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Cupra Formentor Ultimate Mods & Upgrades

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The Cupra Formentor is a noteworthy addition to the growing pool of performance-oriented crossover SUVs that combine stunning aesthetics and powerful functionality.

Cupra is a Spanish automaker known for building high-performance versions of SEAT models.

It has recently gained its own identity, and the Formentor is its first standalone model.

Named after the stunning Cape Formentor on the Spanish Island of Mallorca, the Formentor oozes character and passion, much like the exceptional landscapes from which it draws its heritage.

Powering the Formentor is a range of engines, from a 1.5L TSI engine capable of 148bhp to a 2.0L TSI unit boasting 306bhp on the VZ5 model.

The model line-up even includes an e-Hybrid version that combines an electric motor with a 1.4L engine.

While providing solid performance and great looks out the box, you may be on the search for the best ways to modify your Formentor to boost it’s looks and performance. 

If so, you’re at the right place!

In this guide we’ll go over all the best ways to modify and upgrade your Formentor to turn it into a proper head turning monster on the road.

Performance Exhaust

An aftermarket exhaust isn’t just about generating a throatier exhaust note but also improving the Formentor’s overall driveability and harnessing its raw, untamed power.

The exhaust upgrade you go for will depend on what your goals are and whether it is primarily for increased sound or maximum performance. While the two do go hand in hand to some extent, there are different parts of the exhaust you can replace depending on your goals.

For getting a nicer sporty exhaust note, you can go with a “GPF-back” system.

Subtle in idle, yet menacing under load, these system’s can drastically improve the sound of your Formentor. As the name implies, these exhaust systems replace everything after the GPF (Gasoline Particulate Filter). This section is responsible for controlling and muffling the sound of the Formentor. 

These often also come with the options to retain the valves in the exhaust allowing you to change the tone of the exhaust depending what driving mode you are in. 

Non-valved usually works out a bit cheaper however you will lose the ability to change the sound of the exhaust on the go. 

Aside from replacing the GPF section, you can also replace the downpipe and standard catalytic converter with a performance downpipe and high flow sports cat/decat.

Replacing this section will provide the most performance gains as well as increase the sound.

Opting for a performance downpipe will decrease backpressure leading to power gains and a more responsive throttle. 

When replacing the downpipe, you have the option of a decat system or a sports cat system. A decat system is simply a straight through pipe and is usually cheaper however won’t pass emission testing.

A sports cat will allow your Formentor to remain road legal while still providing a more free flowing route for exhaust gasses. 

GPF-Back Exhaust

Cupra Formentor

Downpipe & Sports Cat

Cupra Formentor

Aftermarket Air Intake

Aftermarket air intakes systems, often a desirable upgrade for car enthusiasts, not only contribute to a more aggressive engine sound but can also enhance performance.

The first noticeable impact of an aftermarket air intake is the deep throaty growl you get on the throttle. Paired with an aftermarket exhaust this can sound especially nice. 

On top of this, you will also be able to hear the turbo spooling a lot better.

A high quality air intake can also improve performance by providing the engine with a larger volume of freer-flowing cooler air.

Many owners will report a more responsive throttle as a result of this.

Whether you need that burst of acceleration for overtaking or enjoy more spirited driving sessions, an aftermarket intake system can make your Formentor feel more lively.

The MST intake is a great piece of kit and comes with dyno proven gains of up to 12bhp.

If you don’t want to go for a full air intake system, then you also go for a K&N filter. These filters are aimed at increasing performance while retaining the stock airbox. They simply slot inside the standard airbox replacing the factory paper ones and are a cheaper alternative to a full intake system. 

MST Intake

Cupra Formentor


Upgrading your Cupra Formentor’s potency with an engine remap is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve power output without breaking the bank.

By adjusting variables such as air-fuel mixture, turbo boost pressure, and ignition timing, the remap significantly increase the horsepower and torque, delivering a more thrilling drive.

Unlike mechanical upgrades, an engine remap doesn’t entail the purchase of pricey components or labour-intensive installations.

Yet, it greatly betters the performance in just a fraction of the cost.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the expected power gains on a couple of the different models.

On the 2.0L TSI model that produces 306bhp in standard form, you can gain over 50bhp from a remap alone which is impressive.

On the 1.5TSI model that makes 150bhp from the factory you can get over 25bhp gains.

For best results, find a local tuner who has a rolling road/dyno who can perform a bespoke remap as these will produce the most reliable results.

If there isn’t a tuner near you who can remap your Formentor, then you can also look into a tuning box. 

RaceChip are popular suppliers of these and these can be fitted yourself to produce more power and torque.

Contrary to what many believe, remaps are often detectable by manufacturers when the car is in for servicing so if your Formentor is under warranty then a remap or tuning box may void this. Just keep this in mind and check the terms and conditions of the warranty to be sure. 

Wheel Spacers

Wheel spacers are a simple and popular upgrade to bring the wheels in line with the body of the Formentor.

By widening the car’s track, spacers alter the stance of the Formentor, filling in the arches better and providing a more aggressive, poised and assertive look.

The spacers you go for will depend on your wheel setup and the ride height on the car.

When shopping for spacers, go with a reliable brand to ensure reliability. 

20mm front and rear is a common size that owners go for when looking to bring the wheels in line with the body. 

You can purchase spacers for the Formentor below.

20mm Wheel Spacers

For the Cupra Formentor

Lowering Springs

At first thought, lowering springs are seen to contradict the overall purpose of an SUV. 

However, they can be a great way to improve the handling and lower the stance of your Formentor if that is the look you are after.

By reducing the visible gap between the tire and wheel fender, installing these springs gives the car  a lowered, ‘hunkered-down’ look. This sleek and sporty appearance appeals to many enthusiast owners who want their Formentor to stand out aesthetically.

Additionally, lowering springs can improve the car’s performance in certain ways. The reduced centre of gravity can decrease body roll during swift turns and enhance the car’s overall stability.

The most common concern by those considering lowering springs tends to be sacrificing comfort which the Formentor is known for. 

Fitting a high quality set of lowering springs shouldn’t make the ride quality too much stiffer and you should still be able to retain much of the OEM comfort.

Eibach and H&R are reputable manufacturers of lowering springs who both make sets for the Formentor. 

These springs tend to lower the car between 20mm and 30mm which is a nice subtle drop.

Eibach Lowering Springs

Cupra Formentor

H&R Lowering Springs

Cupra Formentor

Front Splitter/Lip

The addition of a front splitter gives the Cupra Formentor an extra edge of aggressiveness, making it stand out even more on the road.

In harmony with Cupra’s design philosophy, the front splitter accentuates the Formentor’s front end and sharp lines.

Beyond the undeniable visual benefits, a front splitter reduces front-end lift, increasing downforce and enhancing stability under high speed manoeuvring. 

There are different options out there depending on what look and what size of splitter you want. 

Maxton have created a bespoke front splitter designed specifically for the Formentor that looks really nice and sharp.

It comes made from ABS plastic and comes in black. This black can create a nice contrast to the body colour of the car or if you have a black Formentor then it can blend in nicely.

If you want it paint matched to the colour of the car then a layer of primer will need to be applied first.

If you’re not a fan of the Maxton style splitter, then you can also get a universal front splitter which are available in different sizes and designs.

These will obviously need a bit of trimming and cutting to get fitted and mounted correctly, so keep this in mind. 

Maxton Front Splitter

Cupra Formentor

Finishing Thoughts

The Cupra Formentor is a fantastic vehicle straight off the lot, but with the right modifications, it can become truly exceptional.

From enhancing the overall performance with an ECU remap, to styling improvements with spacers and a front splitter, these mods raise the bar for this model.

It’s important to consider your trim and spec of Formentor – especially for exterior mods. Sometimes less is more, and certain mods might better complement your Formentor than others.

Happy modding!