The Geneva Motor Show is in high gear, and Volkswagen subsidiary SEAT has no intentions of sitting on the sidelines during the massive European show, as the IBX crossover clearly illustrates.
The IBX was penned to show the Spanish brand's future design direction, as well as the company's commitment to environmentally friendly technology. Power for the front-wheel-drive concept comes from a Chevrolet Volt-like mixture of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery pack. SEAT hasn't provided many details about the powertrain, only mentioning that the vehicle could travel 45 kilometers (28 miles) on an electricity alone, with the range-extending gas or diesel engine kicking in once electro-juice is exhausted. SEAT says that the engine could come courtesy of one of the gas or diesel offerings already available in its lineup.
On the design front, this little ute's two-door design carries some coupe-inspired lines while still
aiming for the roominess of a crossover. The overall form is clean and attractive, if a bit nondescript (an impression no doubt enhanced by its relentlessly white paint). Chief designer Luc Donckerwolke says in the company's press release that the IBX represents the footprint of future SEAT design, adding that "this design DNA will have a profound impact on every one of our models." Hit the jump to read over the official press release, and peruse the high-res images of the IBX concept by clicking on the galleries below.
Live photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL
This stunning urban sports utility vehicle concept combines the powerful character and sporty design language of the Spanish brand with a self-confident look and distinctive proportions.
The SEAT IBX also boasts exceptional utility and outstanding versatility, as well as sustainable mobility through resource conservation. Its drive would come from an advanced hybrid powertrain that combines local zero-emissions electromobility in the city with the extensive cross-country range of an internal combustion engine.
In laying the groundwork for SEAT's innovative new design language, the compact IBE electric sports coupé from last year met with enormous positive feedback. The IBX now demonstrates the evolutionary development of this new genetic code from SEAT Design in a completely different vehicle architecture – an exciting crossover between SUV and sports coupé.
The sporty alternative in the SUV segment
Measuring 4.26 metres long, the SEAT IBX expands Europe's extremely successful compact SUV segment with a dynamic and unique design alternative. And with its combination of compact dimensions and wide-ranging versatility, the IBX is the perfect fit for an active lifestyle in urban areas.
James Muir, President of SEAT, S.A. said: 'With the IBX, we are once again demonstrating just how intensively we are working on the renewal of the SEAT brand, and how determined we are to develop for the future.
'The IBX represents the values of the SEAT brand perfectly – with its unique design, its youthful energy and its outstanding sustainability as a result of its hybrid drive concept. Even though a decision has yet to be taken, we could certainly envisage the IBX as a future expansion of our product portfolio.'
Design – pure precision and sporting finesse
Following the IBE from 2010, the IBX offers a further, extremely promising insight into the ongoing development of the SEAT Design world. The pure forms, the precise lines and the exact surfaces of the IBX convey the same distinctive design language that, in its modernity, sustains and strengthens the SEAT identity.
As the first evolution of this new design line, the IBX demonstrates just how well this design language works in combination with a completely different vehicle architecture and significantly larger dimensions. In its proportions, the IBX is a sports utility vehicle, but in its appearance it is clearly a sports coupé – it is hard to imagine a more accurate expression of the word 'crossover'.
'The IBX was created from the gene pool of our next vehicle generation. This design DNA will have a profound impact on every one of our models,' said SEAT Chief Designer Luc Donckerwolke.
'With this urban sports utility vehicle we are proving that with our design, our sporty pedigree and our youthful character, we can also create a vehicle concept that is unique among SUVs.'
Compact format with powerful proportions
At a length of 4.26 metres, the SEAT IBX is relatively compact. However, its width of 1.80 metres and height of 1.62 metres ensure powerful proportions. And even though the IBX possesses the full versatility and utility of an SUV, with its two doors, stretched roofline and distinctive rear roof pillar it forms the perfect crossover between sports utility vehicle and classic sports coupé.
The front of the SEAT IBX is defined by full LED technology headlamps that are as sophisticated as they are distinctive. They display the characteristic V that is a hallmark of the SEAT arrow design. The entire front end bears this arrow shape, with radiator grille and bonnet also picking up the V-form.
The surfaces above the wheel arches are clearly accentuated in their lines like carefully toned, sinuous muscle. Equally distinctive are the air intakes low down on the front end and featuring integrated fog lamps – their wide positioning reinforces the impression of width and power.
Meanwhile the side view of the IBX emphasises its powerful stature – a clearly defined shoulder, the powerful, three-dimensional flanks and the sharply differentiated surfaces underscore the dynamic look, as do the large wheels featuring an aerodynamic five twin-spoke design. Typical of SEAT are the two distinctive scores that run from the front wheel arch into the door and over the rear wheel arch.
The length of the stretched roofline is further emphasised by the rear spoiler and the narrow horizontal of the glass surfaces along the sides, with the distinctive, trapezoidal roof pillar creating an impression of exceptional solidity. The sharply cut exterior mirror is mounted on the door, as on a sports car. Sharp precision is also evident in the slender, recessed door openers.
The rear end adopts the characteristic form of the front and reinterprets it. The rear lights in LED light-guide technology and the rear windscreen with its additional angle in the centre also bear the arrow motif, while the suggestion of a diffuser beneath the bumper surface derives its form from the front air intakes.
Importantly the entire vehicle bears no extraneous ornamentation. Every single line has the function of structuring the volume and surfaces of the car, each of the muscles emerging from the form emphasising the sporty design. The reduction of form consistently applied and the precision in every detail are fixed features of the SEAT Design philosophy.
Concept – flexible mobility with responsibility
The modern, young lifestyle has many facets; offering endless options for job and leisure time, for friends and family. However, as a partner in mobility, the car must be just as multi-faceted. In response, the IBX has the perfect format – it boasts plenty of interior space and the variability to meet all requirements, yet it remains agile and compact enough to fit the bill on the streets and parking spaces of an urban area. And this is where a vehicle height of 1.62 metres with its suitably lofty seating position is invaluable. Particularly in dense urban traffic it delivers enormous benefits in terms of visibility, leading to greater safety.
The powertrain concept is perfect for the mobility requirements of an urban area, while meeting personal expectations of freedom. The vehicle, with its electric range of 45 kilometres, can cover many everyday journeys – with zero local emissions and sustainable responsibility. And yet its range is not limited. Personal freedom is always guaranteed and unlimited mobility supplied courtesy of the internal combustion engine.
Possible combustion engine candidates are the state-of-the-art direct injection TDI and TSI engines from the modern SEAT line-up. And, of course, the IBX is equipped with all the efficiency technologies from the Ecomotive programme. In its base configuration, the IBX is set up for front wheel drive. However, a modern 4WD system might be an option for further enhanced mobility.