New Seat Ibiza hatch is expected in 2017 and the Spanish manufacturer's design boss has revealed plans to "redesign an icon"

Work has begun on the fifth-generation Seat Ibiza ahead of an expected launch in 2017.

Until the new model arrives, the current fourth-generation Ibiza – which has been on sale since 2008 – is set to undergo a facelift next year to keep it fresh, with the main changes expected inside.

Company chief Jürgen Stackmann said the new Ibiza was now being "defined". He added: "It needs to be normal enough to be bought by everyone but different enough to stand out in the market."

Seat is this year celebrating 30 years of the Ibiza, and last night assembled key designers of the car from its past – including VW Group design boss Walter de Silva, Bentley design chief Luc Donckerwolke and current design boss Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos – to celebrate the car's past, present and future.

Mesonero-Romanos revealed a sketch showing how the Ibiza's key design themes have evolved, which also hinted at a future styling direction of the car. He said to not expect a smaller clone of the Leon, but themes developed on that car would continue on the Ibiza, perhaps in the LED front light graphic, for example.

"This is an opportunity to redesign an icon," said Mesonero-Romanos, who owned an Ibiza Mk1 and was also part of de Silva's design team for the Ibiza Mk3. "It's going to have great horizontality, and blister lines developed from the Leon. The lines of the current car will change but the spirit won't.

"It will be a design revolution for the Ibiza, as firstly the market demands it and secondly to set it apart from the Leon. It will have strong character, tautness and a feeling of movement when stopped. The spirit of a fun, agile drive will remain. It will be a different car, but clearly an Ibiza.

"The current Ibiza, of course, still has life and we're still planning a long life for it based on innovations."

Mesonero said the new Seat SUV, due 2016, would evolve the design language of the Leon but the Ibiza would be a bigger step.

The new Ibiza will be based on the compact version of VW Group's MQB platform, also destined for the new Polo in two to three years, rather than use a re-engineered version of the current car's underpinnings as sister firm Skoda is doing with its new Fabia.

Seat insiders confirmed the Leon-sized SUV would be the firm's next new model launch, and that the Ibiza would come after that, meaning a 2016 reveal is likely ahead of sales starting in 2017.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Seat Ibiza
The Seat Ibiza is the marque's biggest-selling model, and with good reason

The Seat Ibiza is good looking, well-priced and spacious supermini that doesn’t quite live up to Seat’s sporty image

Join the debate

Comments
23

24 July 2014
Oh how laughed

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 July 2014
But what exactly is so funny about it? The mk1 sold over a million units (mainly in Spain) in the 10 years or so it went on sale and this from a brand that was relatively unknown in mainland Europe. It was designed by Giugaro, enginereed by Porsche and developed by Kahmann and the first SEAT designed under VW majority ownership. It is an icon for all those reasons. I'm laughing at you because you're ignorant.

24 July 2014
3mocion wrote:
But what exactly is so funny about it? The mk1 sold over a million units...... enginereed by Porsche and developed by Kahmann and the first SEAT designed under VW majority ownership. It is an icon for all those reasons. I'm laughing at you because you're ignorant.
Sorry to upset you by laughing at the fact a Seat boss called the Ibitsa an ICON. You're right, the only opinion I should have should be the same as yours

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 July 2014
xxxx wrote:
3mocion wrote:
But what exactly is so funny about it? The mk1 sold over a million units...... enginereed by Porsche and developed by Kahmann and the first SEAT designed under VW majority ownership. It is an icon for all those reasons. I'm laughing at you because you're ignorant.
Sorry to upset you by laughing at the fact a Seat boss called the Ibitsa an ICON. You're right, the only opinion I should have should be the same as yours
You made me come up with the conclusion that you're ignorant. By the standard of your comment, you're probably the least qualified person to express what you think an icon is. Don't think of me as being upset, just think of me being amazed by your ignorance and your lack of ability to make a respectable comment which grammatically makes sense.

24 July 2014
Yep, he's been offered a job at Mini - just need to finalise contract before he tells his boss...

24 July 2014
...with enormous wheels and a red flash down the side. Is there anything else that we need to know about it? What's the point of these teasers when the car is three years away. Doesn't make me want to rush out and buy the current one?

24 July 2014
The 80's Ibiza wasn't "engineered by Porsche" at all. They only consulted on the engine and even then it wasn't much cop. There is nothing iconic about any SEAT - they're just re-skinned VWs. Even the marketing is naff. "Enjoyneering" indeed.

24 July 2014
I'm sorry Norma i should have said 'SEAT collaborated with Italdesign, the company of the Italian designer Giorgio Giugiaro, with Karmann for the development of the bodywork, and with Porsche for the technology of the 'System Porsche' engines' but instead i used a quote from volkswagenag.com. 'There is nothing iconic about any SEAT - they're just re-skinned VWs'. I would have a look at this quote from you if were you'. You might find that it is technically incorrect. If you're interested, there's also the Bocanegra and the SEAT 600.

24 July 2014
"Theyre just re-skinned VWs" hey? Well VW stole SEAT's first Cordoba to make it into a Polo Saloon and did the same thing with the Arosa to make the Lupo - not the other way around. Yes, the Alhambra, Mii (awful name) and Toledo are skinned shared VAG cars, but why not

24 July 2014
Seat styling is better than the rest of the Volkswagen Group but they need to fix the interior. It is one of the most drab places to be adorned with harsh plastics.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week