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New Cupra Ibiza likely to arrive in 2019

Cupra Ibiza show car revealed at launch event, hinting at future hot production model to rival the Ford Fiesta ST

This is the Cupra Ibiza, a potential rival for the Ford Fiesta ST and potentially a key component of SEAT’s bid to build its performance division into a brand in its own right.

Shown at the official Cupra launch event, the Cupra Ibiza is ostensibly just a show car for now; SEAT’s management say they want to gauge reaction to the car from customers and dealers before committing it to production. However, Auto Express understands that only a strong negative response is likely to halt the hot Ibiza’s development process - and that it will also be joined in the line-up by a Cupra Arona.

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• New Cupra Ateca revealed with 296bhp

Both the Cupra Ibiza and Cupra Arona will have 200-220bhp at their disposal when they hit showrooms, SEAT has confirmed.

SEAT has not revealed any technical details on the Cupra Ibiza but the show car features lowered suspension, two-tone alloy wheels, an aggressive front splitter and a mix of gloss finish and Cupra’s copper-tinted ‘brand colour’ on exterior details. 

The cabin reveals the show car to be DSG dual-clutch automatic - something that may upset the purists - but also shows that the Cupra Ibiza gets a flat-bottomed Alcantara steering wheel and front sports seats that feature a mixture of the suede-like fabric and a pattern stitched into the base. 

The facia, meanwhile, is finished in a carbonfibre weave material, and incorporates SEAT’s touch-screen infotainment system. There’s also a fully digital instrument panel - a big step for the Ibiza - and a switch that suggests the car will have a number of different driving modes.

If, as expected, the Cupra Ibiza makes it through to production, it should have a price tag of around £20,000. But with bosses insisting that it won’t get the green light until dealer and customer demand is established, it’s unlikely to appear before 2019 at the earliest.

Would you like to see the Cupra Ibiza make production? Let us know in the comments section below...

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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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