Energetic Iberian car maker SEAT is starting the year in bullish mood as it looks to build on another 12 months of solid sales growth in 2007.
With a host of exciting new models up its sleeve, as well as important developments to the existing line-up, SEAT is kicking off 2008 with a raft of changes to its most widely-owned model – the sporty Ibiza supermini.
Among the alterations to the familiar three- and five-door range is the arrival of the all-new, ultra-economical Ecomotive, which is already causing a stir among buyers keen to maximise their mpg while minimising their carbon footprint. At more than 74 mpg on the combined cycle, and with an official CO2 figure of just 99 g/km (even with its standard-fit air conditioning), the newcomer is leading the way in the push for greener motoring on a budget thanks to a price tag of just £10,995 RRP.
Another newcomer, fresh for 2008, is the high value 1.4-litre 100 PS Sport. A permanent addition to the Ibiza range, the new model features a lively 100 PS 16-valve petrol engine (the output is up from the previous 85 PS 1.4-litre) mated to a slick five-speed manual gearbox. This combination delivers crisp acceleration – the 0-62 mph time is a spirited 11.2 seconds – while the top speed, where permissible, is 118 mph.
Dynamics live up to the model’s name thanks to specially stiffened and lowered sports suspension that delivers sprightly handling and a composed ride.
As one would expect, the Sport looks the part inside and out, too. Fellow road users will admire the suitably chunky 16-inch alloys shod with ultra low profile 205/45 rubber, plus the body-coloured rear spoiler, while the Sport driver will no doubt appreciate the grippy sports seats, leather-clad three-spoke steering wheel and gearknob, and great-sounding MP3-compatible CD/radio with AUX-in connection. All this, and a price tag of just £9,395 RRP.
Continuing unchanged is the 1.9 TDI Sport – featuring a punchy yet economical 100 PS turbodiesel engine – with an equally untouched price tag of £10,995 RRP.
The revised Ibiza model line-up now begins with the high specification Reference Sport – available with either a characterful 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol or frugal 1.4-litre TDI three-cylinder turbodiesel powerplant and priced from only £8,695 RRP.
At the other end of the scale, the range is now topped off by the energetic FR with a 130 PS 1.9-litre TDI engine offering a distinctly hot sub-ten second 0-62 mph time, 129 mph top speed (where permissible), a silky six-speed manual gearbox and top-notch levels of equipment – and all for an eye-catching £13,350 RRP.
SEAT Head of Marketing, Steve Robertson, said of the revisions: ‘The Ibiza remains a key model in the SEAT range, with upwards of 13,000 sold in the last 12 months.
‘We’re sure these important changes, together with the addition of models like the highly significant and advanced Ecomotive, will keep Ibiza in the supermini ‘premier league’ for the foreseeable future.’