2012 Seat Ibiza Facelift makes its debut before the Geneva Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 12, 2012

The Seat Ibiza hatch, the famed supermini, is due for a makeover. The updated model is likely to be seen at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Belgian car designer Luc Donckerwolke had created the “arrow design” of the vehicle. Seat hopes to be able to expand its reach to outside the Spanish domestic market.

The Ibiza is the first car from the VW Group to make use of the PQ25 compact platform even before the Audi A1 and VW Polo got their turn.

The supermini had its debut nearly four years ago at the Geneva show. The changes planned for this model affect the bumpers and lights. Its grille was slightly widened and it now features a new honeycomb grille.

However, those who are on a budget could ask for a new set. SEAT has prepared facelifts for all three body styles of the Ibiza. It may even be applied on the 3 and 5-door models as well as the ST wagon. Start-stop has also been launched.

Exterior Design

SEAT Design’s Ibiza epitomizes the importance of precision and technology while maintaining the youthful idea. It is obvious that the Ibiza was developed while using high quality and a rather sporty appeal as its ideals. At the center of the car is a trapezoidal grille with the SEAT logo.

The proportions of the grille are flatter while having a horizontal honeycomb structure. With the addition of the lower air intake, the width of the Ibiza is fully highlighted. The bumpers on both the front and rear emphasize the sporty look of this version of the Ibiza FR considering that it was redesigned.

Fog lamps with the integrated cornering lights are standard on the FR though customization is available as an option. The stylish design of its headlamps benefited from SEAT’s amazing attention to detail. The edgy style in the meantime is a trademark SEAT design and has been flawlessly incorporated in the car’s form.

There are two versions available to choose from for the headlamps. Customers can opt to use two halogens or bi-xenon lamps with the LED daytime lights. The LED lights outline the headlamp’s shape giving it a distinct light signature. The LED for the rear lights is optional as well though it is standard on the FR. From the side, the Ibiza appears to be a hewn sculpture that is set on wheels.

The “Línea Dinámica” that goes from the headlamps going over the wheel arches then ending at the rear is a very distinguishing feature. A second and just as sharp character line goes over the rear shoulder then ends on the rear lamps. The lines and the way they interplay with the surfaces are what give Ibiza its character, whether as the typical five-door or the three-door sports coupé.

While the previous part talks about the form, the function continues to show dynamism without being restricted too much. The rear portion has been designed to give the Ibiza ST a rather commanding sign-off. The spoiler on the roof-edge is combined with the third brake light and projects a bit past the rear windscreen.

The inward and horizontal running design of the rear lights helps emphasize how wide the vehicle is. The point where the different extended lines meet is the SEAT logo which also functions as the rear hatch handle.

According to the Head of SEAT Design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, the new Ibiza is a perfect match with the SEAT brand. The solid and powerful stance manages to exhibit the dynamic feature while keeping its self-confidence and refinement.

Interior Design

Whatever impression is given by the exterior, this is seen in the interior as well. The SEAT Ibiza has a clear and structured design for the cockpit while being minimal yet forceful at the same time. SEAT’s different standards are highlighted through: the wide array of colors; meticulous workmanship; different choices for the materials that includes leather upholstery; and high quality.

Ibiza’s attention to detail is seen in the different new features like paint surfaces, three-spoke steering wheel, and Climatronic control unit. Still, the main focus has always been on its functionality. Two good examples are the instrument binnacle with its improved display and the larger glove compartment.

The storage unit meanwhile is now 10.7 liters allowing more space for items or accessories. The seats on the other hand are very ergonomic and while they have been mounted rather low, they can be adjusted to a different height depending on the preference.

They have also been stuffed with cold foam combining body support and comfort which is important when travelling on long distances. The Ibiza FR has sports seats that have side cushions giving the passenger a more lateral grip.

This is also exclusive to the Ibiza FR. The steering wheel also adds to the comfort since it can be adjusted in terms of reach and height. Ibiza offers the option to have the steering wheel and gear knob covered in leather though this is usually standard in the FR line. Finally the steering wheel has its own sportier and distinct design.

Press Release

The new SEAT Ibiza

The next generation of the successful Spanish model is here – the new SEAT Ibiza captures the heart with its young, emotional design and fun-to-drive zest, and convinces the head with its innovative technologies and further improved functionality and quality. Plus, the new line-up offers enormous breadth to meet every individual demand – from the compact and sporty three-door Ibiza SC, to the dynamic and universal five-door Ibiza, to the elegantly practical Ibiza ST estate car. When it comes to engines, the line-up extends from the extremely efficient Ibiza E-Ecomotive with 89 grams of CO2/km to the exceptionally sporty Ibiza FR with 110 kW (150 hp). There are two strengths in particular that are common to all versions – a very high standard of quality and outstanding value for money. Market launch of the new SEAT Ibiza is scheduled for spring 2012.

The Ibiza is one of the best-selling models in its segment throughout Europe and the average age of its buyers is the youngest in its market segment. Design has long been one of the Ibiza’s foremost strengths - named as the most important reason for purchase by customers, and to the same degree across all three body variants. This trend is set to continue in future – with its modern, fresh and optimistic look, the new Ibiza marks a further significant development of the SEAT design identity and prepares the way for future models.

“The Ibiza is an important foundation for our brand. With the new generation, we are taking a clear step forward – the fresh and young design language speaks to SEAT’s unique and distinctive character. It underscores the precision and quality of our products,” says James Muir President of SEAT, S.A. “This makes the new Ibiza a crucial element in SEAT’s forward strategy. It will grow its success even further, not least in our new market of China.”

Beneath its striking design, the new Ibiza offers an impressive array of innovative technologies. The latest-generation state-of-the-art TDI and TSI power units, the DSG transmissions and the start/stop system combine dynamics with exceptional efficiency and guarantee SEAT’s signature driving fun.

“The new Ibiza is a clear showcase for SEAT’s technical expertise. Emotional design, a thrilling drive and an exceptionally high quality standard deliver an extremely distinctive product character. The Ibiza is the sportiest and most versatile offering in its competitive field,” says Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice President for Research and Development at SEAT, S.A.

The bodyshell – three variants, one for every requirement

With its three bodyshell variants, the new SEAT Ibiza fits perfectly into every lifestyle. The five-door Ibiza, the three-door Ibiza SC and the Ibiza ST estate are not only design masterpieces, they also offer an interior that is exceptionally spacious and flexible for this class of vehicle.

The new Ibiza – universal five-door

On its market launch in 2008, the SEAT Ibiza was the first model on the all-new Volkswagen Group platform developed for this segment. This means not only more stability and comfort, but also an excellent standard of safety. The five-door with its sporty, eye-catching design comes with a luggage capacity of 292 litres. With such a generous amount of space, the Ibiza is ideally equipped for the practical challenges of everyday life.

The new Ibiza SC – sports coupé with three doors

At SEAT, sporting character is anchored firmly in the brand philosophy. With the three-door Ibiza SC, the company offers a model with a distinctly dynamic design and incredibly neat dimensions (4,043 millimetres long and just 1,428 millimetres high). Yet, behind the rear bench is room for 284 litres of luggage. The sports coupé boasts exceptionally agile handling characteristics, without making any compromises in comfort.

The new Ibiza ST – the most beautiful estate in its class

With its harmonious and highly elegant estate bodyshell, the SEAT Ibiza ST offers a wide range of possibilities for everyday and leisure use. The Ibiza ST offers an extremely high level of functionality, without making any concessions in its design. Despite its sporty lines, the storage capacity behind the rear bench is generous at 430 litres. There are two possibilities for increasing the load volume, both requiring just a few simple movements. The fast version is to fold the rear seat back onto the bench; as of the Style equipment line, the rear bench is split 60:40. Alternatively, you can first tilt the seat cushions upright; this delivers a virtually flat load surface, while the compact rear headrests fit into niches on the underside of the bench. Loaded to the roof, the Ibiza ST then offers up to 1,164 litres of storage space. There is even plenty of room for two bicycles with their front wheels removed. The maximum load capacity is 515 kilograms.

The standard equipment package for the Ibiza ST includes illumination and bag hooks in the luggage compartment. As an option, SEAT can deliver nets and additional box compartment under the tray for the load compartment. The accessories programme includes mounts and fixtures for the transport of skis, bicycles and roof boxes, as well as a tow hook. Depending on the engine version, the SEAT Ibiza ST can tow up to 1,200 kilograms (braked, on an 8 percent incline).

The new design – attention to detail

Sporty character and high product quality are written all over the new Ibiza’s face – SEAT Design stands for technology and precision, as well as for youthful avant garde. The distinctive centrepiece is the trapezoidal grille featuring the SEAT logo. The flatter proportions and horizontal honeycomb structure of the grille and the lower air intake emphasize the width of the new Ibiza. The bumpers front and rear have been redesigned with a look that is particularly accentuated on the sporty Ibiza FR version. Standard equipment on the FR and available as an option on the other models are the large fog lamps with integrated cornering lights.

The sophisticated design of the headlamps bears testament to the enormous attention afforded by SEAT to the details. The edgy style of the lamps is a hallmark feature of the new SEAT design language, while being perfectly integrated into the Ibiza’s sculptural form. The headlamps are available in two halogen versions or with optional bi-xenon lamps and LED daytime running lights. The latter trace the form of the headlamps to deliver a unique light signature, as do the optional LED rear lights (standard on the FR).

Clear and athletic character

From the side, the new Ibiza looks like a precisely hewn sculpture on wheels. The characteristic “Línea Dinámica” runs from the headlamps over the powerfully drawn wheel arches to the rear. A second, equally sharp character line runs across the muscular rear shoulders to the rear lamps. These powerful lines and the interplay of taut surfaces lend the Ibiza an athletic character – on both the three-door sports coupé and the universal five-door.

And even the functional estate car conveys an unmatched look of dynamism – without any restriction to its exceptional utility. The self-confident design of the rear end gives the Ibiza ST a very powerful sign-off. The roof-edge spoiler with integrated third brake light protrudes a little beyond the large rear windscreen. The rear lights emphasise the width of the vehicle with their horizontal, inward running design. At the spot where their extended lines meet is the large SEAT logo that – as on the five-door and SC, too – serves as the handle for the rear hatch.

“The new-generation Ibiza fits perfectly into the SEAT brand identity. It has a powerful and solid stance, it displays a dynamic character and always remains refined and self-confident,” says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, Head of SEAT Design.

The interior – high quality on the inside, too

The emotional power of the exterior design is also reflected in the interior of the new SEAT Ibiza – with a forceful but extremely minimalist and clearly structured cockpit design. The exceptional feeling of quality, the high precision of the workmanship, the wide choice of colours and materials ranging all the way to fine leather upholstery serve to underscore SEAT’s standards. The level of detail can be sensed throughout the new Ibiza – in the new three-spoke steering wheel, in the new control unit for the Climatronic, in the new paint surfaces. The focus, however, always remains on functionality – the new instrument binnacle with its improved display is one example, the significantly larger glove compartment, another. With a generous storage volume of 10.7 litres, this storage unit now offers space for a lot more accessories and useful items than simply a pair of gloves.

The seats in the SEAT Ibiza are ergonomically formed, with a sporty, low-slung mounting position that can also be positioned higher, according to preference. The seats are generously padded with cold foam – they combine comfort with excellent body support and are outstanding over long distances. In the Ibiza FR, the exclusive sports seats have pronounced side cushions – providing the body with exceptionally firm lateral grip.

A further comfort factor is the steering wheel, which is adjustable for height and reach. The steering wheel and gearknob are optionally available clad in leather, a feature that is standard for the FR line. In the Ibiza FR the steering wheel has its own distinct and even sportier design.

All display and operating elements are conceived so that the driver can read and use them completely intuitively. Beneath the elegant cover of the redesigned instrument binnacle are the large dials for engine revs and road speed recessed into sporty tubular surrounds. The display between the dials shows fuel level, temperature and information from the on-board computer, which is standard equipment as of the Style line.

The new control unit for the air conditioning is located in the lower section of the centre console. A manually controlled air conditioning unit is optional with the Reference line. For the Style and FR lines, SEAT offers optionally the fully automatic Climatronic system, which shows the selected temperature in a large illuminated display.

Above the air conditioning control is the operating unit for the audio system, which also incorporates an aux-in connection. A USB interface and Bluetooth hands-free set-up are among the options.

The tautly executed dashboard, circular air vents, the three-spoke steering wheel and a short gearstick – the sporty, emotional character that distinguishes the exterior of the SEAT Ibiza carries through to the inside, too. All details of the interior display meticulous workmanship, recognizable in the quality of the materials. All buttons and switches have precise movements with clearly defined travel and a satisfying “click” operation; the dashboard surface is padded with soft foam.

In the Style and FR equipment lines, black leather upholstery is available as an option for the seats. For even more individualisation, there is an additional Design package.

The Drive – sporty and efficient engines

The engine line-up for the new SEAT Ibiza is broad-ranging and consists of new-generation three and four-cylinder power units. The range of petrol units extends from the incredibly economical 1.2 litre with 44 kW (60 hp) to the energetic 1.4 TSI with supercharger and turbocharger. 110 kW (150 hp) and the standard-fit DSG transmission catapult the Ibiza to 100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds, and onwards to an impressive top speed of 212 km/h. In the new Ibiza, this power unit is now also available for the ST estate version, which will wear the FR badge for the first time.

Particular efficiency is delivered by the Ibiza 1.2 TSI Ecomotive – the state-of-the-art power unit with 77 kW (105 hp) delivers refined drive with its maximum torque of 175 Newton metres from 1,550 r/min to 4100 r/min, yet sips on an average of just 4.9 litres/100 km – thanks also to the start/stop technology that is fitted as standard.

The TDI engines with common-rail injection are even more efficient when it comes to fuel consumption and emissions. The 1.2 TDI CR makes do with just 3.8 litres/100 km (Right Hand Drive: 3.9 litres/100 km) and achieves excellent CO2 emissions with 99 grams/km (Right Hand Drive: 102 grams/km). The 1.6 TDI CR, available with an output of either 66 kW (90 hp) or 77 kW (105 hp), also boasts exemplary fuel consumption at 4.2 litres/100 km (CO2 emissions – 109 grams/km) for the 66kW version and 4.7l and 24g/km for the 77kW.

The sporty pinnacle of the Ibiza diesel line-up is marked by the 2.0 TDI CR with 105 kW (143 hp) – shared beween the Ibiza SC FR and Ibiza five-door FR. No competitor in this segment offers such a powerful diesel, and no other masters the combination of performance and efficiency so effectively – its performance off-the-mark (0 to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds) and top speed of 210 km/h is balanced by an average fuel consumption of just 4.6 litres/100 km (CO2 emissions – 119 grams/km).

The Ibiza 1.2 TDI CR E-Ecomotive – particularly efficient

The efficiency highlight is the Ibiza 1.2 TDI CR E-Ecomotive with an average fuel consumption of just 3.4 litres/100 km. This equates to a first-class CO2 figure of 89 grams/km – in all bodyshell variants. Yet the compact hi-tech TDI delivers attractive performance with its 55 kW (75 hp) and its highly respectable torque of 180 Newton metres. The Ibiza 1.2 TDI CR E-Ecomotive is fitted as standard with start/stop technology that contributes to fuel saving without the driver having to make a conscious effort. When the car stops at a red light, for instance, and the driver goes into neutral, the start/stop system switches the engine off. As soon as the clutch pedal is depressed again, the engine immediately restarts automatically. The car is also equipped with a recuperation system that regenerates energy during every braking manoeuvre. This reduces the load on the engine and lowers fuel consumption.

The efficient Aerodynamic package on the Ibiza 1.2 TDI CR E-Ecomotive incorporates an enclosed radiator grille and a lower air intake that optimises airflow within the engine compartment. It also includes a 40 millimetre longer front spoiler, a spoiler on the rear hatch, special deflectors on the rear wheel arches and 15-inch wheels with closed covers. These modifications result in a drag coefficient of 0.30. A shift recommendation display and slightly increased tyre pressure (2.9 bar front, 2.7 bar rear) complete the efficiency savings package of the Ibiza 1.2 TDI CR E-Ecomotive.

Hi-tech transmissions and running gear

Just as modern as the engines are the transmissions in the new SEAT Ibiza. Alongside perfectly spaced ratios within the five and six-speed manual gearboxes, a number of engines are offered with DSG transmissions either as standard equipment or as an option. This dual-clutch transmission offers not only the comfort of an automatic, but also the benefit of compelling efficiency.

The running gear of the new Ibiza boasts an extremely sophisticated layout that has been carefully fine tuned, giving the compact model handling characteristics that are as sporty as they are safe. The ESP electronic stability program is standard equipment. Engines as of 77 kW/105 hp are combined with the XDS electronic differential lock. When the electronics recognise that there is too little load on the front inside wheel during cornering it applies a brief braking impulse. The system compensates in this way for understeer, making the handling neutral and delivering powerful traction – just like a mechanical differential lock. The well balanced interaction between the various electronic systems ensures safety even in difficult situations. A powerful brake system with ABS is another example.

The standard electrohydraulic power steering has a sporty and direct set-up. It delivers a precise feel, fast feedback and intuitive changes of direction. It has a variable output pump, which uses only the amount of energy necessary for steering – remaining inactive during straight-line driving. This solution offers major benefits compared with a purely hydraulic system that permanently circulates its oil volume.

Comprehensive equipment, perfect individualisation

The equipment lines of the Ibiza range have also been revised, independent of bodyshell form. The base model Reference makes a compelling argument with all the key comfort and safety features. Above it is the Style version, which comes with air conditioning as standard. The Ibiza FR sets particularly sporty accents with expressive design elements front and rear, alloy wheels and a leather-clad steering wheel. The FR version of the new Ibiza is available in all bodyshell variants with the 1.2 TSI (77 kW/105 hp) or 1.4 TSI (110 kW/150 hp) petrol engines, or the 1.6 TDI CR (77 kW/105 hp) diesel. Reserved exclusively for the Ibiza SC FR and Ibiza FR is the 2.0 TDI CR (105 kW/143 hp) diesel. And every Ibiza can be adapted perfectly to suit personal style and individual preferences with an extensive range of colours, options and accessories.

The Ibiza runs on redesigned wheels ranging from 14 to 17 inches in diameter. For the Reference line, these are 14-inch steel wheels with 175/70 tyres; for Style, there are 15-inch steel wheels with 185/60 tyres. The new Ibiza FR runs on 16-inch alloy wheels clad in 215/45 tyres. SEAT offers sophisticated alloy wheel designs as options for all equipment versions – 15-inch for Reference, 16-inch for Style and, for the FR, even a 17-inch model. All tyres have been optimised for rolling resistance without compromising on comfort, safety and handling characteristics.

The new SEAT Ibiza is built for all global markets entirely at the state-of-the-art SEAT plant in Martorell near Barcelona. The new generation of the Ibiza will also be introduced in China in 2012. SEAT’s combination of young, dynamic design-driven attributes with state-of-the-art technology, quality and precision - as epitomised by the Ibiza - will be well appreciated by discerning Chinese car-buyers.

In Europe, the extremely sporty Cupra will follow later this year – superior performance and thrilling dynamics are guaranteed.

- See more at: http://www.seat-mediacenter.es/en-content/2012/03/19/the-new-seat-ibiza/#sthash.wFq2FtU0.dpuf

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