What is it?
The new Ibiza supermini, due in UK showrooms in mid-July, and the model first to use an all-new “agile chassis” platform, whose elements will go into the new VW Polo, a forthcoming baby Audi (dubbed A0) and the next Skoda Fabia.
The July launch of the new Spanish-built supermini is expected to lift Ibiza sales well above the already impressive level of 180,000 units a year, about a third of current Seat volume. This will spearhead a strong push by Seat’s president, Erich Schmitt, to double the size of Seat’s range to 16 models by 2012, and double sales to 800,000 cars by about 2015.
The new Ibiza comes in two body styles, a five-door hatchback due in UK showrooms on July 16, and a sportier three-door with different doors and bodysides, dubbed SportCoupe. It also has a lower roofline, different tail lights and more muscular ‘haunches’ over the rear wheels. The SportCoupe will probably make its world debut at the London Motor Show in July and hit the market this November.
The Ibiza’s launch engines are a trio of petrol units updated to deliver Euro 5 emissions when needed in a couple of years’ time, but familiar from other VWs: a 1.2-litre, 69bhp triple, and an 84bhp 1.4-litre unit and 100bhp 1.6-litre four cylinder. Three diesels will arrive in 2009: VW’s familiar 1.4-litre, 80bhp TDI, and two versions of the trusted 1.9 litre TDI, packing 90bhp or 105bhp.