Seat Ibiza ST concept (2009): first design sketch

Published: 06 April 2009

Seat continues to expand into new niches – it's just dropped a hint that it'll build an Ibiza estate, with this first official design sketch of an Ibiza ST. It'll follow in the footsteps of the Cordoba Vario, the Spaniards' first supermini wagon back in 1998.

ST used to stand for sport tourer in the company's badging hierarchy (although apparently it now doesn't stand for anything), and it'll be the third Ibiza bodystyle after the Ibiza SC three-door and Ibiza five-door when it arrives in 2010. It'll sit alongside the bigger Exeo ST.

This design sketch doesn't reveal a huge amount, but it confirms chief stylist Luc Donckerwolke's commitment to 'arrow design'. There's plenty of sharp wedge built into this designer doodle, but are we alone in seeing shards of Audi A1 in this rear three-quarters drawing?

New Ibiza ST: one of 10 new Seats

Outgoing Seat president Erich Schmitt recently confirmed in his financial year-end speech a raft of new niche models to provide incremental growth in the tough global marketplace.

'We are launching 10 new models that suit customers’ tastes this year, thereby positioning ourselves for better times,' he said. 'Next year we will be launching the third variant of our successful Ibiza model, a wagon version, which we will be producing here in Martorell.  This will be the Ibiza ST.’

Those 10 new models in detail

But look more closely at those 10 new models and you'll see a range of model-year refreshes and bodystyle variants rather than much all-new product. Schmitt was referring to the financial year, which included the launch of the Ibiza SC, Ibiza, Ibiza ST, Exeo, Exeo ST, and facelifts of the Leon and Altea families.

Schmitt recently announced he would step down at Barcelona; he'll be replaced by former Mazda Europe big cheese James Muir, who takes over on 1 September 2009. It's rare for the VW Group to appoint an outsider at this level.

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By Tim Pollard

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