Seat Ibiza Cupra and Ecomotive: first photos

Published: 29 August 2008

Seat has unveiled the hot hatch and green eco warrior of the Ibiza range. The sinner is the Ibiza Cupra, the saint the Ibiza Ecomotive – and they arrive less than six months since the range was launched.

Seat Ibiza Cupra: the lowdown

The Ibiza Cupra has a 176bhp 1.4 TSI twin-compressor engine; it’s the same turbo- and supercharged engine as in our long-term test VW Golf, mated to the VW Group’s seven-speed DSG twin-clutch ‘box operated through steering wheel paddles.

No performance claims yet, but that power output should put it on a par with the Mini Cooper S. Seat claims the new Ibiza is lighter than the old model, and the smaller engine should make for better handling, insiders claim. For reference, the outgoing Seat Ibiza Cupra could top 142mph and scurry to 62mph in 7.3 seconds.

The Cupra styling kit

Is the Cupra finally the Ibiza to add spice to the Spanish small hatch? Basic models have certainly divided opinion among CAR Online users, but the hot hatch injects the usual GTI genes into the mix: more macho bumpers peppered with vents, 17in alloys and a centrally placed trapezoid exhaust (the latter strangely reminiscent of the Vauxhall Astra VXR‘s).

Naturally, the Cupra also gains a bundle of standard kit for its £15,000 estimated price. There’s the full alphabet soup of electronic stability aids, ‘bendy’ headlamps that peer around corners, sports suspension, grippy seats and metal pedals.

Click ‘Next’ to read about the Seat Ibiza Ecomotive

What’s so saintly about the Ibiza Ecomotive?

The greenest Ibiza follows the template set by its Ecomotive forebear. It has a 78bhp 1.4 TDI diesel engine, retuned for teetotal thirst and mated to a particulate filter to trap the exhaust nasties. You won’t miss the green Ibiza, with its permanently blanked-off grille, similar to that on the VW Polo Bluemotion.

A lot of the Ecomotive effort goes on the running gear. Helping to contribute to the lowly 99g/km of CO2 emissions are slippery aerodynamics, longer gearing, slim 175/70 rubber and 70s-style flush hubcaps. There’s not even a spare tyre in the interests of weight saving.

And when can I get my hands on the two new Seat Ibizas?

We’ll see the three- and five-door Ecomotive, and the SportCoupe-only Cupra, at the Paris motor show on 2 October 2008 ahead of UK sales in the first quarter of 2009.

In love with the Cupra or put off? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet