Fresh from its triumphant debut at the recent Geneva Motor Show the latest iteration of SEAT’S most successful and well-known model, the Ibiza supermini, is being prepared for its UK showroom launch next month.
Just days after the wraps came off the new version of SEAT’s multi-million seller in Switzerland, SEAT UK is confirming exact pricing and specification details of the new range which will be available to order this month.
The great news for Ibiza buyers is that the new model is introduced without a price increase over the outgoing car. In fact SEAT is confirming that the majority of New Ibiza derivatives will be available at a lower price than their outgoing equivalents.
Thus the entry-level New Ibiza – the 1.2-litre 60 PS E in three-door SC bodystyle – remains available at just £9,995 RRP on the road.
As before, the UK range extends up from the E through S A/C and SE to the sporty FR model. For the first time, too, New Ibiza ST buyers will be able to enjoy the dynamic delights of an FR version as SEAT expands its Formula Racing sub-brand to its svelte supermini estate.
The core basic model in the new line up – the SEAT Ibiza S A/C – is offered at an average of £300 less than the outgoing S Copa editions. The most affordable Ibiza 5dr is therefore the 1.2 70 PS S /C model, at just £11,430 RRP on the road. This engine is also now available in the Ibiza ST body style, giving it a significantly reduced starting price of only £12,140 RRP.
On the mid-level New Ibiza SE, there’s a similar £300 average price reduction versus the outgoing SE Copa. Here, all Ibiza body-styles have the same four derivatives on offer. The accessible 1.4 85 PS petrol model is joined by the sprightly 1.2 TSI 105 PS, with state-of-the-art seven-speed DSG for those who require an automatic. Two diesels are offered in this spec; the hyper-frugal 92 g/km 1.2 TDI 75 PS Ecomotive and the 1.6 TDI 105 PS. The latter is available in SE trim for the first time.
The great news for fans of SEAT’s sporty and stylish FR trim is that it now occupies an even more affordable place in the extensive Ibiza range, with engine availability widened to include turbocharged 105 PS units in both petrol and diesel. The established higher-end FR derivatives – 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS DSG-auto and 2.0-litre TDI 143 PS turbodiesel – are also available at much lower prices – up to a massive £1,100 less, in fact. For the very first time FR is also now available on the Ibiza ST, for those who crave a practical yet genuinely sporty small estate.
As on the outgoing model, the ‘walk’ from any Ibiza SC model to the equivalent 5dr model is just £500. To move from 5dr to ST is another £710 in every case.
Of course aside from compelling new prices, the design of the New Ibiza has been fully updated in line with SEAT’s latest styling direction. Since 2008 the brand has shown a stunning selection of concept vehicles – most recently the IBE, IBX and IBL – which point the way to a range of all-new models yet to come.
Under the stewardship of new Head of Design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos the New Ibiza takes on many of the sharp, dynamic details which will be a hallmark of SEAT design in the coming years.
Thus the New Ibiza boasts reshaped headlights that now include sculptural elements inside the clusters similar to the new Alhambra MPV and the recently-revised Exeo family of executive class saloons and estates. Specifying optional bi-xenon headlights also adds LED daytime running lights for an even bolder appearance.
Elsewhere the front grille is smaller and sharper, front fog lights take on a rectangular shape and the front end on all models now features the sporty, ‘downward-facing’ trapezoidal lower grille formerly limited to FR and Cupra models. Finally, at the front, the revised bonnet features a strong central crease line – a key design cue taken from the IBE and IBL concept cars.
At the back the New Ibiza’s tail lights have been redesigned. Curved and semi-circular elements have been replaced with sharper lines while FR models gain LED tail lights for an even more distinctive light signature. The rear bumpers have been changed, too, with sharper lines tracing the rear ‘diffuser’ section.
Students of SEAT design might also spot that New Ibiza 5dr and ST models now feature gloss black ‘B’ and ‘C’ pillars, while eye-catching new colours have been added to the palette, including Lima Green. New alloy wheel designs complete the exterior changes.
Inside, new typography on the instrument dials and a refreshed climate control display makes things clearer and more stylish on the New Ibiza. There are redesigned steering wheels across the range, including a flat-bottomed design on FR. Finally even the glovebox has been enlarged, with significantly more storage and the addition of an interior light.
Managing Director of SEAT UK, Peter Wyhinny, said: ‘We’re really excited about the imminent arrival of the New Ibiza in the UK.
‘This stylish new supermini ticks all the boxes for buyers by being not just significantly more modern to look at, more stylish, more practical and, with the debut of the Ibiza ST FR, significantly more fun. But, crucially, our best-seller is now also even more affordable, too!
‘SEAT celebrated record sales in the UK in 2011 and, with the arrival of the New Ibiza, I’m confident we can look forward to continuing that success through 2012 and beyond.’
The new cars are available to order now, with a nationwide showroom launch planned for late April.