After the public unveiling of a concept at the Beijing Motor Show the new SEAT Ibiza Cupra is now a production reality, with order books opening next week ready for deliveries of the new car in January 2013.
The Cupra has been missing from the Ibiza range since the 2012 facelift, but there aren’t too many surprises in store. The hardware is much the same – a 1.4 twin-charged petrol engine with 180PS (178bhp) and 250Nm (184lb/ft) is mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission. Performance figures remain largely the same with 62mph arriving in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 142mph, while fuel economy is officially rated at 47.9mpg.
If you were familiar with the last Ibiza Cupra you’ll know the drill for the new car’s looks. A deeper front bumper surrounding triangular mesh grilles and Cupra badges, a diffuser-styled rear bumper with centrally-mounted trapezoidal exhaust, gloss black mirrors and 17-inch wheels are the biggest giveaways.
The ride height is lower and the chassis’s responses should be sharper. As before there is an XDS electronic differential to improve traction and ESP systems to stop you parking the Cupra backwards into the scenery.
The asking price for the SEAT Ibiza Cupra is £18,825 but apart from the engine and standard DSG what else do you get for your money? As it’s the range-topper it comes with climate control, automatic wipers, bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights and a pair of unique front sports seats.
The Ibiza Cupra also inherits the removable SEAT Portable System from the Mii. This adds navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio, a Micro SD card compatibility, voice control, and an on-board computer that integrates with the car’s own computer. You can also add your own screen images, write notes and reminders, and even use the screen as a torch.
One interesting option is the AP Performance braking system, claiming to offer remarkable stopping power. This could be a popular choice for track day enthusiasts where brakes are often the first thing to wilt under the pressure of circuit driving.