Seat Bocanegra (2008): first official pictures

Published: 03 March 2008

What’s new on Seat’s Geneva Motor Show stand?

It’s all about the new Ibiza on the Mediterranean-themed Seat stand today. Forget the Bocanegra badge, this concept is a thinly veiled teaser for the new supermini due to hit showrooms at the end of the year.

It looks pretty special, a tantalisingly taut three-door supermini with good proportions and a fresh take on the swooping wheelarch line that has come to epitomise modern Seats. We’re less keen on the blindspot-inducing quarterlights, though. This is our latest hint at the future design direction for the company, now that ex-Lamborghini designer Luc Donckerwolke is in charge of the creative pencils, and we’ll see a flurry of launches by the end of the decade. As well as this (thinly disguised) new Ibiza, the company is also launching its first Mondeo competitor and 4x4.

Inside, the Bocanegra is lightened by a panoramic sunroof and enlivened by decidedly retro, quilted leather sports seats and the latest VW group iteration of the flat-bottomed steering wheel. Of more interest are the unusually wide mesh-topped air vents which have been styled into an interior design motif; if these make it to production, they could take interior ventilation from functional to stylish.

CAR highlight

The new Ibiza will mark a milestone for VW’s Spanish outpost: it’s the first time a Seat has pioneered a new group platform – the supermini will get the latest running gear before the Polo will. Should mean the Ibiza gets all the latest engine tech and electronic gizmos for one so small.

That’s why the concept car you see here runs the 1.4 TSI twin-charged engine from the Golf, installed in this application with a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox. It’s a safe bet Seat isn’t announcing these technical details with no production intent.

What were they thinking?

Silly marketing speak alert! Seat calls the Bocanegra a SportCoupe, but we’d beg to differ. It’s plainly the three-door version of the Ibiza. Haven’t we all had enough of wool being pulled over our eyes by silly marketing misnomers? Oh, and the Bocanegra name means ‘black mouth’, tipping its hat to the Seventies Seat 1200 Sport. And explaining that dark snout.

In a nutshell

Ibiza rediscovers style, judged on this effort
4/5

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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