The SEAT Ibiza in Ibiza

Three decades of development from the first to the latest Ibiza

Martorell, 04 January 2018

  • 33 years have gone by from the first generation Ibiza to the latest
  • The design, going from straight lines to a more dynamic silhouette, is one of this icon’s most unique features
  • From the prestigious System Porsche to the 1.5 TSI engine, the most powerful and efficient in the segment

-Sculpted with plaster: The first version was moulded “as if it were a statue my Michelangelo”, remembers this engineer. Up to two tonnes of plaster was used to sculpt it. Nowadays, around 5,000 kilos of clay is used, a material which is much easier to work with, in addition to virtual prototypes, which enable them to study the viability of the design.

-Manufacturing time down from 60 to 16 hours: This is how long it took to make the first Ibiza 33 years ago, compared to today’s manufacturing time. “There’s no comparing how a car is made nowadays”, assures Teo García. Despite this shorter production time, cars today are more sophisticated as they include more advanced technology. The new Ibiza has been developed using the Volkswagen Group’s latest technology, the MQB-A0 platform, which gives it enhanced sturdiness and makes it more spacious: it is now 170 mm wider, 422 mm longer and 50 mm higher.

-From the System Porsche to the most powerful and efficient engine: According to García, the development of the engine is “one of the revolutions in this car”. If the first generation already relied on “a prestigious engine” with the System Porsche, 33 years later with the 1.5 TSI “it is equipped with the most powerful, and at the same time, most efficient engine” in its segment. In this sense, the average fuel consumption of the first Ibiza was 7.8 litres/100 km in its 1.5 version, while this has been reduced to 4.9 litres/100 km on the latest one.

-Towards connectivity at the wheel: According to Teo García, connectivity “is one of the great breakthroughs” found on the vehicle, and which was “unheard of over three decades ago”. The current version includes an 8 inch screen and every possible technology for remaining connected at the wheel, and even enables receiving and sending voice messages in order to eliminate distractions while driving. In this sense, safety has also evolved, and the latest Ibiza is equipped with driving assistants such as city braking or a speed limiter setting, systems that would have been unthinkable three decades ago.

-A global islander: The first Ibiza was the model which helped internationalise the company. Five generations later and with 5.6 million units sold in more than 80 countries, this car continues to pay homage to its namesake, a youthful Mediterranean island that receives over 1.5 million visitors from around the world every year.

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