• Apr 2nd 2008 at 11:39AM
  • 26
Click image for a high-res gallery of the new SEAT Ibiza

SEAT, the Spanish manufacturer owned by Volkswagen, teased Geneva Motor Show visitors this year with the 3-door Bocanegra concept car. Today it unveiled the production version, which, as expected, takes on the Ibiza nameplate. The attractive 5-door had a lot of work done at the plastic surgeon's office, as the old car's bland lines have been transformed completely. Flat is definitely out, and the pair of diagonal character lines first shown on Bocanegra now adorn the new compact. In front, the Ibiza wears a new face -- one that European shoppers should get used to, as it's likely to trickle through to other SEATs over time. The most obvious change is the wider, more traditional-looking grille, which helps to mainstream the SEAT's appearance compared to the quirky faces you'll find on some of its stablemates.

UPDATE: New high-res images added to gallery

[Source: SEAT]

New SEAT IbizaInside, you'll find a clean, attractive translation of the Bocanegra concept's passenger cabin. The Ibiza's obviously adds vents and accessories, but the underlying shapes are essentially unchanged, and the switchgear looks to be of typical VW/Audi quality. There's also more room inside than the outgoing car offered. Power comes from a selection of low-displacement gasoline engines at launch, ranging from a 70 PS 1.2L 3-cylinder to an 85 PS 1.4L four, and culminating with a 102 PS 1.6-liter. Drivers have the option of snickety-snicking through the gears via Veedub's new 7-speed DSG, and diesel aficionados needn't worry: the inevitable TDI engines will arrive later on. SEAT notes that this is the first of many changes it has planned, so look for this brand overhaul to continue for the forseeable future. We'd say it's off to a good start.


Today, 2nd April, the covers come off the most important new model in Spanish car maker SEAT's recent history with the unveiling of the all-new Ibiza five-door supermini.

The newcomer's dramatic debut, at the firm's Martorell HQ near Barcelona, marks the start of a major product offensive from the ambitious Spanish brand which will, over the coming months, also see the debut of further Ibiza variants, as well as striking new saloon and estate contenders in the upper medium segment.

All-new from the wheels up, and designed to reinforce SEAT's position as a leader in the supermini sector, the bigger, better new Ibiza five-door has a range of 'big car' features to match its sharp styling.

The work of renowned ex-Lamborghini stylist Luc Donckerwolke, the new car offers a variety of class-leading options such as the availability of a new seven-speed DSG automatic/sequential manual gearbox, Hill Hold Assist, front fog lights with side illumination (cornering) function and combined AUX-IN/USB connectivity for all manner of music devices.

Longer than the current model – the new Ibiza breasts the tape at 4.05 m, versus the existing car's 3.97 m – it's markedly more capacious, too, with improved rear seat legroom and a significantly larger and more practical boot space which, at 292 litres with rear seats in place, is comfortably the largest in the supermini class.

Sitting on a new version of the renowned Ibiza 'Agile Chassis', with wider front and rear tracks (30 mm and 33 mm respectively) the new car looks and feels even more 'planted', and delivers both a composed ride and class-leading, sporty handling.

Debuting with a range of potent, proven powerplants, the Ibiza five-door promises both strong performance and outstanding economy. Beneath the bonnet, this front-wheel drive motor will initially offer three petrol engine options: either a characterful 1.2-litre three cylinder 70 PS; flexible 1.4-litre 85 PS four cylinder or sporty 1.6-litre four cylinder 102 PS.

All three come mated as standard to a sweet-shifting five-speed manual gearbox, and all have undergone engineering modifications to ensure emissions fall comfortably below 160 g/km.

SEAT's success in offering sporty yet frugal diesel cars naturally means a raft of sophisticated direct-injection TDI Ibiza five-doors will debut in due course, too.

Safety and security have both been key considerations in the development of the new car, with the likes of new head and thorax-focused front side airbags, and the extensive availability of ESP and TCS.

Welcoming the unveiling of the new car, Head of SEAT UK Peter Wyhinny said: 'The debut of the spectacular new Ibiza is the clearest sign yet that SEAT is serious about putting enviable quality and state-of-the-art technology alongside sporting 'auto emoción' as the cornerstones of the Brand.

'With the debut of this distinctive and clearly design-led five-door we are embarking on a major development of the SEAT range, with plenty more to come in the months ahead!'

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Has the stench of Bangle all over the sides of it.

      Not good.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Definitely looks like its been hit with the Bangle stick.
      • 7 Years Ago
      not too bad looking, i would consider one if i were in that market. to me it has a hyundai looking nose, with a mazda3 shape, which obvioulsy has many clones. maybe the 3 wasn't the originator but it is the design that is copied now. even the rear shoulder has a crease like the mps. now that i look more, kind of a Z4/1-series line coming from the edge of the headlight back to the rear door.

      dash layout looks to me like a cross between civic and golf.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Another Mazda3 knockoff. This one looks more like an Impreza/WRX though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unsuccessful redesign if you ask me. The front is awkward looking and the back design is lumpy. The current version's styling isn't the last word in exciting but at least it is a clean design. The interior isn't a huge improvement over the current car, either. It looks cheap. Expect it will drive reasonably well, though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mazda3 knockoff? No! This is Polo knockoff!!!

      Polo = Ibiza
      Golf = Leon
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seat just launched their new game with Seat Cupra Leon http://tlink.as/seatgamesbl
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess after this redesign, previous models' prices will skyrocket in second hand. Previous model was one of the most original and handsome designs in the history. However this must be one of the most boring ones. This is worse then the infamous impreza redesign...
        • 7 Years Ago
        OK early-in-the-morning-stupidness, please disregard my previous comment. I was totally thinking of Leon. Although it doesn't look very beautiful, it is still a progress from the current Ibiza...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like the front of a Hyundai Elantra.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not a Hyundai.

        A BMW. A BMW that Chris Bangle dreamed up during a nightmare induced by a very spicy Mexican dinner made with pork that had turned, rotten tomatoes, and washed down with way too much tequila.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I see some Ford kinetic design here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love the new interior. Looks quite sporty, with good fit & finish, but the front end styling is puzzling to me.

      I love it from the side and rear, but the front rubs me the wrong way. Like a beautiful man from the neck down, but the face...
      • 7 Years Ago
      sometimes I hate the whole 'concept car', er, concept; concepts always show us these gorgeous, progressive ideas that never make it to production, and in fact make the production version of the same car look bland in comparison (eg bocanegra concept vs the above). Hopefully someday we will get less outrageous show cars, so that we are less let down when the production shows up.

      but that's just my $0.02
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Bocanegra shown at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show is at 90 to 95% how the Cupra model will look when it is released between late 2008 and early 2009. The first model to come out (the one you see on the picture) is the 5 door model, later follows the 3 door and at last the Cupra.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Serious? Seat's a part of VAG, and I'd challenge you to come up with any company who produces a greater amount of concept cars less molested in final form, TT (MKI and II), Beetle, R8, etc etc. I share your sentiment, especially when being tempted with cars like the MEFourTwelve, and Firepower and receiving cars like the sebring instead. But VAG has the best track record I've seen thus far. I’m not sure anyone realized how production feasible the LeMans concept was when it debuted. So yes, while this one might have fallen far from the tree, I’m struggling to find someone other then VAG who’s produced more production cars as true to their concepts.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Surprisingly good looking, in my opinion.
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