Seat has aimed to give the Ibiza Cupra an unrivalled combination of performance and efficiency. The lightweight 1390cc twin-charged engine is in its most powerful form yet and offers a tempting array of claimed figures, including 188bhp, 236lb ft, 45.6mpg and 145g/km.
The old Cupra used a mechanical supercharger works alone up to 2400rpm, when the turbocharger kicks in. They work together until 3500rpm, at which point the supercharger disconnects and the turbocharger goes solo all the way to the 7000rpm red line. Now the Cupra uses a just a turbocharged 1.8-litre unit.
Economy is aided by the use of a six-speed manual gearbox – the same as that found in the Volkswagen Polo. The Cupra has a rather less ground-breaking chassis, using MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam with trailing arms at the rear. Over the already lowered and stiffened FR, the Cupra gets 15 percent stiffer springs, firmer dampers and a 5mm drop in ride height. Seat’s traction-boosting XDS, an electronic system that mimics the effect of a mechanical limited-slip differential, is also standard.
Styling alterations are deliberately brash on the Cupra, starting with the black honeycomb grille. Black wing mirrors, a large, black rear diffuser and central exhaust combine to give a much more dramatic look than the standard Ibiza Sport Coupé.