Seat has finally confirmed that the IBX concept that attracted a lot of attention during the Geneva Auto Show last March will be turned into a production version crossover. This new vehicle for the 2012 model year will use the platform that was also used to underpin the new Q3 from Audi. To make the process easier, the two models will be built at the Martorell plant in Spain. Seat is meeting the deadlines set up by parent company Volkswagen in 2009.
During the period when the auto industry was struggling the most due to the financial crisis, Volkswagen imposed a five-year deadline to Seat to revive its business or to be cut off totally. Seat anticipates that the IBX-based crossover will enter the segment with the lowest possible R&D expenses.
As the platform is from Audi, it’s likely that the production version model is powered by internal combustion engines. Seat’s concept had featured an electric motor that pushes the front wheels and a battery package that provides a range of about 45 kilometers (28 miles).
When it comes to the design, it’s likely that nothing much will be changed in the IBX concept. At the Geneva show, the concept had very few complex lines and the booth had the latest technologies (such as LED lights) to spice it up.
Since the SEAT IBX Concept is the first model that follows the new design line, its particular design language can work well with a different vehicle architecture and even with a vehicle that has larger dimensions. While the IBX has the proportions similar to a sports utility vehicle, its appearance is nearer to that of a sports coupé. Indeed, there is no more accurate expression as it relates to the term "crossover". Luc Donckerwolke, SEAT Chief Designer, shares that the SEAT IBX Concept was made using the gene pool of its very own next generation vehicles, a design DNA that the brand expects will have a large impact on each of its models. The brand says that with this urban SUV, Donckerwolke adds, it hopes to prove that with its youthful character, sporty pedigree, and very own design, it can build a vehicle concept that is distinct from the many SUVs.
In terms of dimensions, the SEAT IBX measures 4.26 meters long, proving that it is indeed relatively compact. However since it is 1.80 meters wide and 1.62 high, its proportions are truly powerful. While the SEAT IBX Concept does retain the utility and the versatility found in an SUV, it is also the perfect combination of a SUV with a classic sports coupé.
This is due to the rather unique roof pillar on its rear, the stretched roofline and the two doors. Defining the front of this offering from SEAT are the headlamps that while, sophisticated and equipped with full-LED technology, continue to be unique. There is also the characteristic V that has been the signature of the brand’s arrow design. In fact, the arrow shape is clear on the whole front end with the bonnet and the radiator grille carrying the V-form as well.
On top of the wheel arches are surfaces with lines that help highlight the sinuous and carefully toned muscle. Just as unique are the air intakes that can be seen on the lower part of the front end. This portion of the vehicle has been integrated with fog lamps and as a result of its wide positioning, helps strengthen the feeling of power and width. When looked from the side, one can see the three-dimensional flans, clearly defined shoulder, and differentiated surfaces. This highlights both the dynamic look and powerful stature. Then there are the large wheels with a five twin-spoke and an aerodynamic design.
As expected from a SEAT model, there are two distinctive scores that start from the wheel arch in the front that go through the door and just above the wheel arches in the rear. Helping underline the length of its stretched roofline are the rear spoiler and glass surfaces, which have been positioned horizontally, on the sides. Giving it a feel of solidity is the trapezoidal roof pillar. Similar to a sports car, its exterior mirror has been mounted on its door. The impression that it has a sharp precision is seen in the recessed and slender door openers.