With the 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI switching to a new engine, it was only a question of time before the SEAT Ibiza Cupra followed suit. So now it’s the upcoming Ibiza’s turn to drop the venerable twin-charged 1.4 TSI and upgrade to the more powerful and cleaner turbocharged 1.8 TSI.
As you’d expect there are improvements in every area of the Cupra’s performance. Power is up from 180PS to 192PS while torque rises from 250Nm to 320Nm, and is available from 1,450 and 4,200rpm. 62mph arrives in 6.7 seconds and top speed goes up to 146mph.
There are no official figures yet for economy and CO2 emissions but expect to see slight improvements despite the increase in engine capacity. Another aspect that could affect those figures is the choice of transmission. The Ibiza Cupra is now available with a six-speed manual transmission, replacing the compulsory dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. There is a DSG on the options list, this time with six ratios, and it’s emissions figures are likely to be lower than those of the manual.
With the new engine comes options to tailor the Ibiza’s drive characteristics. Cupra Selective Suspension is an adaptive suspension control system that lets you choose between comfort or sport modes, with a different steering feel in each.
There’s also a host of electronic driver and safety aids; the latest XDS electronic differential lock, ESP electronic stability system, hill start assist, multi-collision brake and drowsiness warning are part of the standard safety package in the Ibiza Cupra.
There are improvements in the interior too. The detachable infotainment system and its horrible cradle are gone, replaced by a touchscreen system that’s been properly integrated into the dashboard. The infotainment system has a wide range of functions but it’s worth noting that it now supports both Apple Car Play and Android Auto, allowing you to control your phone through the Ibiza’s touchscreen.
No news on UK prices or availability yet, other than it’ll go on sale in early 2016.