Seat IBX Concept

If you're traveling overseas and happen upon a Seat showroom, you can expect to see a lot of lift-gates. You'll see them on city cars, hatchbacks, wagons and minivans, but with the sole exception of the rebadged old Audi A4 they call the Exeo – which is available as either a sedan or, again, as a wagon – they've all got hatches at the back, not trunks. The one thing it's been missing is an SUV or crossover, but that's just what the Spanish automaker has in the works.

Seat revealed a concept crossover called the IBX at the Geneva Motor Show way back in 2011, but now it's putting it (or something like it) into production. The model is being developed by Seat at its headquarters in Martorell, and will hit European showrooms in 2016. Little in the way of details were disclosed in the official announcement below, but you can bet that the Seat sport-ute, whatever it will be called, will share much from the Volkswagen Group parts bin. In particular, it's almost certain to use a lot of parts used in the Q3 that Seat builds for Audi in Spain.
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SEAT will have its first-ever SUV

Martorell, 26/03/2014. - SEAT will have a compact SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) in its product line-up after working on its design and development for almost two years. Marketing of the model will begin in 2016.

"This is an excellent piece of news, since it takes SEAT into a new territory, in one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the world", declared SEAT Chairman Jürgen Stackmann today in the Annual Results Press Presentation. He added "the SUV is an important pillar in the future corporate strategy and is a major step forward on the road to reaching sustainable profitability for the company."

The SUV decision is a clear sign of the Volkswagen Group's commitment to the Spanish brand. The new model means achieving a foothold in a growing segment that represents close to one million cars per year in Europe alone, one that has increased more than 40% over the past five years, and will continue to grow in the future. Moreover, its future marketing implies the further broadening of SEAT's product range, enabling the brand to maintain its current growth momentum, following the successful launch of the Leon family, which is receiving numerous accolades and awards across Europe.

The new SUV will be developed by the SEAT Technical Centre at Martorell, a unique hub of excellence in southern Europe with more than 900 engineers dedicated to innovation.