanish car, a halo car for Cupra, so I think it’s OK we just offer it in left-hand drive”.
But the Formentor VZ5 isn’t a race car – it’s a family-friendly crossover. Admittedly one with almost 400bhp and brakes from the same company that did the McLaren P1’s, but a crossover all the same. A car you’ll want to use every day, not just Sunday mornings. Not offering it in right-hand drive massively restricts its appeal to only the most hardcore Cupra enthusiasts, who are happy to forgo practicality for exclusivity/power (and pay a premium for the privilege). Question is, will it feel special enough to justify the inconvenience?
The engine, borrowed from Audi, ought to help here. “We are all friends in the group, and friends help friends!” says Dr Tietz, when we ask how Cupra managed to convince Audi to loosen its grip on the inline-five. “The concept of the Formentor is a unique one, there is no other car in the group that is offering this concept. It’s a low seating position, with a CUV character. And this combination is unique so there is no competition.”
“We discussed with Audi and they agreed to supply the engine to us so we could develop the car with our unique setup.” Audi currently offers the five-cylinder engine in the RSQ3, which could be seen as a Formentor VZ5 competitor. It costs from around £51,000. No word from Cupra yet on how much the VZ5 will cost in the UK (the 2.0-litre 306bhp car costs from £40,000), nor on how many of the 7,000 cars it plans to build will be set aside for us.
More as we have it.