Cupra Formentor VZ5 to feature rear-axle torque splitter


The VZ5, the high-performance version of Cupra’s Formentor crossover SUV, has been confirmed to include torque-splitter technology on the rear axle, and an all-new drift mode. The electro-hydraulic, fully variable torque-splitter system uses two separate clutches to enable independent torque control at each rear wheel. The splitter can shift the power from the Formentor’s 390hp 2.5-litre TSI five-cylinder engine between the rear wheels (whichever is on the outside) during cornering.

The multi-plate clutch pack has its own ECU that constantly analyses wheel speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, yaw angle, steering angle, accelerator pedal position and the selected gear. The required amount of torque is sent to the wheel with the most load in order to ensure greater turn-in speed and stability mid-corner.

Cupra’s engineers are so confident in the Formentor’s existing chassis system and the torque splitter technology, that they have also introduced a Drift Mode. In this mode, the electronic stability control (ESC) is completely disconnected and the torque-splitter technology directs full power to the outside rear wheel when needed, helping push the car around corners with the full 480Nm of torque generated by the engine.

Drift Mode joins the pre-existing range of driving modes – Comfort, Sport, Cupra, Individual and Offroad – which offer pre-set configurations that adjust the throttle response and gearbox, the steering, the suspension, the torque splitter and the ESC.

“The CUPRA Formentor VZ5 is the most powerful and sophisticated variant of the high-performance crossover SUV ever created,” said Dr Werner Tietz, EVP for R&D at Cupra and SEAT. “With the addition of the torque splitter and the new Drift Mode, car enthusiasts will be able to experience the ultimate in terms of driving dynamics on closed tracks.”

The VZ5 has a limited production run of 7,000 units, all of which will be left-hand drive.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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