The Geneva Motor Show is always a great occasion for the car industry, and this year’s will be a very special one for SEAT. Because above all, the fifth-generation of the All-New SEAT Ibiza, the Spanish brand’s historic best-seller, with more than 5.4 million units sold, will be making its world debut.“SEAT is in a phase of consolidation and growth and we are working to become one of the most dynamic organisations in our industry” says Luca de Meo, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SEAT S.A.,“The new SEAT Ibiza will make a great leap forward for the brand and it is set to be a turning point in the segment”.
SEAT is now midway through its largest ever product offensive. At the beginning, came the launch of the brand’s first SUV, Ateca, followed recently by the New Leon. Now it’s theeye-catching Ibiza’s turn, completing the reinforcement of the three main SEAT brand pillars. New models are still yet to come, including the compact crossover, Arona. The launch of the All-New Ibiza opens a very special year for SEAT, in commercial terms as well. The company has entered its fifth consecutive year of increased sales after posting 16.5% growth in January.
By the end of the year, each of the new products will give the brand substantial coverage increases across European markets. In addition, the brand is looking to conquest new customers through a wider offering, such as XCELLENCE, an alternative to the current sport-oriented FR. This trim level has been created to reach those looking for a sophisticated and distinctive design, combined with convenient and intelligent technology.
A decisive model
The fifth generation of the SEAT Ibiza has been developed in Barcelona and is a decisive step forward in the future of SEAT. Firstly, because it demonstrates the Volkswagen Group’s latest technology, the MQB-A0 platform (Modular Quer Baukasten) which shows the importance of the SEAT brand within the Volkswagen Group, as this platform application is the first in the supermini segment. And secondly, because it benefits from the most advanced technology, a notable increase in interior space, plus, a rewarding driving experience. This has led to the creation of a completely new model while, retaining Ibiza’s young spirit, dynamism, functionality and comfort. To achieve this, it gets a new, fresh, sporty and striking design, reflecting the unmistakable SEAT DNA. The surfaces have been accentuated even more in a way that gives a more sculptured, exciting and aerodynamic look.
“The new SEAT Ibiza embraces SEAT’s design DNA and ensures fantastic driving performance”, says Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice-President of SEAT for Research and Development; “with the new modular MQB-A0 platform the SEAT Ibiza rises to technologies from higher segments and in terms of comfort, it improves its interior roominess and variability markedly.”
The All-New Ibiza is undoubtedly widening SEAT’s customer base, as well as improving the image of the brand, by combining elegance and style with dynamic character. It is also even more aspirational thanks to the aforementioned qualities, complete with a rounded, powerful design that ensures the car sits perfectly on the road.
One of All-New SEAT Ibiza’s key ingredients is that it establishes the Spanish brand as one that is looking to the future. Principally through practicality, intelligent technology and connectivity. The All-New Ibiza can be specified with driving assistance systems already seen in the Leon and Ateca, yet not commonplace in its class (Front Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control ACC, among others) as well as coming with a wireless charger and GSM signal amplifier.
In addition, the new SEAT Ibiza is 100% connected thanks to three options: Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link. This certainly shows SEAT’s ambition to become a leader in in-car connectivity and in the development of new mobility solutions. All of this technology can be enjoyed for the first time through the integrated eight-inch touchscreen.
The car also features Beats sound-system: the brand that with its premium sound entertainment brings energy, emotion and excitement to music lovers, changing the way that they listen to music. It uses a digital signal processor (DSP), six premium speakers, one high-end subwoofer and 300W amplifier.
In summary, the All-New SEAT Ibiza offers quality usually found in higher segments and is aimed at customers who not only know what they want and live with a young and dynamic spirit; but, also at those seeking a more sophisticated touch, with the latest and most advanced technology at their fingertips, for finding simple solutions in their daily lives.
The Leon CUPRA 300; the most powerful SEAT road car ever
The fastest street legal car that the Spanish brand has ever produced, the new SEAT Leon CUPRA 300, will be displayed in Geneva too. Although everyone will be talking about its 300PS engine with 380 Nm of maximum torque, the headline news is the Leon CUPRA coming equipped with 4Drive on the ST (Sports Tourer). Combined with the double-clutch DSG-auto gearbox, it dispatches 0-62 mph in just 4.9 seconds.
The latest and most powerful member of the CUPRA family provides intensity and performance. It also comes packed with the safety and connectivity that the rest of the Leon range boasts. Crucially, the brand flagship also offers variety, with a bodystyle to suit every need, from the three-door SC (Sports Coupé), to five-door and ST (Sports Tourer). A CUPRA always has to combine a great balance of passion and daily use, and as such, a solid combination of sporty design, cutting-edge technology, comfort and outstanding dynamic behaviour has been achieved like never before.
Joining its roadcar brother will be the spectacular SEAT Leon CUPRA Evo 17. Resplendent in grey matt paint, with carbon fibre interior elements and aesthetic details in copper inside and out, it is the competition version destined to be fielded in the TCR International Series. Available in two versions – one with DSG-auto and the other a manual sequential gearbox – the Leon CUPRA Evo 17comes with the same engine as the street version, but, with an uprated engine putting out 350PS (20 more than the 2016 version) and 420Nm of torque.
Looking ahead to the new season, improvements have been made, including to the brakes (and its control system), having developed an ABS and ESC to improve feel and handling. The SEAT Leon CUPRA Evo 17 is front-wheel drive with self-locking VAQ electro-hydraulic differential, 378mm diameter front disc brakes with six-piston calipers and 272mm discs at the rear. In order to adapt to the driver or racetrack needs, brake balance and anti-roll bar can be adjusted, as well as camber and toe of the front suspension (McPherson) and the height and camber of the rear suspension (multi-arm).
A new press talk format
On the SEAT stand, several Press Talks will be carried out throughout the day, with three topics for discussion given by different members of the board of directors at SEAT. First up will be Luca de Meo, Chairman of the SEAT Executive Committee, who will deal with the current business situation and other corporate topics, also featuring Wayne Griffiths, SEAT Executive Vice-President for Sales and Marketing, who will provide a commercial company overview. The next pair will consist of Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT Executive Vice-President for Research and Development and Dr. Andreas Tostmann, SEAT Executive Vice-President for Production who will hold a talk about the All-New Ibiza and the MQB-A0 platform. On top of those, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, SEAT’s Design Director and Joaquin Serra, Director of Quality, will focus on the brand’s distinctive way of designing cars and the importance of quality.
The press talks will be given in English, German or Spanish, with a simultaneous translation system available in different languages. Each speaker will use a 27-inch tablet in order to present in the most flexible and approachable way to media guests.