Currently reading: Cupra Leon and Formentor get bespoke new look
Model range refresh brings revised styling and improved technology to make Cupra more distinct from Seat

Cupra has grafted a new face onto the Formentor and Leon to better distinguish its line-up from that of sibling brand Seat, while introducing a new range-topping engine with 329bhp. 

The new ‘shark-nose’ front end brings the crossover and hatchback/estate into line with the upcoming Terramar SUV and gives the Spanish brand’s ICE cars a clearer familial link.

Key to the look is a prominent beak that tops a broader grille, while the lights are now triangular-shaped LED units.

In addition, the rear Cupra badge on each car is now illuminated.

Cupra’s debut model, the Ateca SUV, hasn't been included in this refresh, but given that it's based on an eight-year-old Seat model, it's likely to be retired soon.

Inside the Leon and Formentor, Cupra has pushed to improve sustainability.

The cloth upholstery on the optional bucket seats is now made from a 73%-recycled vegan textile, for example, while the leather is claimed to be “environmentally conscious”.

The models also gain a larger (12.9in) infotainment touchscreen, which runs new operating software that's said to offer improved personalisation and responsiveness.

The touch-sensitive sliders for the audio volume and cabin temperature are now backlit, too.

Under the skin, the Leon and Formentor are said to have been tuned for a sportier dynamic character to go with their upgraded powertrains.

The headliner for each car is the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine from the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R, which sends 329bhp to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. 

The Haldex differential has been swapped for a torque splitter with a multi-plate clutch at either end of the driveshaft to vary the power delivery across the rear axle.

For the Leon, however, this powertrain is exclusive to the estate. The range-topping five-door hatchback instead sends 296bhp through its front wheels.

The two plug-in hybrid powertrains – with outputs of 201bhp and 268bhp – have had their battery capacities boosted from 13kWh to 19.7kWh. That increases their electric-only range from an official 37 miles to a claimed 62 miles.

Maximum charging speed has also been improved to 50kW.

Deliveries of the new Leon and Formentor will begin this summer, with prices for both likely to start from around the £35,000 mark.


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Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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catnip 30 April 2024

Who'd have thought that in 2024, illuminated heater controls would be something to shout about on your 'new' model.