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Beijing show: SEAT Ibiza Cupra

The covers come off SEAT's refreshed Ibiza Cupra hot hatchback at the 2012 Beijing motor show

2012 SEAT Ibiza Cupra front

SEAT has used the 2012 Beijing motor show to unveil its new Ibiza Cupra. It’s a refresh for the current car, rather than an all-new model. And while it’s officially a concept for now, expect any changes for the production version to be scant.
 
In line with updates bestowed upon the rest of the Ibiza range at March’s Geneva show, there’s a host of minor styling tweaks – jazzier headlights (with LEDs front and rear), sharper front grille and bolder air intakes – and a bit of an interior rejig, with a new sports steering wheel and a removable touchscreen satnav and trip computer. The concept gets yellow trimmed leather sports seats.
 
The car has been previewed in Ibiza SC three-door form – currently the only Cupra body-style choice – and gets 17in alloy wheels, muscular wheel arches, Crono Yellow paint and black details such as side mirrors and rear diffuser. The overall look is very similar to the current Ibiza Cupra.
 
And everything under the skin as ‘as you were’, too, with the 1.4-litre twin-charged petrol engine – shared with the Skoda Fabia vRS, Volkswagen Polo GTI and Audi A1 – untouched. That means 178bhp and 184lb ft maximum outputs and a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch auto gearbox as standard, with an XDS electronic diff helping the front wheels out.
 
The sharpened SEAT Ibiza Cupra should be on sale in the summer, priced from around £18,000. It enters a tough hot hatchback market, with the new Peugeot 208 GTI and Ford Fiesta ST – as well as an all-new Renaultsport Clio – due by early 2013.

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