Curves are out and angles are in for new Spanish supermini
11 October 2007

It won’t go into production until 2009, but our spies have already caught the next-generation Seat Ibiza winter testing in Switzerland.This will be the first VW product to use the group’s all-new small car platform, which will underpin the next Polo and is expected to form the basis for an upmarket Audi A1 supermini. It’s also the first mainstream Seat to be built under design boss Luc Donkerwolke’s influence, after his new styling ideas were demonstrated on the angular Tribu concept at the Frankfurt motor show. That means the new Ibiza’s revolutionary look will set it apart from curvy big siblings like the Leon and Altea, with the possibility of trapezoidal headlights, sharper body lines and - as can be seen on the test car in our picture - a more prominent front grille. Although there’s no official word on engines, we expect the 2009 range to downsize from the current, normally aspirated petrol motors and use VW’s new breed of smaller-capacity TSI turbo units, which should offer equivalent power with improved fuel economy. There will also be a range of frugal TDI diesels, too, with the potential for a low-emissions 'Ecomotive' version. And in keeping with Seat’s sporty image, we’ll definitely get hot FR and Cupra variants in both petrol and diesel form.

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