SEAT unveils new Ibiza Cupra

SEAT has today announced the new Ibiza Cupra which will be available in the UK from January 2013 with prices starting at £18,825.

The first Ibiza Cupra made its début in the UK in 1996 and was available in the unforgettable Kiwi Green.  Never shy of bold colours or designs, SEATs latest Cupra  doesn’t disappoint in the looks department. At the front there is a deep grill with aggressive headlights, while the rear sports a centre exit exhaust flanked by large vents on the bumper. The Ibiza promises to deliver in the performance stakes too with 62 mph arriving in just 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 142 mph. This performance comes courtesy of the now widely used 1.4 TSI engine which produces an impressive 180 PS and 250 Nm and should deliver some aural pleasure thanks to the sound actuator in the exhaust system. As usual, this engine is mated to the 7 speed DSG box which can be left in full-auto mode or operated by paddles on the steering wheel. The most impressive stat however, is the 47.9mpg average that SEAT claims the Cupra will return.

The merits of the DSG box over a traditional manual have been discussed at length elsewhere so I won’t go into that in detail here. However, SEAT describe the Cupra as a ‘compelling day-to-day performance car’ and frankly I’m pretty sure it will be! I have driven the previous Ibiza Cupra with the TSI/DSG set up and the Skoda Fabia vRS which shares the same combination and both cars are excellent. The 1.4 engine has tremendous power for such a small unit and pulls extremely hard and while the DSG doesn’t have the same type of involvement as a manual there is still a lot of pleasure to be had from shifting with the paddles and the changes themselves are rapid and crisp. Where the DSG also proves its worth is in traffic, simply pop it into auto and cruise along, perfect!

The Ibiza offers generous levels of standard kit including Climate Control, rain-sensing automatic wipers, bi-xenon headlamps, XDS and ESP and a variety of styling upgrades over the Ibiza FR. SEAT have also incorporated their portable media system into the Cupra, a very handy bit of kit! Oh, and if you want to add a bit of extra stopping power to your Ibiza, there is an AP Performance Braking system available.

With the price of new cars rising rapidly the Ibiza Cupra represents very good value for money and offers excellent performance with genuine day-to-day practicality. If you are after a hot hatch, the SEAT Ibiza Cupra is definitely worth a look!

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