Full report, videos and pictures: check out all the action from the Barcelona firm's stand at the Geneva Motor Show
8 March 2017

SEAT had a major presence at this year’s Geneva Motor Show press days, showcasing the all-new Ibiza in public for the first time.

The newest version of the Barcelona firm’s supermini was one of the star attractions in Geneva’s Palexpo Convention Centre. Autocar partnered with SEAT to provide special live coverage direct from the firm’s stand, with regular updates, photos and a series of videos.

SEAT brought two UK Ibiza ambassadors to Geneva to see the new Ibiza, and our coverage included their reaction to the car. We also heard from SEAT’s management about their future plans, took a look at the firm’s commitment to new technology – and checked out the two new versions of the Leon CUPRA that were on display.

You can read through our promoted coverage from the Geneva Motor Show’s two press days below. The videos are embedded in the live feed, but you can also find them on the Autocar YouTube page here.

To learn more about the new Ibiza, click here.

Sign up to be the first to know more about the new Ibiza here.

To learn more about the new Leon CUPRA, click here.

How Wednesday March 8 unfolded

19.14: We’ve reached the end of our live coverage from SEAT’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show. You can scroll down to read through everything we’ve covered, but here are some of the highlights.

First, we took a good look at the all-new Ibiza, which is the fifth generation of SEAT’s popular supermini. Here’s our video highlighting some of the car’s key features.

SEAT also brought two UK Ibiza ambassadors – both members of the Ibiza Owners Club – to Geneva to see the car for the first time. We caught up with them shortly after they saw the new car for the first time, and captured their reactions in this video:

The two ambassadors are heading back to Britain now, but the fun isn’t over for them: in a few weeks, they’re going to be among the first people given the chance to drive the new Ibiza.

That’s it for our promoted SEAT coverage – for now. We’ll have a highlights video on autocar.co.uk in a few days, and we’ll also be catching up with SEAT’s UK Ibiza ambassadors for their first drive in the new Ibiza. We’ll have special promoted coverage of everything here on autocar.co.uk – so keep checking back.

18.10: Gaynor and Rav, SEAT’s two UK Ibiza ambassadors, had a busy day at the Geneva Motor Show. They were given a tour of the SEAT stand, and also had the chance to meet chairman Luca de Meo and director of design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos.

When he met the ambassadors, Luca de Meo outlined SEAT’s commitment to younger car buyers. He noted that SEAT’s demographic is almost ten years below the industry average in Europe, and explained: “We have accepted the challenge of being the brand for the next generation.”

De Meo again highlighted how integrating mobile connectivity into SEAT’s cars is key to appealing to younger car buyers. “We want to be the leader of bringing the car into the Internet of Things,” he said. “The industry is changing because of connectivity. It’s like moving from the iPod to the iPhone: it’s the same hardware, but when it’s connected it changes the world.”

15.52: Here’s our final video of the day: Ibiza ambassador Gaynor giving her impressions of the Ibiza’s design, and SEAT’s design philosophy. 

We'll have a few more updates and a round-up later.

15.31: SEAT Ibiza ambassador Gaynor Thorpe is a freelance designer, and has a real passion for design. So she was thrilled to meet with SEAT’s director of design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos at the Geneva Motor Show, and took the chance to talk to him about the brand’s design direction.

We captured her thoughts on the SEAT Ibiza’s design for our final show video, which we’ll have coming up shortly.

14.12: Both of SEAT’s UK Ibiza ambassadors, Gaynor and Rav, are members of the Ibiza Owners Club. While the group has grown to more than 11,000 members, Rav explained that there’s a really strong community bond.

“I found the club when I was looking online to get help and advice when choosing my first Ibiza,” he said. “There’s a lot of great people there who help out. It’s a big family, we got to lots of shows and events.”

Gaynor Thorpe echoed his sentiments. She said: “We’ve got members that haven’t even got an Ibiza any more. We’ve got members who are new drivers, and people who still own a first generation Ibiza. There’s such a variation, and what unites everyone is that they’re people who are all interested in the same thing. Some people modify their cars, some people just want to know more about the design and the features that are there with the different models. Everyone is so friendly, it’s like a big family.”

Notably, Gaynor is a great example of how the Ibiza Owners Club really is like a big family: her fiancé Matt is a fellow member, and the two met at a club event. 

13.58: The two UK Ibiza ambassadors invited to Geneva by SEAT both loved the chance to have a good look inside the new Ibiza – and to play with some of the technology it features.

Leeds-based freelance designer Gaynor Thorpe said: “The technology on the centre console stands out. It’s got the wireless charging point and similar technology that was introduced on the Ateca last year, and the Ibiza has taken it all on board. It’s a big step up from the last model of Ibiza. There’s a lot of big changes with all the new technology, and it’s really stepped up a level.”

13.42: SEAT places a huge emphasis on design and style, taking particular inspiration from the firm’s Barcelona roots. And there’s plenty of evidence of the brand’s passion for design on the Geneva Motor Show stand.

A set of bold SEAT posters, created by the Spanish illustrator Magoz, are hung on a wall of the stand, with visitors invited to take one away as a souvenir.

There’s also a station on the stand producing customised SEAT T-shirts and engraved wooden smartphone cases.

Also being handed out on the SEAT stand is a magazine entitled Start Moving, focused on the new Ibiza. But this isn’t your typical car brochure: it’s a high quality, boldly designed product that delves into what concepts such as creativity, play, style and structure mean, and introduces some notable Barcelona-based creatives. There’s even a section featuring some of the incredible new Ibiza concept sketches created by the SEAT design team – which the reader is invited to colour in.

13.08: SEAT’s executive vice-president for research and development, Dr Matthias Rabe, provided some insight into the reasoning behind the development of the new Leon CUPRA, which is being shown for the first time in Geneva.

“For us it’s an essential product,” said Rabe. “We’ve developed the Leon Cupra with 330bhp and 380Nm of torque, and this vehicle is fast. We have tested it around a racing circuit, and let me tell you that few road cars can achieve the performance it did. It’s great fun to drive on a circuit.”

12.50: During his Press Talk, SEAT chairman Luca de Meo also addressed the company’s plans for electric cars. He said: “We get lots of questions about the commitment of SEAT to electric cars, and we will launch the first electric SEAT in 2019.”

As well as electric cars, de Meo addressed SEAT’s investment in technology, particularly when it comes to in-car connectivity. He said: “We will continue to follow tech trends in the automotive sector. We are convinced that, of all the changes ahead for the industry, the connected car will give us additional sales, and will allow us to improve our products for our clients. We are particularly concerned with the idea of adding value added services to our cars.”

Robert Breschkow is SEAT’s recently appointed head of sales for Europe North/East, having moved to the Barcelona firm from elsewhere in the VW Group three months ago. He said: “It’s a great time to join SEAT. SEAT has real momentum; it’s hot, it’s on the move. 

“A few weeks ago I visited the SEAT Design Centre for the first time, and to see what’s in the works for the future was very exciting.”

12.20: SEAT has run a series of Press Talks at the Geneva Motor Show press days, with members of the company’s board providing information and updates. One of the talks was hosted by SEAT chairman Luca de Meo and Robert Breschkow, the head of sales Europe North/East.

De Meo provided an overview of SEAT’s recent successes. He said: “2016 was a very good year for SEAT, one of the best in SEAT’s history. It was our fourth consecutive year of growth. We grew sales by 30 per cent – we’ve perhaps the most of any brand in Europe.”

De Meo said that growth was being fuelled by SEAT’s ongoing brand revamp. “We are in the middle of the biggest product launch in SEAT’s history,” he said. “We launched the Ateca here last year, we have the new Ibiza here and we have the Arona coming. Launching three new products in one-and-a-half years is something we’ve never seen before – and it’s a great opportunity.

“Our growth is due to these new products, and the new Leon we revamped last year. We now cover the demand of the European market. We have products in all the segments where people buy cars.”

11.50: As mentioned earlier, SEAT’s UK Ibiza ambassadors have been taking a good look at the new technology systems fitted to the new Ibiza. SEAT has committed to increasing connectivity technology in it’s cars, and in the new Ibiza that’s accessed through an eight-inch multimedia touchscreen.

Rav Jagdev is an IT student and big tech fan, so we asked him what he thought of the new systems in the Ibiza. He also got to try out the VR car configurator that’s on the SEAT stand – where he was taken to a virtual Barcelona and given the chance to spec up a new Ibiza.

Here’s the video:

11.29: Earlier in our coverage (scroll down to find it), we took a look at some stats about the SEAT Ibiza, and delved into the car's history. Since there's a new Leon CUPRA on display at the Geneva Motor Show, let’s do the same for the Leon (all statistics courtesy of SEAT).

The first Leon (pictured above) was launched in 1999, with the second generation launched in 2005, and the third introduced in 2012. To date, SEAT has sold 1.8 million Leon cars, including a record 165,000 last year. In fact, SEAT has already sold more examples of the third generation of the Leon, which was recently updated, than the first.

All three generations of the Leon have been designed, developed and produced in Martorell, Barcelona. Around 80 per cent of the Leon’s produced are exported from Spain, and the firm’s biggest market is Germany. 

The Leon hasn’t just been a success in showrooms: it also has tremendous on-track pedigree. Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini respectively won the 2008 and 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship titles driving SEAT Leon TDIs, with SEAT Sport winning the manufacturers’ title in both years.

In 2014, a SEAT Leon CUPRA driven by Jordi Gene lapped the fabled 12.93-mile Nurburging Nordschleife circuit in 7m 58s, setting a new track record for a front-wheel-drive production car. A year later, SEAT set an estate car lap record at the same venue, with a Leon ST CUPRA estate completing a circuit in 7m 58.12s.

To learn more about the new Leon CUPRA, click here.

10.51: SEAT UK's Ibiza ambassadors are back at the Geneva Motor Show today, and have now had a long look around the new Ibiza. In particular, Rav Jagdev has been taking a close look at all the technology. We'll have a video with his views on it coming up shortly.

10.32: Joaquin Serra, SEAT’s director of quality, also gave an insight into the priority the firm has put on ensuring their cars are built and engineered to the highest standards. He explained: “At SEAT, design is key. The challenge is how to bring that concept to reality. In the quality department we measure everything. We try to achieve perfection.”

Serra talked about SEAT’s pride in the new Ibiza. He added: “SEAT is a team passionate about perfection. Our formula is to combine perfect design with perfect execution. We are sure we can confirm the new Ibiza as the next step of SEAT in our quest for perfection.”

09.39: During his Press Talk, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos also outlined SEAT’s key design themes, and talked about how the new Ibiza builds on the design ‘language’ of the Leon and Ateca. “Six years ago we launched a new Leon, and we started to build a strong design. The Leon of 2012 was the pillar of our brands.”

“Then we created the Ateca, and we made sure it was very close to the Leon’s design DNA, because we needed to build the brand. We needed people to know what a SEAT was meant to be. We recently updated the Leon and now, with the Ibiza as the third car in the new generation of SEAT, we’ve gone a bit further. This is the next step, a more sophisticated car.”

Mesonero-Romanos added: “There is an evolution in SEAT cars. The next car [the Arona, due later in 2017] will show the progression. This is a family of cars, and every member of the family has to be similar but different. We are in the phase of designing controlled evolution into every car.”

08.54: SEAT board members have been running a series of Press Talks during the Geneva Motor Show press days. We listened in to one that looked at the design and quality of the new Ibiza. It featured director of design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, and director of quality Joaquin Serra.

Mesonero-Romanos talked about SEAT’s design process, and how he and his team find inspiration. He said: “I feel a tremendous passion that this is what we do every day.” Mesonero-Romanos highlighted a quote from Italian Futurist poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who in 1909 compared early motor cars to sculptures. 

“At SEAT we get inspiration for car design from sculpture and the human body,” said Mesonero-Romanos. “Flat surfaces don’t communicate anything. Sculpture and car design is about creating contrast between light and shadows. 

“At SEAT we talk about muscles and surfaces. Attitude is very important to us. We want cars that have an attitude of movement, even before they are moving.”

07.47: Two examples of the latest version of the Leon CUPRA are prominently displayed on SEAT’s Geneva Motor Show stand: one built for the road, and one honed for the race track.

The new Leon CUPRA is the most powerful street-legal model that SEAT has ever produced, with a headline-grabbing 300hp engine that produces 380 Nm of torque. On the CUPRA ST model, that power is delivered with the option of a 4Drive Total Traction system, and a DSG double clutch. 

But the Leon CUPRA isn’t just about performance: it’s available with the same safety, connectivity and multimedia technology as the rest of the Leon range. It will be available as a 5-door, with SC and ST editions.

Also on display in Geneva is the SEAT Leon CUPRA Evo 17 – the competition version of the Leon that’s already a proven winner in the TCR International Series. It’s powered by the same engine as the road-going version, albeit tuned to produce 350hp and 420 Nm of torque. The front-wheel-drive racer is available to customers with either DSG or a manual sequential gearbox.

If you’re not aware of it, the TCR International Series is an international touring car championship designed as a more cost-effective option to the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The ten-round 2017 season kicks off at the Rustavi International Motorpark in Georgia on April 2, and also includes an event at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

To learn more about the new Leon CUPRA, click here.

Wednesday 05.40: We’re going to start the second day of our live coverage with a quick delve through the archives. We’re celebrating the debut of the fifth generation of the Ibiza,  so it seems a great time to look back at the first four editions of the hugely popular supermini.

The Ibiza Mk1 was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 1984, and was a milestone car in the Barcelona firm’s history. It was the first car wholly developed by SEAT as an independent company and, along with the Malaga saloon, was the first SEAT to be sold in the UK when the brand launched there in September 1985.

While designed, developed and produced in Barcelona, SEAT worked on the car in association with Italdesign, headed by noted designer Giorgio Giugiaro, Karmann and Porsche – the Ibiza engines proudly displayed ‘System Porsche’ branding. In total, 1,281,388 first generation Ibiza were sold before it was replaced in 1993.

The Ibiza Mk2, which launched in 1993, was the first vehicle manufactured in SEAT’s Martorell factory – and the first Ibiza developed since SEAT became part of the Volkswagen Group. It was available in three- and five-door variants, with a 2.0-litre, 150hp CUPRA variant arriving in 1996.

That CUPRA model was used as the basis for the SEAT Ibiza F2 Kit Car rally machine, which won the FIA 2-litre World Rally Cup crown three years in a row from 1996 to 1998.

By the time the Ibiza Mk2 ended production in 2002, SEAT had sold 1,522,607 examples.

The third generation of the Ibiza was unveiled in 2001, with a substantially revamped design courtesy of Walter de Silva that introduced SEAT’s ‘Agile Chassis’ concept. SEAT sold 1,084,989 versions of the third-generation Ibiza.

In 2008, SEAT launched the fourth version of the Ibiza, with sharper geometric lines that showcased the firm’s ‘Arrow Design’ concept. This version of the Ibiza included plenty of standard safety equipment, including Hill Hold Assist and a low-tyre-pressure warning system, which helped it score a five-star Euro NCAP rating for passenger protection.

That fourth-generation Ibiza will now be replaced by the latest all-new example. We took a closer look at the new machine yesterday – if you missed it, just scroll down through the blog and have a look.

To learn more about the new Ibiza, click here.

Sign up to be the first to know more about the new Ibiza here.

How Thursday March 7 unfolded

19.29: That's the end of our live coverage for today - but we'll be back with plenty more tomorrow. 

We'll have more reaction from SEAT UK's two Ibiza ambassadors, along with more news and updates from the SEAT Press Talks that took place today. We'll be taking a closer look at the two examples of the new Leon CUPRA that are on display, and at some of the other attractions on display on the SEAT stand at the Geneva Motor Show.

Finally, if you missed it earlier, here's our first look video at the new Ibiza.

19.15: After he saw the new Ibiza for the first time, Ibiza UK ambassador Rav Jagdev said: “It’s a very well designed car. I love the new bodylines and the way it stands out, with the aggressiveness of the front bumper. The road presence is really good. It’s very close to the Leon, but also different. 

“It’s come a long way from the previous Ibiza. It’s a car that will appeal to quite young people, as well as older people – it’s practical and stylish as well.

“We got off the plane today and it’s nice to be in a new country – I’ve never been to Switzerland before. But to be here at the Geneva Motor Show is great. We’ve literally only been here on the SEAT stand so far, and that’s overwhelming by itself, without looking at the rest of the show. I could stay on this stand all day with the new models.”

Rav was particularly impressed by the new entertainment and connectivity systems in the new Ibiza. He said: “The system, especially with Full Link and Apple Car Play, are great. I tried the voice link [using Apple Car Play] and it was brilliant. I love all the tech, and the way it’s laid out on the dashboard.”

18.40: Earlier today, SEAT UK’s two Ibiza ambassadors were able to check out the all new Ibiza for the first time – and they were both impressed.

Gaynor Thorpe, who has owned three Ibiza, said: “I absolutely love it. The colours, the style of it – everything is absolutely the next level, especially the technology inside. I’m really impressed with it.”

Gaynor had closely studied the pictures and launch video of the new Ibiza that were released in January. But on seeing it in the metal she said: “It’s the next level from what I thought it was going to be. The tech looks bigger and better than in the pictures, and the interior is a lot nicer. It’s impressive to see. You open the doors and it’s just ‘wow’. I’m really impressed.”

When asked to pick out one design element of the car that stood out, Gaynor said: “It’s definitely the rear. It’s completely different to what SEAT have done before with the Ibiza. Even the lights: we expected triangular lights like the Leon, and while the lights are Leon-esque, they’re in line with the lines that run down the side of the car. It’s just a fantastic feature.”

17.50: Here’s the video featuring the first impressions of SEAT UK’s two Ibiza ambassadors to the new car.

16.46: SEAT is hugely proud of its Barcelona heritage, and that is celebrated across the firm’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show. 

There are a number of pedestals on the stand housing tablets offering insights into design aspects of the new Ibiza and new Leon CUPRA – but on the back are some illustrations celebrating SEAT’s Barcelona roots.

One sign features a celebration of tapas, while others highlight Barcelona landmarks. Among the signs are ones that feature the Olympic Marina, the Telefonica Tower, the MACBA building (which houses the Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum), and the Torre de Collserola.

If you’re heading to the Geneva Motor Show, make sure to check them all out – you can learn about Barcelona while also checking out the all-new Ibiza.

16.20: To ensure that loyal enthusiasts are among the first to see the all-new Ibiza, SEAT UK has brought two Ibiza ambassadors to the Geneva Motor Show. Both were recruited through the Ibiza Owners Club, and since we’re going to feature them throughout the remainder of our coverage in a few videos, let’s introduce them.

Gaynor Thorpe, 24, is a freelance designer who lives in Leeds with her fiancé (who she met through the Ibiza Owners Club!). The first car she bought after she passed her test was an Ibiza, and she’s now on her third. She currently owns a 2013 SEAT Ibiza 1.6 TDI FR. 

Ravinder Jagdev, 20, is an IT student from Birmingham. He bought his first Ibiza – a brand-new 1.2 TSI FR – shortly after passing his test. He now drives a limited edition Ibiza Bocanegra 1.4 TSI that he bought off a fellow Ibiza Owners Club member.

Having landed at Geneva Airport late this morning, Gaynor and Ravinder passed up the opportunity to stop and stock up on Swiss cheese and chocolate and headed directly to the SEAT stand in the Palexpo convention centre to check out the new Ibiza. We were on hand to catch their first reactions for a video, which we’ll have coming up here shortly.

15.11: Dr Andreas Tostman, SEAT’s executive vice-president for production, gave an insight into the production process for the new Ibiza. The car is produced at SEAT’s factory in Martorell, near Barcelona.

Tostman said that the new MQB A0 platform offered a big step forward for production efficiency and sustainability. 

The production process starts in the press room, with machines that press the steel plates into shape. It then moves to the body stop, where 900 robots are used to weld the Ibiza bodies together. Each Ibiza shell features more than 400 welding points, with lasers used for accuracy.

The next step is the paint shop: each Ibiza is given five layers of solvent-free paint. Each layer of paint is 120Mu thick - about the same thickness as a human hair. Tostman added: “We’ve made gains in this area. The process uses 23 per cent less energy than it did five years ago.”

The final step is the assembly area, where the finished cars are assembled. Tostman added: “This is a master achievement in logistics: we have to make sure the right parts go to the right robot at exactly the right time.

“There’s a lot of technology in our products - and our production process. But it also requires a lot of teamwork between those who design the cars and those who build them, to ensure we bring the best quality car to our customers.”

14.57: At the end of his presentation, Rabe was asked about the new Arona, which is due to be launched later this year. Rabe explained: “The Arona will be the development of our vision for a compact SUV. And it’s going to be really racy!”

14.27: Rabe also highlighted the connectivity, infotainment and driver assistance technology available in the Ibiza. He noted: “The car has similar technology to the Ateca and Leon, which enhances SEAT’s brand identity. We’ve taken technology from the premium segment, and added it to the compact class.

“Young customers are a focus for us, and sound is very important for them. We’ve worked with Beats to create a fantastic sound system with great performance. It’s going to be a fantastic acoustic experience when you drive this car.”

14:00: Dr Matthias Rabe, SEAT’s executive vice-president for research and development, also talked about the design of the new Ibiza during his Press Talk.

“We didn’t want a car that was bigger in external dimensions – and, in fact, the new Ibiza is a bit more compact than the old version,” said Rabe. “But there’s a lot more room inside, and it’s better proportioned. It’s got very compact overhangs, a longer wheelbase and bigger wheels. We’ve also improved the structural integrity of the body by 20 per cent.”

Rabe is particularly proud of the Ibiza’s styling. He said: “In terms of design, this car speaks for the brand.”

13.12: Instead of a traditional press conference, SEAT is holding a series of ‘Press Talks’ events, with company figures providing insights and updates. We’ve been listening in to bring you some of the highlights.

One Press Talk featured Dr Matthias Rabe, executive vice-president for research and development, and Dr Andreas Tostman, executive vice-president for production, giving an insight into the new Ibiza and the new VW Group MQB A0 platform it’s built on. Rabe began by highlighting SEAT’s new car launches, which began with the Ateca that was launched at the Geneva Motor Show last year.

“We’re in the middle of the largest product offensive we’ve ever had at SEAT,” he said. “We had the Ateca last year, and also a revised Leon. This year is the year of the new Ibiza and the Arona [SEAT’s compact SUV], and here in Geneva we have the Ibiza.”

Rabe noted SEAT’s pride in the continued success of the Ibiza: “It’s the longest SEAT vehicle to be in continuous production. We started making the Ibiza in 1984, and the new car is the fifth generation. We now have a lot of continuity, and we built that into the new Ibiza. But it’s also the first car in the VW Group built on the new AQB A0 platform – and that platform is an enormous step for compact cars.”

12.03: Want to find out more about the all-new SEAT Ibiza? Well, check out this short video – produced direct from the SEAT stand here at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s a quick tour showing you some of the key features of the stylish new supermini.

Want to share your views on the all-new SEAT Ibiza? Get in touch on social media, using #SEATgeneva.

We’ll have more videos coming up later today and tomorrow, including first reactions from SEAT UK’s Ibiza ambassadors.

11.51: Our video team in Geneva have been hard at work, bringing you an up-close first look at the all-new SEAT Ibiza. We’ll have that video coming up shortly.

11.40: As well as the live updates here, we'll be posting new photos throughout the two days. Check out the gallery at the top of the page to have a look at everything that's happening on the SEAT stand.

10.39: The new Ibiza is the fifth generation of the supermini. Let’s take a look at a few statistics about the car.

First off, since SEAT launched the Ibiza back in 1984, it has sold more than 5.4 million of them - over four generations. If you placed every Ibiza sold in a straight line, they’d stretch from Barcelona to New Zealand (or around 12,000 miles).

The Ibiza is produced at SEAT’s main factory in Martorell, near Barcelona. Some 700 Ibizas are built at the factory every day – and 80 per cent of those are exported from Spain to more than 75 countries.

The Martorell production line the Ibiza is built on features more than 700 robots, which are used to assemble the 3000 parts that make up each car. An Ibiza will travel around 7.4 miles in the factory to complete the production process.

The Ibizas are also painted in Martorell. Since 1984, more than 70 million kilos of paint have been used – enough to paint the Eiffel Tower more than 1000 times. Hopefully, that should will you with some good facts to impress your friends with…

To learn more about the new Ibiza, click here.

Sign up to be the first to know more about the new Ibiza here.

09.43: SEAT has put a major focus on becoming a frontrunner in connected cars – and the new Ibiza is packed with connectivity, comfort and safety technology.

The new Ibiza will be available with a wireless smartphone charger – a hugely popular feature on the Ateca and new Leon models. The eight-inch touchscreen is also compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. We’ll be taking a closer look at SEAT’s commitment to becoming a frontrunner in connected cars and mobility systems later.

The new Ibiza will be available with an audio system developed by BeatsAudio, and features a digital signal processor, seven premium speakers and a eight-channel 300W amplifier.

The eight-inch touchscreen will also give access to many of the Ibiza’s driver assistance systems – many of which are also shared with the Ateca and Leon. There’s Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

When it’s launched in the UK in July, the new SEAT Ibiza will be available in five trim levels.

The FR trim is intended to stand out with a rear diffuser and redesigned front bumper. It also includes stiffer sport suspension and four drive mode settings – Comfort, Eco, Sport and Individual – which will allow drivers to tailor the Ibiza’s performance to their requirements.

The new XCELLENCE trim has been tailored to drivers looking for comfort, elegance and intelligent technology. It has design touches including 16-inch machined alloy wheels and contrast upholstery stitching. It will also offer a range of drive mode settings, with the addition of a softer setting.

We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the new Ibiza’s standout features later, as well as getting some a first reaction from SEAT UK’s two Ibiza ambassadors. Check back here later for more.

09.02: Previous generations of the Ibiza have been renowned for their dynamic drive and handling, and SEAT has worked hard to ensure this remains the case with the new car.

Initially the Ibiza will launch with a range of petrol engines – a 1.0 75PS, a 1.0 TSI 95, a 1.0 TSI 115PS, and a four-cylinder EVO 1.5-litre 150PS. That TSI EVO engine offers the latest direct injection technology which uses a smaller injector tip and gives the new engines faster response rates. A range of diesel options are due to join the line-up in September. Depending on engine size, power is delivered through a manual five-speed or six-speed gearbox. A seven-speed dual-clutch DSG auto will also be available.

SEAT engineers say that the new MQB A0 platform the car is built on has also boosted its ride, handling and driving comfort. The new platform means that the new Ibiza has 30 per cent greater torsional stiffness than the previous model. SEAT is also promising improvements in noise control, vibrations and ride harshness.

 

Check back here soon to learn more about the Ibiza’s trim technology and trim level. And remember: if you’ve got any comments, you can make them on social media using the hashtag #SEATgeneva.

08.23: The star of SEAT’s stand at Geneva is the all-new Ibiza, which is being shown to the public for the very first time. It is the fifth generation of the Barcelona firm’s popular supermini and is due to go on sale in the UK in July 2017.

We’ll be taking a closer look at the new Ibiza’s design features throughout the Geneva Motor Show, and we’ll have a video tour coming up for you later today. But first, let’s start with some of the key details.

SEAT has completely reinvented the Ibiza: it is the first car to be built on the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB A0 modular platform, which means it can be fitted with the very latest in safety, design, performance and comfort features.

The five-door-only new Ibiza is 87mm wider, 2mm shorter and 1mm lower than the previous generation machine, with a 60mm longer wheelbase. That makes it considerably more spacious inside, including a 355-litre boot.

SEAT designers wanted the new Ibiza to look fresh and young, yet also mature and balanced. It reflects the distinctive SEAT styling seen on the Leon and Ateca, with features including triangular full LED headlights. Inside, the Ibiza’s dashboard has been focused around the driver, with the controls and instruments positioned as high as possible.

So that’s a quick overview of the new Ibiza: we’ve got plenty more about the car coming up over the next two days. Check back here shortly for a closer look at the new Ibiza’s engine options and performance.

To learn more about the new Ibiza, click here.

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07.47: SEAT’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show is located in Hall Two of the Palexpo convention centre.

The SEAT stand features both the new Ibiza and the Leon CUPRA, split diagonally into two sections (a nod to the Avinguda Diagonal that runs through the heart of SEAT’s hometown of Barcelona). Top fact: if you look closely, the avenue is also represented with a diagonal stripe on SEAT’s logo.

The Ibiza side of the stand features six examples of the fifth generation of SEAT’s supermini, showcasing the various trim levels that will be available at launch. We’ll take a closer look at the car, and the trim levels, later.

While the Ibiza side is a celebration of Barcelona’s vibrancy, the Leon CUPRA side of the stand takes a little inspiration from racing circuits – showcasing the powerful performance aspects of the machine. We’ll have more information on the Leon CUPRA later.

SEAT is also showcasing some innovative technology on the stand, which visitors to the show will be able to try out. That includes an innovative 3D car configurator, which uses Oculus and Kinect technology to let users spec up a car in virtual reality.

We’ll take a closer look at some of the other elements of the stand over the next two days. If that tempts you to consider a visit, the Geneva Motor Show public days run from March 9-19, with tickets available from here. The Palexpo is located within walking distance of Geneva Airport, so it’s possible to visit the show in a day trip from the UK.

Our Verdict

Seat Ibiza

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

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