SEAT is showcasing the stunning IBZ Concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The star of the SEAT stand in Germany previews a new, family-sized version that will make its appearance in showrooms across Europe towards the middle of next year, further increasing the company’s B segment line-up in the process.

The IBZ Concept marries flexible and functional packaging within a non-compromised exterior and interior design. It incarnates the brand parameters – young, design-driven and sporty. Boasting a modern, tensioned silhouette, the IBZ Concept includes numerous distinctive exterior and interior design features, and benefits from cutting-edge technology for a gripping driving experience.

Once again, SEAT Design Director Luc Donckerwolke has applied his pragmatic design vision to create an attractive, yet tremendously functional car where comfort and roominess complement the traditional sports philosophy common to all SEAT models. The world debut of the bold IBZ Concept is another significant stepping stone on the company’s path to extending its range line-up. The challenge it meets is to combine a larger family-sized chassis featuring greater load capacity with the distinct, feisty personality of the Ibiza.

Imposing front view
The front end of the IBZ Concept shows an evolution of SEAT’s now trademark Arrow Design. The bonnet features a running edge, splitting the car through its symmetry access, adding precision and sharpness to the known Ibiza face. The tensed eyebrows accentuate the headlights, whose diamond-shaped interior combines LED technology with light guides.

The new centre grille, with honeycomb slats and aluminium surround, is underlined by the same purist, rectangular air vents found on the Ibiza CUPRA. Another development at the front sees the usual arrow shape enhanced by a set of lines parallel to the headlights, finishing at the broad opening beneath the bumper. Two aluminium mouldings in this area round off the front end design. Styled to stand out, the IBZ Concept boasts an attractive sweep created by the newly designed headlights complete with LED technology. Their pointed tips provide

continuity to the Dynamic Line that brushes over the wings and the middle of the front doors, while their novel interior structure mimics the facets of a diamond. One set generates the main beam, while the smaller LEDs generate the dipped beam. At the same time, a portion of the smaller facets at the top of the cluster serve as daytime driving lights, with the indicator LEDs at the bottom.

A truly sporty family car
This is nothing short of the perfect definition of the IBZ Concept presented by SEAT at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Its new dimensions and design create an ideal synergy between sporting intent, pragmatic functionality and spaciousness required to adapt to any need.

The exterior design of SEAT’s prototype is enhanced by its high gloss, eye-catching blue paint colour. After admiring the awesome front, take a look at the panoramic sunroof that floods the interior with light. The LED indicator lights literally stand out, as they are built into the new streamlined door mirrors, each one mounted onto its doors with a pair of arms. The exterior arm which supports the mirror, and the mirror’s outer casing are both aluminium to match the other trim elements found on this model. A side view reveals low profile 235/35 tyres on attractive, five double-spoke 19 inch alloy wheels, each with an embossed ‘S’ at the hub. Another tell-tale feature of the IBZ Concept is the León-concept rear passenger door handle, which is neatly integrated into the third side window.

The attention-grabbing new hatch naturally bears the SEAT logo, and when the rear hatch is open, its structure has a loading bay floor that sits flush with the number plate. Meanwhile, the broad rear window provides greater visibility at the rear. An elegant, high-mount roof spoiler houses the third brake light, at the same time underlining the car’s sporting intent.

The SEAT logo as usual doubles as the boot handle mechanism, and the prototype is easily identified by the ‘IBZ’ initials beneath the logo in the centre of the hatch. The crisp rear section of the IBZ Concept is further enhanced by the addition of defined ‘shoulders’ that house the light clusters. As with the striking headlights, they feature LED technology on a raised surface. From bottom to top, the LEDs create the sidelights, brake, reverse and indicator lights. The final highlights that round off the view of the rear are a new bumper, which has a built-in number plate, the number plate light at the bottom of the hatch, and split twin tailpipes, which each boast a stylish aluminium bezel.

Where space and style combine
The passenger compartment of the SEAT IBZ Concept offers space and style in equal measure, with fine detailing and functional innovations throughout. The interior is structured by lightguide strips that run through the dashboard and the doors, integrating the radio/iPhone interface screen and providing atmospheric lighting at the same time.

The light airy tones of the creamy colour “Magnolia” in the interior heighten the feeling of space inside this SEAT. The dashboard features the same colour, and a different texture is provided via the suede-clad soft pads. The instrument binnacle hood, door panels, pillars and ceiling are also finished in suede. The newly designed seats and integrated headrests are upholstered with a combination of leather and suede in the same colour as the dashboard, with blue stitching to match the body colour.

In trademark sporty SEAT style, the steering wheel on the IBZ Concept is slightly flattened at the base. It is wrapped in leather and suede and has a four-spoke structure with dipped side grips, the SEAT ‘S’ in the centre and the letters ‘IBZ’ on the lower spoke, and a set of newly designed multi-functional controls on either side. Naturally, the sporty design of the instrument panel is faithful to the brand’s identity. The large dial on the left is the rev counter, with a screen taking up the rest of the space. On the right is an analogue and digital speed display, with the navigation information, trip computer and remaining vehicle controls shown in the middle.

There are four circular air vents on the dashboard encased in aluminium. A special interior design concept features a striking combination of aluminium layered with a glossy black material that make up a line with recessed lighting that extends across the dashboard and continues onto the door panels. The centre houses a screen displaying radio and iPhone functions, and the centre console has a purpose-built iPhone slot.

The centre console also features a stylish climate control system with all the usual functions, the gear stick with a leather gaiter and a panel with buttons to activate the hazard lights, door locks and seat heaters, as well as several storage compartments. Close by is an electronic hand-brake and the central armrest, which is cloth upholstered with a handy storage compartment that can also be removed from the vehicle.

The newly designed door panels on the IBZ Concept echo the style of the dashboard, with the soft pad in suede and an aluminium insert beneath the armrest. The aluminium door handles and speaker frames are also new – the latter with a unique arrangement of square slats.

Text and Pictures: Seat