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Seat Ibiza Cupra (2013) production car shown

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

05 November 2012 09:21

Seat has shown the production version of the new Ibiza Cupra - six months after showing the concept at the 2012 Beijing motor show. And, as predicted, very little has changed for 2013's new Ibiza hot hatch.

It's powered by VW's 1.4 TSI engine, complete with twin-charging by super- and turbocharger. Outputs mirror those of the 'concept' Ibiza Cupra, peaking at 178bhp and 184lb ft.

So how fast is the new 2012 Seat Ibiza Cupra?

Seat quotes a 0-62mph dash of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 142mph - impressively rapid for a supermini GTI, especially one costing £18,825 when sales start in January 2013.

That small engine means fuel consumption falls to 47.9mpg, doubtless aided by the seven-speed DSG twin-clutch transmission which snicks up to taller ratios as soon as practical to lower revs, and consequently thirst. The DSG comes with paddle-shifts behind the steering wheel for when hooning rather tootling is order of the day.

What else is new on the 2013 Ibiza Cupra?

The ride height is lowered and the group's XDS electronic differential lock brakes individual wheels to trim the line through corners and tame wheelspin.

There's kit galore, too: bi-xenon headlamps are standard alongside day-running lights, 17in alloys are fitted and the door mirrors are finished in black gloss. The trapezoidal exhaust pipe is a further giveaway that this is the Ibiza hot hatch edition. We expect that'll bring higher bills and much head-scratching down at Kwik Fit come replacement time.

Seat's portable sat-nav screen is now available, borrowed from the Mii city car, while standard equipment on the 2013 Ibiza Cupra includes climate control, automatic wipers and sports seats.

Seat Cupra: a potted history

The Spanish launch the first Cupra as a special edition in 1996 to commemorate Seat's win in the 2.0-litre category of the World Rally Championship. It proved popular and the name stuck to distinguish the brand's sports trim line.

Will the Ibiza Cupra be enough to kickstart Seat sales? The Spanish have always done excellent value hot hatchbacks, but this pocket rocket will need to shift perceptions heavily if it is to expand the brand's small sales base, which struggled to reach 350,000 units globally in 2011.