2011 Geneva Motor Show: Seat IBX Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 1, 2011

At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, SEAT introduced its latest SUV concept – the SEAT IBX. It is a small, three-door SUV that is expected to make the Spanish brand more versatile. The SEAT IBX is inspired by the 2006 Tribu concept and the current SEAT Ibiza. This means that it may offer hints on how the next Ibiza facelift, or the fifth-generation of the supermini, will look.

The fourth generation model, which was released for the 2008 model year, is scheduled to be refreshed within a year or two. Meanwhile, the Mk5 is set to arrive several few years later.

The sculpting shows that the model has a similar window layout as the Ibiza five-door and the Leon Mk2, with a front that’s similar but is more aggressive compared to the car. The additional features that are comparable include sculpting along the side panels, side sills, and rear panels.

Since it is an SUV, the IBX has a ride height that’s higher than the brand's current lineup. It’s believed that if the SUV gets a good response in Geneva, it might soon enter production.

Volkswagen's competitive foothold in the compact SUV vehicle class is a complication as the IBX may eat into sales of the Volkswagen Tiguan, the upcoming Audi Q3 and the 2014 Porsche Cajun.

Although none of these may be released as three-door models, it is unclear if the IBX can get on through the research and development phase and if it will arrive at showrooms with two additional doors.

Exterior Design

The design of the SEAT IBX Concept presents a solid and tangible preview of what the future holds for and what is happening in the SEAT Design world. Looking at the IBX Concept, it dons the forms, lines and surfaces that exude the same design language that continually defines SEAT and augments its identity.

The SEAT IBX Concept represents the first evolution of that new design DNA, showing how this design language could fuse with a vehicle that is not only larger but is underpinned by a different architecture.

In fact, in terms of proportions, the IBX is an SUV, but in terms of appearance, it is a sports coupé. Thus, to put it bluntly, the new IBX concept is a crossover between an SUV and a sports coupe. While the new SEAT IBX Concept has the versatility and utility of an SUV, its two doors, stretched roofline and distinctive rear roof pillar are elements that define a true crossover.

Featuring dimensions of 4.26 meters in length, 1.80 meters in width, and 1.62 meters in height, the new SEAT IBX is relatively compact but sports dynamic proportions. SEAT Chief Designer Luc Donckerwolke remarked that they created the SEAT IBX Concept from DNA pool of the carmaker’s next generation of vehicles.

He noted that this new design DNA will have a profound impact on SEAT’s new models, with the IBX helping prove that the Spanish brand could also come up with concept that is unique even among SUVs. The front end of the new SEAT IBX featured distinctive full-LED headlamps displayed in the characteristic V typical of the SEAT arrow design.

In fact, the entire front end of the SEAT IBX features this arrow shape, including the radiator grille and bonnet. Moreover, clear lines carefully highlight the surfaces above the wheel arches. The front end is also marked by unique air intakes with integrated fog lamps.

Press Release

Seat IBX Concept

SEAT is pushing forward with the development of its new design DNA - as an urban sports utility vehicle, the new SEAT IBX Concept car 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 exceptionally 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, further developed design language, the compact IBE electric sports coupé from last year met with enormous resonance and positive feedback. The IBX now demonstrates the evolutionary development of this new genetic code from SEAT Design - in a completely different vehicle architecture, a crossover between SUV and sports coupé.

The sporty alternative in the SUV segment

At a length of 4.26 metres, the SEAT IBX Concept expands Europe's extremely successful compact SUV segment with a highly dynamic and unique design alternative. And with its combination of compact dimensions and wide-ranging versatility, the SEAT IBX is the perfect fit for an active lifestyle in the world's urban areas.

Determined renewal of the brand

"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," says James Muir, President of SEAT, S.A. "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 SEAT IBX Concept 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.

Perfect crossover from SUV to sports coupé

As the first evolution of this new design line, the SEAT IBX Concept 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 more accurate expression of the word "crossover".

The gene pool of the next generation

"The SEAT IBX Concept 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," says SEAT Chief Designer Luc Donckerwolke. "And, 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 meters and height of 1.62 meters ensure powerful proportions. And even though the SEAT IBX Concept 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.

Sharp look courtesy of LED headlamps

The front of the SEAT IBX is defined by headlamps in full-LED technology 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.

Distinctive precision along the flanks

The side view of the SEAT IBX Concept 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 for 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 the 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.

Light-guide rear lights featuring arrow design

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.

Perfect design needs no ornamentation

The entire vehicle bears no ornamentation - perfect design requires no decoration. 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 - even more in the future than before.

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 automobile must be just as multi-faceted. 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 and a relaxed form of superiority.

Zero emissions in the city with excellent range cross-country

The drive 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 always guaranteed - unlimited mobility is supplied courtesy of the internal combustion engine

Possible candidates are the state-of-the-art direct injection TDI and TSI engines from the modern SEAT line-up. And, of course, the SEAT IBX Concept is equipped with all the efficiency technologies from the ECOMOTIVE program. 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.

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