It’s official, the 2009 SEAT Ibiza Cupra will feature a smaller engine than the existing model.
While the outgoing Cupra was powered by the VAG group’s ageing 1.8-litre turbocharged unit, producing 177bhp, the new Cupra will use a 1.4-litre TFSi unit. The combination of turbo and supercharger helps the new engine produce exactly the same power output while returning better fuel economy and lower emissions. There will also be the option of fitting Volkswagen’s new seven-speed DSG for improved acceleration.
The Cupra will come with a host of electronic aids as standard, including ESP, ABS, TCS and EBA. You’ll also get stiffened suspension, Cupra sports seats and aluminium pedals.
There will also be the usual styling add-ons such as smart 17-inch alloys, deep front spoiler with large air intakes, a centrally mounted trapezoid exhaust and (subtle) rear spoiler. There’s one thing missing … well, two actually. There are no side skirts as standard, they’ve been relegated to the options list. Personally I think SEAT are being a bit mean with that decision, and I would expect most customers will feel obliged to put their hands in their pockets to make up for the lack of visual oomph.
So will the new Ibiza Cupra be powerful enough to square up to the competition? The Clio 197 and Corsa VXR are more powerful (197bhp and 189bhp respectively) while the not-in-production-anymore Fiesta ST is less powerful with 148bhp and the MINI Cooper S is about equal with 172bhp. Hopefully the new Cupra will have a sparkling chassis to make up for the relative lack of firepower.
We’ll have to wait and see, but there’ll be more news available at the Paris Motor Show in October.