Based on the SportCoupé (SC) three-door body shape, the now familiar 'Arrow Design' concept which helps all new Ibizas stand out so clearly on today's cluttered roads is augmented on the Cupra by a newly-designed bumper and integrated spoiler featuring large air intakes for easy cooling of both the engine and the large front disc brakes.
This particular Ibiza's nose is rounded off with an eye-catching U-shape of additional air vents beneath a specifically-designed central grille featuring a honeycomb structure and black surround. Seat further emphasises the exclusive nature of its new model with black inserts on the front bumper, one of which features the word 'Cupra', a trademark of the company's top-performing model.
In profile the features that stand out include 17 inch alloy wheels not dissimilar to those seen on the Seat Bocanegra concept car unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. Visible through each wheel's five double-spoke structure are impressive disc brakes and four-pot red callipers, while the wheels themselves are shod with low profile, sporty 215/40 tyres.
The rear end features prominent 'shoulders' – a notable trait of the Ibiza SC shape – which frame the tail lights, as well as black moulding beneath the bumper to house the number plate. This incorporates a newly designed, centrally placed trapezoid tailpipe, flanked by aerodynamically efficient, slatted wings.
Inside, the sporty story's much the same. The new Ibiza Cupra features an exclusive interior design incorporating a dashboard studded with high gloss 'piano black' elements such as the radio panel, the ventilation nozzles and the instrument binnacle hood. The steering wheel features a flattened base similar to those seen in many a competition vehicle, while its three-spoke structure and side indentations make the height- and reach-adjustable wheel especially easy to grip.
The Cupra uses a 180 PS 1.4-litre petrol engine featuring not only a turbocharger but also a supercharger – engineering designed to maximise both power delivery and fuel economy. Add to this compact yet potent powerplant the fact that it is mated as standard to a seven-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) transmission, complete with F1-style steering wheel shift-paddles, and the sporting potential of the Cupra becomes obvious.
Generating its top torque figure of 250 Nm from 1,750 rpm, and maintaining that torque right through to 4,500 rpm, the 1.4 TSI is capable of flinging the front-wheel drive Ibiza from rest to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds. The top speed, where legal, is 140 mph. Economy is 42 mpg on the combined cycle.
UK prices and precise specification details will be announced closer to the new model's launch during the first half of next year.Seat reveals prices for new Ibiza range
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26 February 2009