New SEAT Ibiza debuts, revised engines, higher quality

SEAT updates its popular supermini, Cupra model on the horizon

Spanish brand SEAT has revised its popular Ibiza supermini with a range of new engines and quality improvements, as well as adaptive damping and the latest wave of infotainment options.

The updated model should also herald a new Cupra. The car hasn't yet been confirmed, but it's likely to use the 1.8-litre TSI engine from the recently revised Polo GTI, along with its manual gearbox - finally providing owners with an alternative to the existing DSG-only model.

In the Polo GTI, the 1.8 - a replacement for the previous 1.4 TSI - develops 189bhp at 4200rpm and 236lb ft of torque in a broad spread from 1450-4200rpm. The result is a 6.7sec 0-62mph sprint and 146mph top speed. An Ibiza Cupra with the same power unit is likely to offer similar performance figures.

The rest of the Ibiza range is a mix of revised power units and interior tweaks. Customers are apparently happy with the existing car's looks, so SEAT has left the styling well alone. Changes are therefore limited to new headlamp units with integral LED daytime running lights, new 16 and 17in alloy wheel designs, and a pair of new exterior paintwork options, Moonstone Grey and Chilli Red.

Propulsion options kick off with a 1.0-litre three cylinder in both 74bhp naturally-aspirated and 94 or 108bhp turbocharged forms. The latter develops peak torque of 148lb ft, not far shy of the 1.4 TSI with cylinder deactivation that now sits above it in the range. That car produces 184lb ft of torque and 148bhp, with impressive parismony - 58.8mpg combined in five-door form.

Those of a diesel persuasion can choose among three, three-cylinder TDI diesels, with 74bhp, 89bhp and 104bhp power outputs. The least profligate consumes at a rate of 83mpg and emits 88 grams of CO2 every kilometre. Additionally, the mid-range diesel and 1.0 petrols can be specified with DSG.

SEAT has worked on the suspension too. Springs, dampers and anti-roll bars have been honed, and models equipped with the optional SEAT Drive Profile have adaptive dampers with comfort and sport modes. Selection between the two also changes the weight of the power steering.

Interior architecture hasn't changed a great deal, but materials have improved significantly with the latest car. Interior quality is another step closer to the Polo, while the implementation of a new infotainment screen and coloured trim elements brighten the cabin.

As ever, the Ibiza is available as a standard five-door, practical ST estate and a sporty SC three-door. Reference trim kicks off the range. Style trim adds air conditioning and a colour touchscreen, FR features styling enhancements and special alloy wheels, and a range of options can be added to all models to personalise them to the buyer's tastes.

The new Ibiza is set to arrive in late summer 2015 - no date has yet been announced for an updated Cupra.

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