SEAT Ibiza FR TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery

Once upon a time, "diesel" was a codeword for slow. And slow as they were, there was no way of getting around that. But things are different today, thanks in no small part to the diesel gurus in the Volkswagen group, arguably chief among them SEAT.

The Spanish automaker recently bowed out of the World Touring Car Championship after winning two seasons in a row with its Leon TDI. But that doesn't mean SEAT's giving up on the idea of the fast diesel, and to that end has just announced its latest oil-burning hot hatch.

The Ibiza FR TDI mirrors its gasoline counterpart, but packs a turbodiesel punch. With its 141-horsepower force-fed four, the Ibiza FR TDI hits 60 in 8.2 seconds and tops out at 130 miles per hour, all the while returning 62.7 mpg on the European combined cycle and emitting just 119 g/km of CO2. The power's kept in check with SEAT's trick XDS electronic differential and electronic stability control, available with three doors or five. Details in the press release after the jump, photos in the gallery below.


Related Gallery2010 SEAT Ibiza FR TDI

[Source: SEAT]
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PRESS RELEASE

19 January 2010
SPICY NEW SEAT IBIZA FR TURBODIESEL DEBUTS

Continuing the relentless product offensive that in 2009 helped SEAT to an all-time record UK market share of 1.50% (source: SMMT) the sporty Spanish car maker is starting 2010 with yet more exciting new models.

First among these and sure to pique the interest of style- and cost-conscious drivers alike comes an important addition to the Ibiza range in the shape of the Ibiza FR TDI, available in either sporty SC or practical 5dr bodystyles with prices starting at just £16,465 RRP.

Available to order now at SEAT dealerships nationwide with deliveries set to begin in March, the diesel-powered extension to the already impressive Ibiza FR offering underlines SEAT's commitment to the burgeoning diesel hot hatch class.

The new car's turbocharged diesel engine is good for a muscular 143 PS – enough to carry it from rest to 62 mph in only 8.2 seconds (8.3 seconds 5dr) and thence onward to a top speed of 130 mph where legal (129 mph 5dr).

Linked as standard to a smooth and precise six-speed manual gearbox the state-of-the-art common rail diesel is fully Euro V-compliant and, in this application, helps the Ibiza to record not only exceptional performance but also remarkable economy.

The fast yet frugal FR TDI is capable of returning 62.7 mpg on the EU's official combined cycle and the car records an official CO2 figure of just 119 g/km, making it the tax efficient choice both in terms of road fund licence and business drivers' benefit in kind liabilities.

The option of a 5dr FR, as well as the familiar SC bodystyle which helps SEAT's petrol-powered hot hatch turn so many heads, means the diesel version is set to have even broader appeal and will doubtless get the attention of drivers looking for a touch more practicality with their auto emoción.

As is customary in today's SEATs, the Ibiza FR TDI arrives packed to the gunwales with attractive, useful and downright fun equipment.

Standard specification in the newcomer includes climate control, ESP with SEAT's clever new XDS electronic 'virtual' limited slip differential and, of course, exclusive FR detailing inside and out.

SEAT UK's Ibiza Product Manager, Andy McGregor, said: 'The arrival of the Ibiza FR TDI signals our intention to make SEAT a leader in the supermini sector.

'The exceptional success of the Leon FR TDI – it's the best-selling model in the entire Leon range – proves beyond doubt that we understand the needs of today's hot hatch fans. The outstanding economy, and performance, offered by these new Ibiza FR TDI models means these cars, too, should power to the top of their class.'