Seat IBE electric concept (2010) first official pictures | CAR Magazine

Seat IBE electric concept (2010) first official pictures

Published: 29 September 2010 Updated: 26 January 2015

Look familiar? This Seat IBE concept car should. Why? Because although this red Seat IBE concept car has just been unveiled at the Volkswagen Group’s huge pre-Paris motor show party, a silver version was shown at the Geneva motor earlier in 2010.

So this new Seat IBE concept is much like the old Seat IBE concept car?

Yes, but if you look closely you’ll spot the differences. The main styling of the new IBE car is the same as the old IBE, but the front and rear LED lights are new and the front bumper’s intakes have been restyled as well.  

‘The IBE shows Seat’s vision for a car of the future that is as emotional as it is ecologically responsible and affordable,’ said Seat’s head of design Luc Donckerwolke. ‘The IBE is a gene pool for our next generation of vehicles. Many of its elements describe our design language going forward.’

And while the Geneva 2010 show car had blacked-out windows, the new red Paris concept has a proper interior for the first time. It reveals the 2+2 seating layout, and the slimline dashboard, the latter thanks in part to all the IBE’s infotainment functions being aggregated into one screen ahead of the steering wheel. Steering wheel-mounted pads control the screen, while the IBE can also connect to smart phones, allowing you to check the battery charge remotely.

Ah, I do remember the Seat IBE being an electric concept car – is the new one also electric?

It is. The motor and all the controlling electronics are mounted in the sleek nose of the IBE, and the lithium-ion batteries are mounted at the back – Seat claims the IBE’s incredibly compact independent rear suspension (lifted from the next-gen Leon) allows the battery pack to fit beneath the boot floor. The power output is 75kW (101bhp) and 148lb ft, enough to silently sling the 1100kg IBE to 62mph in 9.7 seconds. The IBE’s top speed is 100mph and the 18kWh battery capacity allows for a potential range of 81 miles.

‘Seat is working very hard on future electro-mobility,’ said Seat’s president James Muir. ‘Following the great success of our highly efficient Ecomotive models, hybrids and electric vehicles are further steps in our clear corporate strategy. And the IBE leaves no room for doubt – the future will find SEAT offering the most innovative, bold and youthful cars in their respective segments, without sacrificing anything in terms of usability.’

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By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large