With the lesson learned, SEAT has decided to once again give importance to a Barcelona Motor Show where, unfortunately, all the brands have already turned towards the commercial, towards selling and showing cars to the end customer, and where the only global novelty has been the presentation of the facelift of the successful Ibiza.
A facelift that comes just in time to boost sales of this B segment. And, as already happened months ago with the facelift of the Polo, there have been no big surprises.
The exterior of the car, as anticipated by the spy photos we got in the middle of Barcelona, leave us with a car virtually identical to what we already had, with modifications in detail. The front light clusters integrate new daytime running lights with LED technology. The rear lights change very slightly, new meshes are added to the air intakes, and new colors are released.
The big news is in the cabin, where a new touchscreen infotainment system debuts, including "MirrorLink", to allow you to view applications from your mobile phone on the dashboard of the car, something that is really in demand in the current type B-segment customer. The touchscreen goes up to 6.5 inches, depending on the version, and will serve to cure one of the weakest points of the current Ibiza, which had had its radio and infotainment system unchanged since... since 2008 no less (although it was complemented by TomTom navigators with a specific bracket on the dashboard).
The climate control is also updated, though it's still single-zone. There's a new multifunction steering wheel, and new driving aids arrive in droves, such as the driving fatigue detector. There's a 'multi-collision' automatic braking system to prevent injury in multiple rear-end impacts, but no automatic anti-collision braking or city collisions, or lane-keeping assistance.
In terms of chassis, SEAT is introducing new active damping and new settings for the Ibiza, and offers an optional driving "profiles" system, so you can have a soft damping, a very assisted steering and a progressive accelerator in a comfort program, or radicalize everything in the dynamic program.
In terms of engines and range, the Cupra disappears, as expected. Current homologation requirements had already made me tell you how the 180 hp 1.4 TFSI of the sportiest Ibiza could no longer be sold beyond next September. SEAT has updated the entire engine range to bring it in line with Euro6.
For the time being there are three basic one-litre three-cylinder petrol engines, the 75 hp naturally aspirated engine and two supercharged engines with 95 and 110 hp. There will be three diesel engines, a three-cylinder 75 horsepower (1.4 liters and average consumption of 3.4 liters) and two other four-cylinder with 95 and 105 horses.
The top of the range will be, at least for the moment, the FR, which maintains the 1.4 TFSI, now with intelligent deactivation of two cylinders depending on the needs, and offers 150 horsepower to the front wheels. Will there be a new Ibiza Cupra? The fact that the current Ibiza has two seasons left to run makes us doubt it. Will SEAT spend money to invest in a Cupra with new mechanics?
Volkswagen has already shown that it can be done, with the 1.8-litre supercharged Polo GTI, but it remains to be seen if that mechanics ends up in an Ibiza Cupra, and it will be presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show next September.