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July arrival for new Seat Ibiza

By raccars Published

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Next-gen Seat Ibiza will debut the MQB A Zero platform and be followed by the Arona baby SUV.

The new Seat Ibiza will be available to buy in July after it makes its debut in the spring, probably at the 2017 Geneva motor show which takes place in March.

There has been very little information released by Seat regarding the 2017 model which will replace what is currently the best-selling car in its range. Its development vehicles have worn heavy disguises or cladding during road testing, including a recent camouflage effect which gave it the appearance of a Hyundai i20.

Seat Leon similarities

It is apparent that this test mule has new tail-lights, however, which seem to have taken design cues from those seen on the larger Seat Leon. Similar changes appear to have been applied to the headlights, giving the impression that the 2017 Seat Ibiza will share design aspects with its bigger sibling.

It is expected that next year’s Ibiza will also benefit from an upgraded cabin as Seat attempts to make the new model seem more upmarket. Spy shots also suggest that it may also have increased dimensions, hinting that more passenger space may be on the agenda. This appears to support information emanating from within Seat which indicates that the next Ibiza will hold the title of the first car underpinned by the VW Group’s new MQB A Zero platform.

This architecture is expected to allow for the more effective use of space and looks set to underpin up-coming versions of the Skoda Fabia and the Volkswagen Polo. Most models in the next Seat Ibiza range are also set to make use of the VW Group’s latest four-cylinder turbocharged diesel and petrol engines and a smaller three-cylinder 1.0-litre unit will also be retained.

Crossover future

The next-generation of the Ibiza is likely to be followed by a crossover variant in the future. Seat hopes that this will rival the likes of the Audi Q2 and will sit underneath the Ateca SUV in its own range. Unlike the Audi Q2, however, the new Ibiza crossover is expected to be front-wheel-drive only rather than offering a four-wheel-drive option. It will, however, boast design elements designed to appeal to a younger audience, including bulky wheel arches. It will probably be slightly taller and longer than the Ibiza hatchback.

Seat has already confirmed the name of the small crossover which will also be launched next year. The brand announced at this year’s Paris Motor Show that it will be known as the Arona.

The title reflects other cars in the range offered by Seat as it is named after a Spanish location. It comes from a municipality found in southern Tenerife. The small crossover should be launched during the second half of 2017 and it is likely to become a rival for the Renault Captur and the Nissan Juke.

The Spanish brand is working hard on a rapid expansion of its line-up of SUVs and a larger vehicle is also on the cards. Speaking at the Seat annual press conference, which was held in Madrid, the firm's CEO, Luca de Meo, said that the baby SUV based on the Ibiza would be first to appear and would be built at Seat’s Martorell plant, near Barcelona.

He said that this was ‘excellent news’ for the company’s main factory and for the brand as a whole since the SUV market is the world’s fastest-growing segment. de Meo added that Seat’s SUV efforts would also mark ‘a firm step’ in the creation of the brand’s ‘third pillar’ alongside the Leon and Ibiza families.

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