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SEAT Ibiza to boost bold ambitions

Mk5 model debuts new look, more space and tech.

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The fifth-generation SEAT Ibiza will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 7th March.

The all-new model is the first VW Group product to use the new MQB-A0 modular platform, designed for the group’s smaller vehicles.

The Ibiza supermini has historically been the Spanish brand’s most popular model, with 5.4 million sold since the Mk1 version first appeared in 1984.

The new version will complete the first stage of the SEAT’s major product offensive –arriving in UK showrooms in July, it will be the third new model launched in recent times, following on from the Ateca SUV and latest version of the Leon family car.

New architecture

SEAT provided first details of the latest Ibiza in January. The new platform frees up significantly more interior space and improves the car’s on-road manners while the model also debuts a new and bolder exterior design.

Larger-segment technologies also move down into the car that SEAT management describe as ‘a completely new model.’ Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link connectivity will be available through an integrated eight-inch touchscreen, while driving-assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control will also be on offer.SEAT Ibiza interior

SEAT expects the new Ibiza to boost sales in a year expected to show significant growth for the brand – sales in January were up 16.5 per cent. According to SEAT chairman Luca de Meo the new Ibiza is important to the brand while it is in a phase of consolidation and growth.

“We are working to become one of the most dynamic organisations in our industry – 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,” de Meo says.

SEAT’s ambitions will be further strengthened later in 2017 when the brand’s second SUV, the Arona, is unveiled, a smaller sister to the already successful Ateca.

Also debuting on the SEAT stand in Geneva will be the Leon Cupra 300. The brand’s most powerful road car yet, it boasts a sub five-second 0-62mph time thanks to its 300hp, 380Nm engine, and all-wheel-drive on its Sports Tourer version.

SEAT Ibiza rear 34

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.