Traditionally, Seat tried to pitch itself as the dynamic badge of the Volkswagen Group (remember Volkswagen's answer to Alfa Romeo?), but I’m not sure it ever really managed it. So here comes Cupra to, perhaps, do the job instead. We’ll see.
It’s clearly serious about the Cupra project, because it has gone to the lengths of launching its own vehicle. At least, a vehicle as different as a Volkswagen Group car gets; we’re not talking Alpine A110 levels of differentiation.
The Formentor sits on the MQB architecture, from which the Cupra Ateca crossover already hangs, and this is even more cross or over – whichever means it’s lower. It’s as much a tall hatchback as a short SUV, with its height of 1511mm being a full 150mm less than the Ateca and only around 50mm more than the Cupra Leon.
If anything, it has the vibe of an Audi Allroad or Volvo XC model or, when you gaze at the silvery plastic that runs around the bottom rim of the body, perhaps even the Subaru Forester, a car to which we’ll return.
The bodywork appears far more cab-rearward than on most Volkswagen Group SUVs and crossovers, there’s a long bonnet and, in this colour and with these surfaces, it looks as much like a Mazda as much as anything else. And I’ll admit that I quite like it.
Our test car came with a 306bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a drivetrain familiar to those who know the Ateca, Leon or Volkswagen Golf R.